22 December, 2017
South Korea is a cocktail of travel experiences that's always ready to shock and startle. A country where old meets new with a neon-lit, Gangnam-pulsing bang, it pits the BBQ-broiling cookhouses and mega clubs of Seoul against the fluted mountain summits and yew forests of the Seoraksan National Park. Even within its capital there are discombobulating contradictions – a Confucian shrine in the shadow of soaring skyscrapers; an old hanok cottage wedged into sleepless shopping strips. Meanwhile, spring ushers in cherry blooms, summer heralds the beaches of Jeju, and there's always fascinating dynastic history and politics to unravel. Cheap flights to South Korea from Australia are run by several airlines, with arrival options all over the country.
Dating back to the 1300s, the Gyeongbokgung Palace was the seat of the Joseon dynasty. It's got a whopping 7,700 rooms and some of the best museum collections in the country.
Slow down the pace of your trip to South Korea by heading for Jeju. This chilled island has beaches, biking paths, and mountain trails to wander.
150 square miles of mountains, oak forests, yews, and Siberian pine woods combine to make the Seoraksan National Park one of the most famous in South Korea.