Named as one of the most colorful and well-spirited countries across the world, South Korea maintains the balance of preserving its rich history while embracing the changes in the modern world. That is why when I got chosen to travel with my students on a educational and church tour in South Korea, declining was not an option.
I've heard so much from my friends that a visit to this country is a must. The whole trip was overwhelming and was so much fun! I so enjoyed the cold weather, that why it was because we arrived in Autumn time which we never get in the Philippines.
There are a lot of reasons to visit South Korea, and here are some of the places why you you should also see it yourself:
1. Myeong Dong
Myeong Dong, the shopping district of Korea, has two main areas; starting from Myeong Dong Subway Station to Lotte Department Store. There are a lot of famous department stores and shops situated in Myeong Dong making it the priority destination for locals and foreigners. Because of its wide variety of fast food chains and family restaurants, dining options such as Korean, Japanese and Western are available here. Mostly, restaurants in Myeong Dong offer Donkas (pork cutlet) and Kalguksu (noodles).
Another tourist attraction in Myeong Dong is the famous Myeongdong Catholic Church. It is built in Gothic Style. After your long shopping, a space for relaxation is offered behind the Myeong Dong Church.
2. Nam San Tower
Located in Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Nam San Tower showcases its architectural and sculptural highlights. Since it was first opened to public, Nam San tower became one of the most sought-after tourist destination in Korea. Nam San tower offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Seoul and its nearby areas. Visitors should also try N Grill (the revolving restaurant) and Sky Restroom (a decorated space) to maximize the viewing of breathtaking scenery offered only in Nam San Tower.
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace
One of the most famous tourist spots in Seoul, South Korea is Gyeongbokgung Palace, also known as the Northern Palace. This was built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty. Though the palace buildings were destroyed by fire during the Imjinwaeran War, the premises were later on restored through the effort of King Gojong. Gyeonghoe-ru Pavillion and Hyangwonjeong Pond are considered the representatives structure from the Joseaon Dynasty. Daily tours in English is also provided for foreign visitors.
4. Yonsei University
South Korea is highly regarded when you talk about the value of education. They have beautiful and state of the art universities and one of the top universities here is the Yonsei University.
This was established after the practice of Western Medicine was introduced to Korea. This private research university belongs to South Korea’s top three most prestigious universities or better known as “SKY” Universities. Established in 1885, Yonsei is considered to be one of the oldest universities in Korea.
5. Ehwa Woman's University
Founded in 1886, Ehwa Woman's University is considered as the world’s largest female institute and belongs to South Korea’s list of prestigious universities. The institution was built because its founder believes that every woman should be respected. Because ‘woman’ has a special meaning back in the old times, the university was named ‘woman’ instead of ‘women’.
The walk around this university was so so nice because of the beautiful trees which create a beautiful ambiance in the university's grounds. We went early morning; it was chilly and colors of autumn were just beautiful to see. It's very easy to fall in love with this country!
6. Ashley Buffet
When we talk about South Korea, we think of the spicy stuff and kimchi, althought true, South Koreans also love western food and buffets. This is presumably one of the most popular Korean restaurants in Seoul. They are open from 10:30AM until 11PM. Their interior is based on retro style, with lots of antiques here and there. For dinner, they offer drink-all-you can wine for everyone. You can also make reservations just to ensure you’ll have the best place when you arrive.
7. VIPS Buffet
Another famous buffet restaurant is VIPS. They are known for their high-quality steak grilled continuously on high-temperature barbecues plus a seasonal salad bar mixed with different variety of fresh vegetables, all available in any branch of VIP. With a total of 90 menu items, this Korean chain is gaining popularity unbelievably quickly. Operating hours are 11:00-23:00.
8. Bukchon Hanok Village
If you want to look for traditional Korean houses, Bukchon Hanok Village is the place to be. Walk around the village and be mesmerized by how beautiful these houses are. It gives you a feeling of how life was like in the old days. A great testament of the rich cultural heritage of South Korea. Some of them are being used as shops, museums, and a cultural center where you can learn the different South Korean arts.
9. A Lotte World
Fully-packed with thrilling rides, variety of parades, an ice rink and so much more, Lotte World is simply the place of entertainment and adventure. There are two theme activities in Lotte World; “Adventure” theme and “Magic Island” theme. Amusement rides are considered one of the best reasons why tourist visit this theme park. When you are a Lotte World, you can actually stay here for the whole day. There are so many things to do and rides that everyone of all ages would surely enjoy.
10. Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan National Park is actually a mountain located northern part of Seoul. It consists of 6 districts extending to Gyeonggi-do Province. If you’re planning to visit the area, you must definitely go to Bukhansanseong Fortress.