Explore the Gyeongju of the past: visit a 1,000 year old Buddha at Seokguram Grotto, marvel at the view at Mount Namsan and relax at a hot springs theme park!
Often called the ‘museum without walls’, there is no argument that Gyeongju deserves the title as the ancient capital city of the 1,000 year long Silla Dynasty. At its peak, the Silla Dynasty controlled two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. Till this day, several artifacts and cultural treasures remain in Gyeongju soil. In fact, Gyeongju is home to not just one, but several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 31 National Treasures!
An absolute heaven for any history buff, there is bound to be something waiting to be discovered at every corner in Gyeongju. Whether it be royal tombs that look like gentle hills or the ruins of what used to be Korea’s largest temple, the ancient capital is overflowing with culture.
Who doesn’t want to go on a relaxing beach vacation on a stunning island? With the following islands, you’ve got plenty of destinations to choose from for all preferences. Whether you are looking for a deserted island in the middle of nowhere or a cultural hotspot with a vibrant nightlife, you’ll find the perfect island among these most beautiful islands in Asia!
BALI, INDONESIA – THE SPIRITUAL ISLAND
Not exactly a hidden gem, Bali is one of the most visited islands in Asia. However, it still offers a unique and deeply cultural experience and something for everyone. From party beaches to tranquil retreats, Bali is a destination with a unique spiritual vibe. Especially Ubud, in the center of the island, is not to be missed and a great starting point for your Bali adventure. The monkey sanctuary, many palaces, and delightful restaurants and flower baths at local spas are what makes Ubud so incredibly fun. The most beautiful beaches in Bali can be found in Kuta, Nusa Dua and Legian and Canggu.
SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) — Changdeok Palace’s Nakseonjae Hall will be open to the public until the end of next month as a special spring tour program, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Friday.
The seasonal program, set to run at 10:30 a.m. from Thursday to Saturday on March 29-April 28, will take visitors on a guided tour around the Nakseonjae area, famous for its beautiful garden, with flowers blossoming in spring.
Changdeok Palace is one of the major palaces in Seoul. It dates back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbok Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many kings of Joseon.
Although much of the original structure was destroyed during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial era, and by fire in the 16th and 17th centuries, Changdeok is the best preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces and is recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Nakseonjae Hall and its eight auxiliary buildings were built in 1847 by King Heonjong. The Nakseonjae area was where the Japanese-born empress Lee Bang-ja and King Gojong’s only daughter, Princess Deokhye, lived the remainder of their days.
Find out what you can do all-year round in this stunning country.
Will we ever run out of things to do in Korea? Probably never!
This captivating country is strategically located in a temperate climate zone, which only means one thing – travellers have the chance to experience the magic of all four seasons! Every three to four months, Korea undergoes a seasonal transformation and is refreshed with a new landscape and novel activities. No matter when you go, there will definitely be a plethora of fun things waiting for you. Here’s what you can do during each season:
1. Chase those blossoms
We all know that Korea is a haven for all things Cherry Blossom, and there are so many places to catch them in the springtime. Check out Korea’s biggest Cherry Blossom Festival at Jinhae, where the whole city turns pastel pink with the arrival of these beauties. Pose with the stationary train at Gyeonghwa Station, or stroll along Yeojwacheon Stream to catch the best views and take the best pictures!
One of Asia’s most popular islands is one you might not have heard of: Jeju, off the southern coast of South Korea.
Created by volcanic eruptions more than 2 million years ago, Jeju Island, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has been likened to the “Hawaii of South Korea,” thanks to its black sand beaches, tropical climate, dramatic cliffs, and amazing lava tubes. And because of its beautiful natural landscape and 360 volcanoes dotted about the island, Jeju was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The diverse scenery lends itself to adventure seekers, who will appreciate the island’s excellent hiking, biking, diving, and fresh air. From South Korea’s highest mountain to the ancient volcanic craters and “Peanut Island” off the coast, here’s an action-packed guide to help you make the most of the island’s natural beauty.
Climb Mount Halla
Jeju is home to the tallest mountain in South Korea, Mount Halla (Hallasan), at 6,397 feet above sea level. It’s in the center of the pristine eponymous Hallasan National Park, which is worth a visit even if you’re not planning to hike to the top.
South Korea’s many attractions have flown under the radar for far too long, but all that is about to change with the 23rd Winter Olympics.
You could be excused for not knowing a whole lot about the Republic of Korea. This is, after all, a country that only rarely features in the news, a peaceful, safe place that is often overshadowed in the global consciousness by the “rocket man” to its north.
And even when you do hear about it, South Korea is a nation and a culture that can appear a little opaque. Its language is an impenetrable jungle of consonants and vowels. Its celebrities are K-pop stars and native-language actors whose fame rarely translates into the West. Its cuisine is little known beyond cook-your-own barbecues and fried chicken.
So yes, you could be excused for not knowing a whole lot about South Korea. That is, until now.
There’s a reason Seoul was the 10th most visited city in the world in 2016. (More like 50 reasons, as it turns out!) Here’s what helped draw an astonishing 10-million overnight visitors to the South Korean capital last year.
1. N Seoul Tower
Built in 1969, it wasn’t until 1980 that N Seoul Tower opened to the public. Since then, it’s become an iconic landmark and a point of pride on the Seoul skyline. It’s home to two restaurants and for about $10 CAD, you can venture up to the observation deck for a stunning 360-degree view of Seoul.
Location: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
2. Locks of Love
Though it’s now a familiar sight in romantic cities around the world, Seoul can proudly say it was one of the first to play host to “Locks of Love.”
There’s something for every traveller at Jeju, South Korea – from scenic mountain and sea views to theme parks, unusual museums, markets and more.
When I first told my husband that I was going on a five-day assignment to Jeju, South Korea, his initial reaction was a surprised, “Huh? Five days? There’s stuff to do for so many days on that island?”
When I arrived in Jeju, I realised that there is just so much to see and do on what used to be known to the locals as “honeymoon” island. It is now an increasingly popular holiday travel destination, not just for Koreans but also international tourists.
In fact, it would take more than five days to check out everything!
Jeju is a paradise for those who enjoy the great outdoors.
Crisp clean autumn air, birds chirping at midday and the silvery blond rastafarian heads of pampas grass rising at least seven feet above ground along a hiking trail at Geomun Oreum makes you forget one key thing about the place: Jeju, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, is still considered a potentially active volcano site.
Fondly nicknamed by locals as the “Island of the Gods,” Jeju is a popular destination for Koreans, in particular, honeymooning newlyweds looking for a romantic getaway in a beautiful setting. The threat of volcanic activity is currently minimal, for although Jeju’s mountains may not be extinct, the most recent dynamic activity according to scientists monitoring Jeju’s volcanic movements, was estimated to be 5,000 years ago at Sangchang-ri.
FROSTBITE. I never truly understood the word until I got out of the warm bus and into the blustery cold winter of Gyeongju, South Korea. The temperature is in the minus and all I have on is a bomber jacket over a thin shirt and a single layer of jeggings.
Gyeongju is an hour’s bus ride north of Busan or a four-hour ride southeast of Seoul. It is widely known as a museum without walls because the entire city is populated by numerous historical structures, treasures and artefacts that aren’t confined in a museum box. Most of them date back to more than a thousand years. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage city, all that’s here are either in their original form, completely intact, or have been restored to their former glory.