Featured image: cloud.shepherd (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
When you ask people who live to travel about where they would like to go, the answer is probably anywhere possible. Though most frequent travelers agree that there’s a certain mystery and allure that surrounds the Korean Peninsula.
Occasional vacationers might not have considered South Korea as a destination, but the country has emerged from the ashes of the war as a nation determined to develop into one of the world’s fastest moving and most powerful economies.
It’s full of natural beauty that will make anyone forget that massive cities really dominate the scene. Cities are overtaking the countryside but people haven’t forgotten the importance of community and kindness.
South Korea is a fantastic destination that blends modernity and tradition, and allows both to co-exist without watering one of them down. And that’s exactly what makes South Korea such an excellent travel destination.
Modernity and Tradition is What Makes South Korea an Excellent Travel Destination
Modernity in South Korea
Most of us probably associate South Korea with a highly advanced society, oriented on technology and solid work ethics. It is, naturally, the things Korean people pride themselves on, and the backbone of their development and success as a nation.
Therefore, it is no wonder that international expos, fairs and conferences concerning important topics, such as education, economics, new technologies, including artificial intelligence, computer and information, and many more crucial issues facing the world today happen here all the time.
However, that doesn’t mean that nothing else happens here.
South Korea also celebrates film, art, music and food as much as anyone, so there’s always be something to do around these parts. And for nature enthusiasts, this country has mountains galore, beaches and numerous islands just within reach of the peninsula.
There are also a huge range of exciting sporting events, with the most popular being soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball. Even professional poker has its fair representation given that the country has been an important stop in the famous Asia Pacific Poker Tour for some years now.
Tradition in South Korea
New and old blend seamlessly in South Korea. The country is steeped in centuries-old traditions and respecting one’s elders is still as much a family custom as it is a business and political philosophy here.
History lurks around every big city corner from Seoul down to Busan and west through Gwangju, where Koreans and travelers explore beautiful Buddhist temples and relics of the past every day.
Throughout the year, locals and tourists can join in on many annual festivities. South Koreans commemorate many dates, symbols and activities, many of them are based on mythology and agricultural rituals. Some include light and fire, fireworks, fish and other food, harvest, nature and seasons, and much more.
Among the most famous traditional festivals and holidays are Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Chuseok (Harvest Festival). And winter festivals are particularly big here, with the biggest event being the Hwacheon Sancheoneo where you can expect figure skating, bobsleighing, ice sledding, ice soccer, and even a larger-than-life snow castle.
Image: cloud.shepherd (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
A Land of Charming Diversity
When we presented you with four reasons to visit South Korea, this mixture of traditional and contemporary features was not lost on us. One of the most appealing things about this slice of the Orient is its charming diversity.
You have the fashionable, dynamic towns radiant with technological flair, rustic coastal fishing villages, subtropical islands, forest mountainsides and other natural wonders.
Not to be outdone, the capital city, Seoul, captures many of those characteristics. There, futuristic architecture, industrial innovations and cutting-edge solutions meet beautiful ancient Buddhist temples and general consideration for historical values and the past.
The inhabitants of the southern part of Korean Peninsula also have a unique offering reflected in many areas, such as delicious cuisine, rich and vibrant nightlife or even distinctive pop cultural trends (the recognized K-Pop scene).
All the above is what makes the country of South Korea a well and truly special place. No matter what you look for on a trip and what activity you usually enjoy, chances are the “Land of Morning Calm” will not let you down.
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