One of Asia’s finest destinations, South Korea presents a remarkable range of experiences throughout the year. Replete with adventures, cultural experiences, and dazzling marketplaces, South Korea is also known for its warm hospitality. The country presents some of the finest travel experiences, and there is something for every kind of traveller. This year, the country has lined up a mix-bag of travel experiences for travellers from around the world; everything you ever want to do is here in South Korea. As an added bonus, the country’s unique cuisine is ready to floor you.
Adventures in South Korea
If your soul yearns for adventure, South Korea will fulfil all your wishes. Let us take a look at the very best of adventure activities that you can indulge in.
Cheongpung Land Bungee Jumping – You can bungee jump from a very impressive height of 62 m near Cheongpunghoban Lake. Other thrilling and fascinating rides include the Ejection Seat and Big Swing here. However, Ejection Seat, and the Big Swing requires two people, so if you are alone, then bungee jumping it is! The bungee jumping experience here is safe and secure, as they add a safety line to your gear, which helps in preventing accidents that are caused by the bungee cord rubber breakage.
Visiting hours: 10 AM to 7 PM (July and August; closed on Mondays from December to February).
Zipline to Nami Island – If you want the thrill of a lifetime, try getting on the zipline to Nami Island. The zipline is 3083 ft long, and reaches a speed of up to 56 km per hour, making it quite a thrilling ride! Starting at Gapyeong, the zipline to Nami Island takes about 4 minutes. Not to forget, the incredible views of Nami Island that would grace your vision.
Visiting hours: 9 AM to 7 PM/ 9 AM to 6 PM (Summer/Winter). Opening hours are subject to change based on weather conditions
Paragliding in Yangpyeong – A remarkable paragliding experience awaits you at Yangpyeong. It is an extraordinary thrill, not for the faint hearted, as the take-off point here is pretty high, which makes the flight even more exciting. Located about an hour away from Seoul, Yangpyeong offers at least fifteen minutes of flight time.
Visiting hours: 9 AM to 6 PM (all through the year).
Gangchon rail bike – A unique adventure, the Gangchon rail biking experience is a 40-minute biking experience on rail tracks, which gives you a glance of scenic paddy fields, rivers, and mountains. The rail biking experience also has themed tunnels that make it extra special.
Visiting hours: 9 AM to 6 PM (all through the year).
ATV ride in Jeju – Take a thrilling ride in an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) through scenic South Korea. The ATV ride in Jeju Island is all about going off the grid, and is an experience that is available throughout the year, in every season.
Visiting hours: 9 AM to 6 PM / 9 AM to 5 PM (summer/winter).
Shopping in South Korea
Expect an eclectic shopping experience in South Korea with hundreds of options for all kinds of shoppers. You have both local products as well as international brands (the very best of them) dotted all across the country.
Myeongdong – Seoul’s bustling shopping neighbourhood is really one of the star attractions of the city. Packed with tourists in search of all things fascinating, the place is known for shopping malls, food joints, and entertainment. It is a great place for nightlife as well.Visiting hours: Everything starts opening up close to noon each day, and is open until 10 PM.
Dongdaemun Market – A Special Tourism Zone of South Korea, Dongdaemun Market is the most sought-after shopping destination for tourists in South Korea. Located in Seoul, it houses some of the most popular shopping centres and dates back to 1905. This is also gives you a chance to experience night-time shopping in the Dongdaemun Sebit Market, which remains open from 8 PM to 3 am in the morning!
Visiting hours: 9 AM to 3 AM every day.
Namdaemun Market – A traditional market, this one is all about Korean culture, and is especially interesting for travellers. It is a busy market, full of traditional Korean stores; most items here are made by store owners themselves. You can find almost anything and everything at this market. Plus, there are a number of food stalls as well. When here, do visit the Noodle Soup Alley for some extraordinary noodle soup dishes.
Visiting hours: Daytime; there are parts of the market that are open 24 hours.
Insa-dong – A very popular neighbourhood with numerous galleries, tea shops as well as traditional Korean restaurants, Insa-dong is a must-visit. The prime attraction in this neighbourhood is antiques and art; if you are an art lover, this should be where you go to.
Underground shopping malls – There is a world of fashion items waiting for you underground. You will find numerous shops, with a variety of options for shopping here at the underground shopping malls. Some notable shopping malls are Gangnam Station underground shopping centre, Goto Mall, and Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center.
Unique experiences of South Korea
South Korea is definitely a visitor’s paradise, and here are some unique experiences that the country offers to its tourists.
Urban Glamping in Seoul – The concept of glamping has caught up around the world, and Seoul is not far behind. The city has some fine glamping (glamorous camping) options for those who would like to give this novel experience a try. Urban Glamping is camping within the city, with a touch of nature and a touch of luxury. A novel idea, Urban Glamping in Seoul is a chance for you to experience the camping culture of the city. One of the hotspots in the city is Nanji Hangang Park on the River Han.
A Hanok stay experience– Hanoks are the quaint-looking traditional Korean houses, beautiful and quite practical as well. While these are slowly giving way to modern architecture, Seoul is still home to some of these. In fact, Bukchon in Seoul has an impressive number of hanok and is a hit with travel photographers and those interested in a more authentic, traditional experience in Seoul. You can also stay in one, wherein the experience is usually complemented by by handicraft workshops, tea ceremonies and more.
Experience K-pop – Currently the rage in the music world, K-pop is going places and has kind of taken pop music notches higher. Some of the biggest K-pop bands include BTS, EXO, Twice, and Red Velvet. You must attend a K-pop concert if there is one happening during your stay in South Korea. Try the K-pop Hologram concert experience, which is sure to get you all pumped up. Later, try a cup of coffee in cafes run by these K-pop stars. South Korea also has K-pop drama, music, and dance classes for fans.
Experience technology – If you are an automobile fan, you need to visit Hyundai’s brand new Motorstudio Goyang experience centre. It has five different sections to explore, including Sales, Brand Centre, Automotive Theme Park, Offices, and Services.
Yet another tech experience is the Samsung D’light experience in the Samsung Electronics building in Seocho-dong, Seoul. A global exhibition by Samsung, this is a place that gives you an insight into the technological advancements made by the electronic giant.
Food in South Korea
Don’t we all love Korean food! What better way to experience a culture than through its cuisine, and when in South Korea, you definitely have to try South Korea’s very best dishes.
San-nakji – Dining is an adventurous experience, and it cannot get more adventurous than this. San-nakji is a famous Korean raw dish (also known as hoe). It is long-armed baby octopus, sprinkled with sesame oil and sesame seeds, eaten raw!
Kimchi making – One of South Korea’s most famous exports to the rest of the world, Kimchi is a delicious side dish, made of salted and fermented vegetables. You can learn how to make Kimchi in Seoul, try the Seoul Kimchi Academy, and master the art of this delicious dish.
Jeonju Bibimbap – Ranking right up there with the modest kimchi, Bibimbap is extraordinary. It is a dish that is renowned the world over, more notably, the one that we find in Jeonju. Bibim translates to mixing various ingredients, while Bap means rice. A stellar rice dish, this is warmth in a bowl.
Samgyeopsal – A show-stealer, if you like meat, then this is for you. This is grilled pork belly, which uses fatty slices of pork belly. You will mostly find diners grilling the meat pieces themselves after carefully cutting or slicing them from the lot. It is a must-try.