Annyeonghaseyo! I was having a chat with a work colleague this week about South Korea and it made me want to do a quick recap of the trip I took in 2014. It’ll be split into two parts: highlights and lessons learnt. Here it is!
1. Andong Hahoe Folk Village
The name of this village can be translated to “village enveloped by water”. It is derived from the Nakdong River which flows around the perimeter of this village. Breath-taking scenery can be found within the village as well as nearby where a boat can be taken to Buyongdae Cliff to see panoramic views of this village. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do the second part due to time constraints but next time I definitely will!
2. Daegu Spa Valley
The spa valley is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. There are spas, saunas, fish baths and an outdoor water park containing 7 major water slides. There is honestly something for every age and person, making it well worth the visit if you happen to be in the area.
3. Gyeongju Silla Tombs
The burial mounds of the ancient Silla rulers is a unique and breathtaking sight to behold. They were one of the first Korean sites to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Some of these tombs approach five stories in height!
4. Bulguksa Temple & Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Also located in Gyeongju, the Bulguksa temple is an important symbol of Korean Buddhism and Silla architecture. It is has a large temple complex which has two main courtyards and accompanying pagodas. Yonggungsa temple is situated on the north-eastern coast of Busan. It is rare to find a temple in Korea that is so close to the shoreline as most temples are normally more inland. This unique aspect makes it popular destination for tourists and the narrow stairway entrance is usually packed out as a result. When you walk into the temple, you are greeted by a 10 metre golden statue of Buddha.
5. Jagalchi Market
The largest fish market in Korea and is Busan’s most renown feature. There are a LOT of stalls that are filled to the brim with fish and other edible creatures. It’s open from 8am to 10pm, where the latest catch from fishing boats are delivered directly to these stalls. If you don’t feel like cooking, there’s always the option to simply pick from the vast array of seafood available and have it cooked on the spot for you to dine.
6. Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House)
The ‘Blue House’ is the equivalent of the White House in the U.S. It is found in Seoul and is the official residence of the president of South Korea. Aptly named after the blue tiles found on the roofs of the buildings, it is estimated that there is a total of 150,000 blue tiles.It is actually a complex of buildings but you are unable to tell because tourists are only able to view it from a distance for security reasons.
- Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul