South Korea

Posts on South Korea by Kyle the Vagabond:

Overview:

Essentially an island set at the end of a peninsula due to its geographical isolation, for such a small nation, South Korea crams a whole lot of adventure into a little compartment. Those

Pulguksa Temple, Kyongju

wanting city life can get lost in the sprawling metropolis of Seoul and its sea of neon lights, while those craving the experience of the outdoors can disappear into the hilly hinterland and hit one of the many dirt tracks and hiking trails. A trip to the DMZ will change your perspective on the entire Korean peninsula and give a fantastic sense of recent history, and the offshore island of Jeju-do is a holiday and near tropical paradise. The food is amazing, and there is enough gogi (beef) and kim-bap (rice and seaweed rolls) to constantly whet your appetite.

Currency:

Korean Won; Exchange Rate: $1 = 1161 Won (August 6, 2010) For currency conversion info visit xe.com

When to Go:

Autumn and spring are best. In summertime the monsoon rains can bring heavy downpours, there can be large crowds, and the air can be  sticky and hot. In the winter months from December to March, the majority of the country is visited by snow and freezing temperatures, with the exception of perhaps Busan and Jejudo experiencing a slightly milder winter season. Both spring and autumn bring clear weather with comfortable temperatures, though be wary of traveling during the Chusak holiday in October, as all transportation within the country will be sold out and unavailable.map_korea_south

The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:

1. Take a tunnel tour of the DMZ

Walk the tunnels over a 1000 ft down underneath one of the world’s most volatile borders

2. Take a mountain bike through Gyeongju

Formerly the capital of the Silla kingdom, thousands of well preserved artifacts and historical items make this truly a “museum without walls”

3. Climb Mt. Halla

Located on Cheju Island, Mt. Halla is the nation’s tallest peak at 6500 ft. and offers a view into the lake filled crater at the top.

4. Feel the energy of Seoul

A sprawling metropolis and one of the world’s largest cities, Seoul has a neon energy about it that  pulses to the fast-pace of big city life.

5. Watch the sunrise from Seongsan Ilchubong (Sunrise Peak), Cheju Island

Located on the eastern tip of the island, a steep climb with a flashlight takes you to a viewing platform at the summer where you can watch another day begin.

6. Hang out on Jungmun Beach, Seogwipo, Cheju Island

This golden sand beach is the jewel of the Korean beach and surf scene. Watch out for the sticky sand.

7. Visit Pulguksa Temple, Gyeongju

Believed to be one of the oldest temples in Korea, Pulguksa stretches over an impressive area and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.


Posts on South Korea by Kyle the Vagabond:

Delving Between the DMZ (2006)

Honeymoon Paradise on Cheju Island (2006)

Gyeongju: The Heart of Ancient Silla (2006)

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