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Things to do in South Korea

If you’re looking for what to do in South Korea, prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. This is a nation of amazing contradictions, which make South Korea such a fascinating country to visit. Ancient Buddhist temples share street space with enormous shopping malls, and national parks and fluorescent-lit internet cafés are frequented with equal enthusiasm.

One of the most popular things to do in South Korea is to shop. Shopping is practically a national pastime here, and the best place to do it is Myeong-dong, an enormous mall that bills itself as the country’s top tourist destination. If you can’t find it at Myeong-dong, then it can’t be had anywhere. When you inevitably tire of all that commerce and want to take a break from the world, then head over to Bukhansan national park, located in northern Seoul (“Bukhansan” means “big mountain of the north”). Designated as a national park in 1981, the mountain offers sweeping views of both the city and the South Korean landscape and is a must-see for nature buffs.

Still not sure what to do in South Korea? Then consider going further afield. South Korea boasts an extensive system of hanok hotels that make it easy (and cozy) to explore the country’s interior; these small, traditional, and typically family-run hostelries are the best way to experience the country’s more rural charms.

Finally, no list of things to do in South Korea would be complete without Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest and grandest of the “Five Grand Palaces” built during the golden age of the Joseon Dynasty. Similar to the famous Forbidden Palace in Beijin, Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 and gives visitors an insight into classical Korean culture at its zenith.

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