South Korea is country that has a vast green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees, coastal fishing villages and sub-tropical islands.
South Korean Won
51.75 million (2021)
Take your shoes off at the door when entering any residence, temple, or guesthouse
Don’t write someone’s name in red ink
Three foods you need to try in this country:
- Kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage)
- Bulgogi (type of beef stew)
- Korean Soup
- Korean Fried Chicken and Beer
- Korean BBQ
- Makgeolli (fermented sparkling rice wine)
- Banana Milk
What the country is known for :
- The Great Wall of China
- The Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace
- The Li River
- The Classical Gardens of Suzhou
- Giant pandas
- Manufacturing powerhouse
More About South Korea
My first visit to South Korea was in 2023. I was visiting Japan and since the flight is not long – I figured why not, since I’m in the area. There are a couple of Youtubers I used to watch religiously many years ago who were both teachers in South Korea and I loved how they showed different parts of the country. It seemed that the country had such a rich culture and entertainment scene. I was particularly intrigued by the hip hop scene, which sadly I did not have the opportunity to experience while I was in the country.
South Korea genuinely has so much to offer as a travel destination. They have such a rich history and culture which has been preserved through a number of UNESCO world heritage sites scattered across the country. One can learn about the different dynasties that ruled over South Korea over time. One can also visit the many palaces or noble houses across the country to get a glimpse or understanding about how these people lived. Those Korean dramas are actually giving quite a good representation of Korea, obviously with some creative licence.
Korea is such an interesting country to visit as well as they have experienced such exponential economic growth over the last 50years. There are a number of chaebols (family conglomerates) that have developed significantly, not only in South Korea but internationally such as Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte, LG and SK. The chaebols in South Korea I noted were ultimate diversification of business. There is a running joke amongst Koreans that each chaebol can provide birth to death services with hospitals, supermarkets, homes, electronics, fuel and other financial products. However, partly due to the significant development in South Korea the education system is one of the best in the world. They produce top graduates from a number of their institutions, but the challenge they now have is the country does not have enough jobs for these graduates.
As part of Korean culture, appearance is very important. It is the place to go if you ever desire cosmetic surgery. They have a wide industry to cater around making improvements to one’s natural appearance through cosmetic surgery. They make some of the best skin care in the world, be careful when selecting skin care as beauty is aligned to whiteness and therefore there are a lot of products that may contain lightening creams. Just do some research before splurging. South Korean fashion is also quite interesting and well worth looking into. As the culture does not encourage standing out, most of the clothing will not necessarily be in bright stand out colours, however I found the styles to still be worth a second glance. Also if you are in Busan, a visit to Spa Land should definitely be on the itinerary. Relaxation opportunities on steroids – and a chance to enjoy the onsen.
My fellow nature lovers, South Korea is packed with so much opportunity for exploration. The country has hills, mountains, a number of water bodies and coastlines that will make you wonder how you ever lived in a landlocked country (just realised how much i was missing). They still have multiple seasons in South Korea and therefore it is possible to see the season changes through the flora and fauna. Some places where nature is front and centre include Jeju Island, Damyang, Sokcho and Suncheon.
Food is such an important part of Korean culture. They have different foods for different occasions. Seaweed soup is important in the life of every Korean as a new mother has it for months after she has given birth and each person has a bowl of this on their birthday. This is due to the nutritious value in growth and repair. Food options are so plentiful it is almost overwhelming. I would recommend visits to the local markets, night markets and the fish markets as you get to see a variety of local foods on display to try. Also, did you know that there are 100s different types of kimchi with a variation of ingredients. Kamjang (kimchi making season) if you are keen to go during this season is during the month of November.
I visited in the summer and it was BOILING. If you also struggle with extreme temperatures please do your research carefully to determine the best time to visit.
Do you speak English?
Where is the toilet?
May I please have some water?
I would like some food please
Where can I get a taxi?
NEWS & UPDATES
I always try and immerse myself in the local food culture. In many parts of Asia and South America, I have found that street food is very much part of the culture. As the diligent