Split by a hair-trigger border, the Korean Peninsula offers the traveller a dazzling range of experiences, beautiful landscapes and 5000 years of culture and history.
Korea might be known as the Land of the Morning Calm, but dive into its capital Seoul, the powerhouse of Asia’s third-largest economy, and serenity may be the last thing you’ll perceive.
This round-the-clock city is constantly in motion, with a work-hard, play-hard mentality that epitomises the nation’s indefatigable, can-do spirit.
You can hardly turn a corner without stumbling across a helpful tourist information booth, a bustling subway station or a taxi in this multifaceted metropolis where meticulously reconstructed palaces rub shoulders with teeming night markets and dramatically modern architecture.
South Korea’s compact size and superb transport infrastructure mean that tranquillity is always within easy reach of urban sprawl
South Korean Won
Get further off the beaten path than you thought possible by sailing to remote islands, where farming and fishing folk welcome you into their homes or simple seafood cafes. Gaze up at the distant stars from serene villages surrounded by rice fields, sleeping in rustic hanok (traditional wooden house) guesthouses.
Decorum plays a major role in Korean people’s generosity to outsiders, and their instinctive graciousness possesses a highly endearing quality. Helpfulness abounds, whether it’s at a tourist office, asking someone for directions or finding yourself deep in a conversation with a stranger.
Time-honoured Confucian principles have set a template for strong civic pride in a society that is introspective, perhaps, but also decorous and affirmative. You may pass glorious landscapes and gaze out across dazzling seas but don't forget, half of your travel journey will be about the people, and the Korean tribe are a joy to be among.
A packed calendar of festivals and events means there’s almost always a celebration of some sort to attend wherever you are – it might be Boryeong for its mud fest, or Gwangju for its Biennale or its annual salute to that most Korean of foods: kimchi. Koreans are proud of their culinary culture and rightly so – there's a tantalising array of dishes, flavours, aromas and textures in the local cuisine, to be washed down with plenty of toasting involving a head-spinning array of alcoholic concoctions.
Walk around and visit the traditional Gyeongbukgung Palace, the largest Royal Palace
Admire the incredible city views from Seoul Sky Observatory at the top of Lotte World Tower
Walk through Gwangan Bridge, Korea's longest bridge and answer to the Golden Gate Bridge
Explore the Busan Sea Life Aquarium, an inspiring journey of discovery
Visit Seongsan Ilchulbong, known as Sunrise Peak for picturesque sunrise views and UNESCO Heritage Site
Explore Manjanggul cave, one of the finest & longest lava tunnels in the world and UNESCO Heritage Site