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  • The best travel destinations in South Korea

    Palgongsan, photo by Adam Nicholson on Flickr

    North Korea is probably one of the most impossible travel destinations in the world, and it’s rather ironic that its former better half, South Korea, is the exact opposite: one of the most welcoming and fascinating travel destinations in East Asia.

    South Korea is a country that is in full blown development, without completely forsaking its ancient Confucian roots. Korean music, food, films and products are taking the world by storm, and made this country a hugely popular travel destination for every kind of budget.

    Visiting all the best parts of the country in the course of a single trip is an unthinkable task, but we have compiled a list of the best travel destinations in South Korea to give you a taster of what is awaiting you there.

    Palgongsan, Daegu

    About 20 kilometers from the city of Daegu lies Palgongsan mountain, a must-see for those who are interested either in hiking or in visiting Buddhist religious sites (although if you go to Palgongsan, neither can be avoided). There are several picturesque hiking trails up the mountain, the longest lasting about 3 hours.

    There are countless statues, shrines and temples on Palgongsan, so many that it looks like one big sacred site. The statue of Gatbawi is particularly popular – it is said to make one of your wishes come true.

    Gyeongbok-gung Palace, Seoul

    Gyeongbok-gung, photo by Jose Carlos Cortizo Perez on Flickr

    This once-magnificent palace of the Joseon dynasty is second to none other in the country. Gyeongbok-gung was badly destroyed in the 16th century by a Japanese invasion, and then again in the early 20th century, but large parts of it have been restored to their former glory. The Joseon Palance Museum and the Korean Folk Museum are located on the grounds of the palace.

    Yeosu Port

    Yeosu is the most beautiful port city in South Korea, famous for its marina, its many flowers, great seafood cuisine and lovely beaches. Yeosu has it all: tradition and modernity, all in one pretty package.

    The city’s districts are separated from one another either by hunks of mountain or slices of ocean, giving it a very quaint structure. Yeosu at night is downright magical, and it’s highly recommended to seek out a vantage point to see at all at once.

    Andong Hahoe Folk Village, Andong

    Andong Hahoe Folk Village, photo by ~Mers on Flickr

    It is said that when Queen Elizabeth II visited South Korea and asked to be taken to them most Korean place in the country, she was taken to Andong, home to one of the strongest bastions of Korean culture: Andong Hahoe Folk Village.

    The traditional houses are lovingly taken care of by their inhabitants, and old traditions like the mask dance take place every week. Don’t forget to visit the Byongdae Cliff which offers an amazing bird’s eye view of the whole village.

    Ulleungdo Island

    The island of Ulleungdo to the east of the Korean Peninsula has some of theĀ  most picturesque nature spots in Korea: Bongnae Falls (the only source of drinking water on the island), Jugam Mongdol Beach (has the clearest waters you’ve ever seen), and Songgot-bong with its interesting rocks. The are lots of delicious local specialties on the island so gourmets won’t feel neglected either.

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