When thinking of a cultural getaway, South Korea is often overlooked. As of late though, UNESCO has taken notice and in this year’s meeting, it has been granted yet another World Heritage Site to this tiny country. This bumps its total count to 12, making it one of the most World Heritage Site dense countries in the world. Yeah, I made that term up, but its true! Let’s take a brief look at all of them and hopefully it will convince you to leap ahead of the tourism bandwagon and book your flight to Seoul. As a bonus, I also added some pro tips to maximize your experience at each one.
First off, hello everyone! It is good to be back in Seoul!
Seeing how most of my readers are from the US, I’ve focused most of my ‘Korea posts’ on what I would like to show a visitor with a limited amount of time. I wanted to do something a little different this time. This is a list of Korean experiences and how to take them to the next level. While some of these might be normal to expats already living here, I hope they too can agree that these can give an insight into Korean people and culture.
10) Live in an Apartment
For the better part of my four years here, I have lived in an small, but cozy apartment. While it felt completely normal at the time, it wasn’t until coming back to Korea without a job last week that I experienced what most of you might in terms of accommodation: a guesthouse/hostel. Apartments will let you see the tiny places people live in, sometimes with entire families. The good news is that you will have control of your very own “ondol” or floor heating system. Even the cheapest apartments have this wonderful invention that makes your feet nice and toasty in the winter months. Read more
A visual arts festival is always improved with, well you know, some visuals! Here are two videos I took during the Jongmyo Jaerye Festival this last weekend. By the way, subscribe to the youtube channel and you can see these videos as soon as they are uploaded (ahead of time).
Video #1: The Ritualistic Dance during Jongmyo Jaerye
What is Jongmyo Jaerye? Despite being one of the most important cultural festivals in Korea, most visitors have never heard of it. Who can blame them, I have been in Korea for three years and it took active researching to find out when and where it was (and I knew what I was looking for).
“Don’t go to Korea for the nature!!!” I know, I have said it a thousand times (and sorry for quoting myself, that is a sin, I know), and you know what, I am not backing off of that. At least, not yet. Korea has a breathtaking amount of cultural history, with dozens of things to do in the capital alone. However, I reassert that, with the exception of Jeju Island, it is not a natural haven, despite what the official tourism website might say. However, Wolchulsan National Park is a step up from most nature oriented places I have been to in Korea.