As I ambled through the ancient Gyeongbokgung Palace, the scent of jasmine flowers filled the air, the sun shone through the mountain peaks, and pastel-colored cherry trees, filled with blossoms, lined the path; it felt as though life had truly slowed down and I had entered the past.
No one was checking their phones for Facebook responses, no one was rushing or pushing to get a photo, and everything was very calm and peaceful. I was surrounded with smiles from people wearing the traditional hanbok dress. I felt I really got a as close as to ancient life as possible without access to a time machine to bring me here.
People don’t just wear hanbok at festivals or to ancient temples, they also wear them while shopping and to work.
Heads up, history buffs! Gyeongsangbuk-do is the perfect destination for you.
GYEONGJU-SI, South Korea – For a lot of people, the bustling cities of Seoul and Incheon are usually top of mind whenever they think of paying a visit to South Korea.
While getting lost in a big city can be a romantic prospect, if you’re looking to get away from the stressful and busy city life, then Gyeongsangbuk-do is the perfect alternative. The province is rich in heritage sites and the perfect place for history buffs to immerse themselves in South Korea’s vibrant past and learn about Bhuddist culture.
Here are some places in and around the cities of Pohang and Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do that you should definitely check out:
Pohang Homigot Sunrise Square
The Homigot Sunrise Square is located at the tail of the tiger (the Korean Peninsula).
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Hwaseong is a late 18th-century historic fortress that has become a prominent tourist destination in South Korea. The fortress circles the perimeter of the city of Suwon, which is about 30 kilometres away from Seoul, and makes for an ideal day trip from the capital. I opted to get there by taking the Seoul Subway Line 1 from Seoul Station to Suwon Station, and then taking a bus directly to Hwaseong.
The fortress was constructed by King Jeongjo, 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea and traditionally regarded as a very strong leader, between 1794 and 1796.
Located kilometres off the coast of South Korea, Jeju Island is a jewel of the Korean peninsula. One of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders, this volcanic island is home to rolling forests, majestic features and a rustic culture reminiscent yet distinct from that of mainland South Korea. There’s thus no wonder it has been a muse for myths in centuries past, and a popular holiday destination in modern times.
Besides being the hometown of K-pop idols such as Soyou of Sistar, Kim Jinhwan of iKon, Boo Seungkwan of Seventeen, Kang Mina of Gugudan and Im Dayoung of Cosmic Girls, Jeju Island is an idyllic island teeming with marvels both natural and artificial. Wondering just what there is to do here? Enjoy the most of this arcadian locale with these 15 fun activities!
Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, is such a fun, eclectic and brilliant city. It’s got a fantastic mix of old and new, delicious food (always a travel favourite of mine) and a smattering of fantastic sights worth seeing dotted across the city.
Before visiting Seoul, we (like a lot of travellers out there) had this pre-conceived notion of Seoul being this shiny global city comprising predominantly of glass and steel towers and while some of that is true, there’s still so much more to the city than just that.
With that in mind, we’ve put together 14 places you need to visit and things you need to do, to get more of a sense of what Seoul is truly like.
Get out of Seoul for a day trip and visit places like Muuido Island, Paju, Yeongjondo and more. With so many attractions easily accessible by public transport, you have no excuse not to.
A trip to Korea need not simply have to be all about Seoul! Well, you can certainly base yourself in Seoul but be sure to take some day trips to make the most out of your stay. Day trips are actually pretty easy to plan out with the wide array of resources and options available in terms of transportation and activities. This article sums up the top 13 day trips to take from Seoul, covering the types of activities you can partake in plus the ways of getting there!
January 2017 – For many hardened travellers, UNESCO World Heritage Sites provide the ultimate bucket list for experiencing the Earth’s cultural and natural heritage. While it would take many years of travel to see all 1052 designated sights around the world, a short trip to Korea would at least enable you to tick off twelve. South Korea is home to eleven cultural sites and one natural site; over the course of the next few months, Asia Society Korea will be previewing selected World Heritage Sites through a historical, cultural and travel perspective. We kick off our program in the south-western part of peninsular by visiting Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites.
You are probably reading this and thinking, what is a dolmen?
Seoul’s royal palaces enjoyed an unprecedented rise in popularity this year, the Cultural Heritage Administration said.
A record number of 10.1 million visitors tread past the gates of Seoul’s four major palaces -– Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Deoksugung -– as of November, according to CHA, a government agency charged with preserving and promoting Korean cultural heritage.
Nighttime strolls in Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung were popular, the statistics showed. A total of 532,565 visitors sought the two palaces’ moonlight walk programs.
CHA plans to further extend the number of days that the palaces are open at night next year.
CHA attributed the soaring numbers to the greater access to the palaces: they were open a total of 120 evenings, up from last year’s 48. Free entry was allowed to those wearing hanbok, the traditional Korean costume, during both the daytime and nighttime.
What’s the busiest air route in the world? Sydney to Melbourne? New York to Washington DC? London to Paris?
The correct answer will surprise you. The most in-demand flight on Earth is actually the 450km hop from Seoul Gimpo International (stop sniggering) to Jeju International. More than 11 million journeys were made between the two South Korean airports in 2015, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports, and with a one-way capacity of 6,561,314 for 2016, according to aviation number crunchers OAG, that figure could yet rise to 13m this year.
Second on IATA’s list is Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda, with 7.8m. But the Sydney-Melbourne route’s reputation as one of the world’s busiest is well deserved, coming in at fourth place. That’s a high ranking considering the comparative sizes of the Australian cities to other destinations on the list.
Among many ancient kingdoms that came and went during the 5,000 years of Korean history, Baekje is one of the most culturally rich, with its influence spreading far beyond its borders.
In the new exhibition “Baekje Historic Areas of World Heritage” that is to open Tuesday, the National Museum of Korea will showcase historic relics and cultural heritage uncovered from sites where the former kingdom was located. It is also to mark the one year anniversary of the Baekje Historic Areas being listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July last year. The Baekje areas are the 12th historic areas to be recognized by the U.N. agency.
The exhibition is the first since the museum opened a similar event in 1999 focusing on the kingdom’s unique culture and history that hold universal value, according to the museum.