South Korea

South Korea is the poster child of Asian technology and soft power in the last two decades. It is like the Japan of the 80s. From worldwide iconic companies like Samsung or LG, to its thriving music and TV/cinema scene, South Korea is exerting an influence far beyond its relatively small size and population.

South Korea as a travel destination is surprisingly excellent. On paper, the main attraction that comes to mind is likely the capital Seoul. Deservedly, the city offers  a nice balance of culture, history, and city life. Although Seoul offers an accurate picture of what the rest of the country looks like, South Korea still has many formidable sites and places worth exploring.

There are, however, two places that are often advertized in guide books that I don’t recommend. First, the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. It is literally a heavily advertised guided trip to see a border. The second site is Jeju island which is marketed as a tropical island. Jeju is a good place, catering mostly to South Koreans, but hardly compares to the real tropical islands. On a short visit in South Korea , it is best to see unique places that the country offers rather than places it mimics!


Attractions: Seaoul, Gyeongju, and Busan.

Itinerary: A week in Seoul is a good time. The city is vibrant and has many attractions that can easily fill a week. A train ride can take you to Busan and Gyeongju. Each can be seen in 2-3 days.

Food: South Koreans food is excellent.

Ranking: ★★★★ (8.8/10) Read more

Top 5 Destinations

1. Seoul

Seoul Imperial palace.

2. Gyeongju

3. Busan

Busan beach. World record holder of the number of umbrellas!

4. Daegu


5. Jeonju

Jeonju. © Albert J. Kim

More Attractions

6. Boseong

7. Andong

8. Chuncheon

9. Seongsan

10. Seoraksan