Experiencing Korea at Its Best
Korea has changed so much from the country that it was before. This Asian country consists of two states distinctively divided into Hangkuk (South Korea and Choson(North Korea). After the Japanese occupation of Korea, the country was divided into two: the North was under Soviet Union and the South under the United States. Although North Korea has attempted to offer tours for visitors, still they limit the visit to those places where they show their best foot forward. Present day South Korea considers Seoul as its seat of governance.
Visit Korea’s Royal Palace. It was originally built in the 1300s but has been rebuilt time and again. English tours are offered three times a day in order to share the origins of this Korean architecture. The tour also introduces the various Korean customs of the old days. In terms of architecture, try to visit the main palace building where Kings were crowned. It is indeed an impressive sight. The present day Nationa lPalace Museum offers free palace entry tickets and is open from 9AM till 5PM from Tuesdays to Sundays only. Would you like to see an extinct volcano crater? Head towards IIlchulbong Peak in Jeju City. The good news is that you can climb it up and down within an hour. As soon as you reach the peak you can marvel at the majestic view of the Eastern coast. No wonder it was given distinction as a World Natural Heritage Site so that future generations can enjoy its beauty.
Want to immerse yourself in Korean culture? Visit Folk Village and take a trip to the past. It is a different kind of experience to visit a traditional Korean Village. At night time the place is adorned by exquisite hanging lanterns to light up the night. In the village you can witness a wedding ceremony done the traditional way as it is in movies. Korea is famous for inventing iron clad war ships which are known as Turtle Ship or Geobukseon. Visit a replica of this ship at the War Memorial in Seoul, South Korea. Dragon’s head were favored as ship mast adornment for these ships. Dragon head was used as sort of Korean’s tactic to frightened Japanese soldiers. Some of these were created with a projector that is capable to emit dense toxic smoke to enemies.
Lotte World is the world’s biggest theme park. It is a gigantic indoor theme park which has an outdoor section. Magic Island is connected to the indoor theme park with a monorail so this means it is another adventure to visit the Magic Island and proceed to the rest of the theme park. Ice skating and bowling is offered in this theme park. The park opens from 9:30AM till 10PM from Mondays through Thursdays and is open until 11pm from Friday to Sunday.
South Korea is famous for owning LG and Samsung which are giant electronics companies. Visit their headquarters and see the past, present and future products that this company sells. Their showroom is located inside their main headquarters. It is known as D’Light. Samsung has managed to diversify into other areas like food processing, textiles and retail shopping.
When shopping for clothes and shoes to wear, head towards the cosmopolitan district of Itaewon. Some of the establishments here come highly recommended like Hamilton Shirts which is in business since 1976. Hamilton Shirts is known for their tailored shirts. When shopping for famous brands around the world go to Myeongdong. Local brands are sold there and travelers are offered discounts. Want to find unique items to use as gifts when going back home? Look for Ssamziegil mall. It is located at Insadong Street which is known as the souvenir street for tourists.
Gangnam Style was a worldwide hit made famous by Korean singer Psy. Even the Guinness Book of Records has given this song the distinction to be “The Most Liked Song in YouTube” in 2012. Why not watch Psy’s show while taking a trip to Korea? He was hailed as the “Viral Star of 2012”. It is not just Korean singers that make girls swoon over Korean Pop culture. Korea is also famous for having its fair share of good looking Korean actors. Rain for example started out as a singer and later on gravitated towards being an actor even in Hollywood. He starred in two Hollywood movies like Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin.
Foodies will not be disappointed since South Korea is famous for a lot of delicious meals. Kimchi is a fermented cabbage famous in Korea as a side dish. Koreans serve a mean Soft Tofu Stew which is known as Soondubu Jiggae. This is a soup that expertly combines the good qualities of a soup and porridge in just one dish. Try Ox Bone Tail Soup for the beefiest soup ever. People from around the world love almost any fried chicken dishes and Korea has their version. Who does not love bacon even if it laden with fat? Order Samgyupsal and get three layers of goodness. Mind you it is addictive. Try to cholesterol levels first before indulging in some more. Locals love eating them at Bulzip because of the dipping sauce that makes it more appealing.
Want to eat tons of fresh fish? Noryangjin Fish Market covers 6,000 square meters area where fresh and raw fishes are delivered. A wholesaler starts auctioning them in the early morning hours. You can haggle with your heart’s delight and buy some fishes or King Crab and have it cooked in the nearby restaurant. Being filled to full the next best thing to do is to do the Jimjilbang Thang which is a visit to a facility that offers sauna, spa and entertainment. As a bonus, it costs less even with all of these amenities as compared to those offered by such facilities in other Asian countries. There are actually more than two thousand things to do when in South Korea but it will not fit in just a few days of visit. It is advisable to concentrate on the top five destinations and save the rest on your next visit.