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South Korea is a fascinating land of epic landscapes, hyper-modern cities, and over 5000 years of culture and heritage. The always buzzing capital of Seoul boasts neon skyscrapers set alongside fabulously reconstructed palaces and bustling night markets. Head out of the city and you will find ski runs plunging down steep hills, steepled mountains cloaked in dense forests and countless sleepy villages surrounded by beautiful rice fields. Add to all of this a gamut of yearly events and festivals, and you can be sure of an action-packed stay with a hotel in South Korea.
Gyeonggi — Divided by the majestic Hangang River, Gyeonggi is peppered with a number of sites of historical interest and ancient relics. Its northern border is part of the Demilitarized Zone that borders North Korea which, as a happier consequence of this sticky political situation, has now become a site of undisturbed natural wonder.
Gangwon — This area of outstanding natural beauty is home to a number of beaches on its east coast, as well as ski resorts and the Seoraksan National Park. Often cited by visitors as being the most memorable attraction in South Korea, Seoraksan encompasses mountains and valleys that are home to all sorts of rare plants and animals. Designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, book a hotel near this park; it’s the perfect place to go hiking and witness nature’s ever-changing seasonal splendours.
North Chungcheong — This landlocked province has no shortage of parks and mountains to take in. With landmarks such as the vast Mount Sobaeksan and Daecheongho Lake, not to mention the presidential lakeside resort, North Chungcheong has a long tradition of attracting great thinkers to its inspiring climes. So, it should come as no surprise that the world’s oldest book, Jikji, was printed here.
North Gyeongsang — As well as numerous historic temples and wondrous national parks this region is also home to Gyeongju, South Korea’s cultural heart. Listed by UNESCO as one of the 10 most important ancient cultural cities in the world, book a hotel in Gyeongju and discover rich heritage from Korea’s longest running state, the Silla Kingdom.
South Korea has something for everyone. For sports fans there is the Olympic Park in Seoul, where you’ll find stadiums and sports facilities surrounded by parklands and sculptures, as well as two museums and a gallery of modern art. Alternatively, you might be more intrigued by Changdeokgung, a World Heritage-listed palace, originally built in 1405 and home to the royal family until 1872. Or, if natural majesty is more your thing, how about Seongsan Ilchul-bong,the 182 metre high volcano in Jeju-do? And that’s not even scratching the surface of what South Korea has to offer.
With so much variety in its landscapes South Korea will leave you spoilt for choice. As well as snowboarding and skiing in the Kangwon-do province, the many national parks such as the largest, Jirisan National Park, offer hiking and camping trips to suit all desires. And you’ll also discover a whole range of water amusement parks in the Gyeonggi-do and Kangwon-do provinces - fun for all the family.