Even though Korea is a popular destination for teaching English, it seems like it’s not quite a major tourist destination from people all over the world yet. South Korea is still a hidden gem, that, nevertheless, should be on every traveller’s bucket list! To encourage more people to come and explore Korea, fellow travel and Korea bloggers and I came together on this collaboration post and are sharing our best photos to make you want to visit South Korea!

This is a collaboration post with other Korea bloggers. Feel free to click the links and check out their awesome blogs too!

Here are 20 Photos To Inspire You To Visit South Korea:

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Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul

Secret Garden Changdeokgungby Lindsay from The Neverending Wanderlust

“One of my favorite places in Seoul, can be found at Changdeokgung Palace in their Secret Garden. Visitors must book a tour to visit the garden (and pay an extra fee), but it is well-worth the trip in both Spring and Autumn. This guided, tour takes about an hour and there are plenty of excellent photo opportunities along the way, especially if you are willing to wait to get a shot with no people in it! The Secret Garden is at the very TOP of my list for people visiting Seoul and I plan to go back at least once or twice before I leave Korea.”


Ihwa Mural Village, Seoul

Ihwa Mural Village
by Hanani from These Traveling Feet

“Just below Naksan Park and around the corner from the bustling Daehangno neighbourhood, is a small village which once was at risk of being demolished. Ihwa-dong is one of the very few ‘daldongnae’ (달동네) or ‘moon villages’ left in Seoul. Daldongnae normally refers to a poor village located at the mountain slope (closer to the moon hence the name). But Korea’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s project “ART in the City 2006” have managed to turn this around and Ihwa-dong has become a popular attraction among tourists/expats and Koreans alike. Fans of K-Shows/Dramas: a few areas in this village have been featured in various shows such as Rooftop Prince (옥탑방 왕세자), 1 Night 2 Days (1박 2일), etc. From an isolated, lackluster neighbourhood, Ihwa-dong today is a village full of character thus making it a lovely place to explore.”


Pyeongchang

Pyongchang Korea

by Alla from Alla Ponomareva

“Pyeongchang – just 180km east of Seoul and is home to 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Located in the region of Taebaek Mountains, with peaceful rivers (with opportunities for mild white water rafting), cave exploring, zip lining and lots of pensions to stay overnight and do it all over again the next day.Experience a Temple stay program at one of many Buddhist Temples in Pyeongchang. Did you know that you can also visit a sheep farm nearby? That’s right Daegwallyeong sheep ranch, located on the rolling hills of the Pyeongchang region and will make you feel like you died and ended up in a stock photo. More adventures await those who enjoy the outdoors during the colder months – enjoy the comforts and thrills of numerous ski resorts in the area. Don’t miss out on a chance to catch your own fish at the Pyeongchang Trout Festival, one of Korea’s Top 3 Winter Festivals.” 


Lanterns For Buddha’s Birthday

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by Linda from Linda Goes East

“South Korea has numerous interesting festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year. One of the biggest holidays is Buddha’s Birthday, when families get to visit a temple and/or hiking mountains. As a foreigner living in Korea, some of the best memories are made during holidays because the locals are so welcoming and eager to include you in their traditions. Before the festival, monks and nuns decorate the temples with ornate lanterns and candles for the big celebration. Various schools also participate and the children make crafts to honor Buddha as well.”

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Yeongju

Camping in Korea Chuseok Gangwon Province (76 of 135)by Roxy from City Girl Searching

“If you enjoy beautiful natural scenery and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, why not hire a car and head out to Yeongju. There are beautiful place to camp (you can camp just about anywhere in Korea as long as you clean up after yourself) and this particular area is well know for fishing, many trout. Although we didn’t get too many bites, the scenery are up for it. Yeongju and the surrounding area is beautiful in Autumn/Fall, as the cosmos is out and it’s apple season.”


Andong Folk Village

Camping in Korea Chuseok Gangwon Province (128 of 135)by Roxy from City Girl Searching

‘The Andong Mask festival is one of the most popular festivals in Korea. A short distance by bus from the mask festivities you’ll find Andong folk village. A wonderful place to step back through time and see more of Korea’s traditional houses. It’s a really lovely way to spend the day, especially in Autumn/Fall when the weather is cool and there is always a light breeze blowing. The cosmos is really beautiful here.”


Cherry Blossoms in Jinhae

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by Linda from Linda Goes East

“Each year in the middle of spring, the small city of Jinhae transformers into a precious gem of white and pink. Jinhae is one of the best spots to experience the precious cherry blossoms in full bloom. Throughout the city, there are various scenic spots including the Romance Bridge over Yeojwacheon Stream, Gyeonghwa Station or the Yeojwacheon Light Festival at Night. Located on the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula and bordered by the Chinese Sea, this part of the country enjoys a milder climate where the cherry blossoms bloom earlier than in Seoul.”


Jeju Island

Jeju Island South Koreaby Roxy from City Girl Searching

“Jeju Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea, but you can avoid the crowds by hiring a car and packing a tent and heading out on your own adventure. We camped on the iconic black rock beaches, woke up at dawn to the do sunrise peak hike, and went swimming in the beautiful rock pools near Donoko resort. When you’re done with the mainland, catch a quick 30 minute ferry to Udo Island. Udo is famous for it’s pent ice-cream and lady divers who live on the island and dive unassisted in search of sea treasures.”


Suncheon Bay

Suncheon Bay Koreaby Stephanie from Hedgers Abroad

“Suncheon Bay is a beautiful display of nature on the southern coast of South Jeolla Province. This wonderland of ecosystem harmony is a perfect escape from typical Korean attractions where visitors are immediately immersed in a sea of reeds as far as the eye can see. Winding boardwalks crisscross the bay in all directions but eventually lead to a small mountain on the other side of the bay. A short hike to any of the numerous mountain lookout points is sure to amaze you with stunning views of the bay and its circular reed formations. It’s easy to fall in love with this often-overlooked destination, and it certainly won’t disappoint those who make the effort to visit.”


Jeonju Hanok Village

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by Linda from Linda Goes East

“Hanok are traditional Korean houses that are a rare find in today’s modern Korea. However, Jeonju is one of the few towns where you can still experience these beautiful structures and even stay in one overnight! Besides the beautiful architecture, the city is famous for it’s delicious food, bibimbap (rice and mixed vegetables) and makgeolli (rice wine) especially. One of my favorite buildings is the cultural center, where you can try out traditional Korean games giving you the perfect insight into Korean culture. Jeonju is one of my favorite places for a short getaway in Korea.”

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Sokcho

SOKCHO 6by Katie from Around The World In KT Days

“Just three hours away by express bus, the sleepy seaside city of Sokcho is an invigorating difference to busy Seoul. The beaches of the East Sea welcome you with white sand and clear water, and the Taebak Mountains tower overhead. There is a gorgeous temple perched on a cliff above the sea, and one of my favorite fish markets in all of Korea. Come here for a weekend getaway filled with exercise (hiking the mountains), relaxation (beach laying) and delicious food (so much squid)!”


Ulsanbawi

DSC_1763by Andrew from Two Clowns Tripping

“Climbing Ulsanbawi Rock is all about the burn! With a bowl of hearty bibimbap in your belly to fuel your feet, this hike starts out like a an easy stroll in the woods. It doesn’t take long though before you realise this hike isn’t for the faint of heart, with sheer cliffs dropping hundreds of metres to the temples below. 888 steps in total, but the exhilarating, sweeping views from the top are worth all the thigh-melting pain! Now, where’s the elevator to get back down…”


Haeundae Beach, Busan

DSC_2465webby Andrew from Two Clowns Tripping

“When you’ve had enough of the busy streets of Seoul, how about hopping on the KTX fast train and travelling south to the port city of Busan? Warm breezes, sunny skies and gorgeous beaches await; not to mention the fantastic street food and cliff-side temples! Why not do the ‘high five’, visiting all five beaches from north to south? Haeundae, Gwangalli, Songjeong, Songdo and Dadaepo…one of them is guaranteed to float your inflatable boat!”


Dragon Temple Pohang

Rafiqua-3155by Rafiqua from Rafiqua Israel Express

“The dragon temple is unlike any temple you will ever see in Korea. While the colors are same vibrant reds and greens of the popular temples around Korea, the Pohang dragon temple is shaped like a temple. Not only is the shape extremely Unique, but it's functional too! You access the main temple hall by walking through the mouth /head of the dragon until you’ve reached the body. You can also continue all the way into the tail end, until you reach a small shrine at the very end. To exit the temple you have to return the way you came in – through the mouth!”


Changgyeonggung Greenhouse

greenhouse-4by Rafiqua from Rafiqua Israel Express

“Changgyeonggung greenhouse is best kept local secret on the same grounds as Changgyeonggung Palace. The greenhouse looks totally out of place in contrast to the temple in the front of the grounds, as it’s extremely European looking. With beautiful, big glass windows and a rustic, white exterior, it’s the perfect place to escape to when you want something which feels less Korean. The architectural design is also extremely beautiful to photograph and you could spend ages in here snapping up different angles of the greenhouse. The inside is also stunning, filled with all sorts of beautiful greenery!”


Gyeongju

tsga-gyeongjuby Samantha from There She Goes Again

“Since most of modern day Korea’s traditions stem from the Joseon dynasty, it’s easy to forget about the centuries that preceded it. One of those eras was the Silla Kingdom (57 BC – 935 AD). The best place to learn about this dynasty, and see all that remains, is in its old capital, Gyeongju. Along the coast in Gyeongsangnamdo, it’s easy to step back into history a bit as you enter the main part of the city. Silla architecture and ancient burial mounds offer a hint at how grand the it once was. If you go closer to summer, you can also see all the lotuses out.”


Gokseong’s Rose Park

tsga-gokseongby Samantha from There She Goes Again

“For about a few weeks in May, all the roses around Korea are in full bloom, and it’s absolutely stunning. Nowhere is quite as dedicated to their beauty as Gokseong’s Rose Park, located within its old train village. Since I only live about thirty minutes away, my friend and I took advantage of our proximity and headed out early one Sunday morning to enjoy the roses in bloom. While the festival is about a week long, it can get incredibly crowded, so it’s best to plan a trip the week leading up or the week after. Walk around and enjoy Korea’s take on something like a rose park, complete with cutesy fixtures between all the colors. You can even wander into the small “Kissing and Hugging” section!”


Naksan Beach

View-of-Naksan-Beach-from-Naksana-Templeby Megan from Bobo and Chichi

“One of our favorite spots in Korea during the summer has to be Naksan Beach. Naksan is located on Korea’s east coast just south of Sokcho and located right next to our favorite national park, Seoraksan. Since most people head down south to Busan’s beaches in the summer, Naksan offers a quiet, uncrowded beach with deep turquoise blue water and white sand. Another reason why we love Naksan, other than the backdrop of Seorak’s karst mountains and the clean beach, would have to be Naksansa Temple overlooking the coast on a cliff. You can enjoy more breathtaking views of one of Korea’s most beautiful coastlines and enjoy the colorful buildings in the temple’s complex. Since the beach is quiet and not crowded you can easily set up your tent and camp overnight on the beach without a permit making this beach the perfect summer getaway.”


Tongyeong Cable Cars

Tongyeong

by Linda from Linda Goes East

“If you are looking to hike on of Korea’s top mountains, head to Tongyeong and conquer Mireuksan. The mountain can easily be reached with a 1975-meter long cable car, the longest in the country. Once you reached the top, you are rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding bay with its hundreds of small islands slowly vanishing into the fog. Hiking around Mireuksan is one of my fondest travel memories in Korea as it makes you feel the ultimate freedom standing on the wooden pathways overlooking this amazing scenery. You will not be disappointed when traveling to Tongyeong.”

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Border Between North and South Korea

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by Linda from Linda Goes East

“We hear about the misery going on in North Korea quite frequently on the news and it is something you will be reminded when traveling to South Korea. The DMZ, demilitarized zone, is a special area of 250-kilometer length and a width of 4 kilometers diving the two countries since the end of the Korean War. However, when visiting the DMZ, the atmosphere is optimistic rather than sad. I was amazed by the amount of hope and eagerness for unification I witnessed during my trip. Along the border, flags showing a united Korean peninsula and wishful letters and prayers really reflect how the Korean society deals with their separation in a beautiful way.”


Bonus: Korean Food

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Bulgogi

read more about the delicious Korean cuisine here.


When are you coming to Korea?

South Korea is a country diverse in nature and there is plenty to see, do and eat. It’s hard to see why Korea isn’t a major tourist destination from people all over the world yet. Did the photos inspire you to plan your travels to South Korea? We sure hope so.

20 Photos To Inspire You To Visit South Korea | Linda Goes East

  • Thanks for featuring us Linda! This is a great round up of places to check out while in Korea! Alot of people do not know there’s so much more to offer in Korea other than Seoul! This post will help people see how much more beauty the country has to offer!

  • Eric

    Some stunning photos Linda! Will definitely need to add Korea onto our bucket list