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10 Places To Visit Outside Of Seoul

Don’t get me wrong. Seoul, with its unique blend of tradition and colorful pop culture, hurried, bali-bali lifestyle, and vibrant, soju-filled nightlife, will always be one of my favorite cities in the world. Spending a summer in this crazy, energetic city was one of the best decisions I made in college. However, upon my return to Korea two years ago now, I have had the chance to discover a whole new side to this country that, frankly, doesn’t get a lot of press. Korea, from its harbor cities to its mural villages to its mountainous landscapes, is stunningly beautiful, and there is much more to be discovered than skyscrapers and fast internet. There’s a lot I still have on my list to visit, but for now I want to share some of the best places to visit outside of Seoul.

<p><strong>Gamcheon Culture Village | </strong>This colorful village is located along a coastal hillside in Busan on the East Sea. Born out of the Taegeukdo religion after the Korean War, the tiered village was set up so that no house blocks another. The houses are all bright, pastel colors, making the village reminiscent of Greece’s Santorini or Rio’s favelas, and many abandoned houses have been transformed into art exhibition pieces...<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thereshegoesagain.org/gamcheon-culture-village/" target="_blank">Read More</a></p>

Gamcheon Culture Village | This colorful village is located along a coastal hillside in Busan on the East Sea. Born out of the Taegeukdo religion after the Korean War, the tiered village was set up so that no house blocks another. The houses are all bright, pastel colors, making the village reminiscent of Greece’s Santorini or Rio’s favelas, and many abandoned houses have been transformed into art exhibition pieces...Read More

<p><strong>Daewangam Songnim | </strong>A different way of enjoying the East Sea is to head down to Ulsan (or up, if you’re already in Busan) and walk along Ilsan Beach into Daewangam Songnim, a pine forest spread across a small coastal area. Walk through the trees towards the lighthouse and then cross the bridge to get some really stunning views. If you’re lucky, you might spot one of the stray cats roaming through the terrain. </p>

Daewangam Songnim | A different way of enjoying the East Sea is to head down to Ulsan (or up, if you’re already in Busan) and walk along Ilsan Beach into Daewangam Songnim, a pine forest spread across a small coastal area. Walk through the trees towards the lighthouse and then cross the bridge to get some really stunning views. If you’re lucky, you might spot one of the stray cats roaming through the terrain.

<p><strong>Jeonju Hanok Village | </strong>This village, made up of 800 traditional Korean houses (called <em>hanoks</em>), sits in the middle of one of its historically most important cities. Jeonju was once the capital of the Hubaekje Kingdom and was considered a spiritual capital of the Joseon dynasty (which was responsible for most of the Korean culture we know today). This village reflects that role, and it’s easy to get lost roaming around the houses and among traditionally dressed couples. You can even sleep over at one of the many hanok-stays. Just make sure you eat some bibimbap while you’re there -- Korea’s national dish hails from it.</p>

Jeonju Hanok Village | This village, made up of 800 traditional Korean houses (called hanoks), sits in the middle of one of its historically most important cities. Jeonju was once the capital of the Hubaekje Kingdom and was considered a spiritual capital of the Joseon dynasty (which was responsible for most of the Korean culture we know today). This village reflects that role, and it’s easy to get lost roaming around the houses and among traditionally dressed couples. You can even sleep over at one of the many hanok-stays. Just make sure you eat some bibimbap while you’re there -- Korea’s national dish hails from it.

<p><strong>Gwanghallu Garden | </strong>If Verona has Romeo and Juliet, Namwon has Chunhyang. One of Korea’s most famous love stories, it has class differences, an evil villain, various obstacles for our lovers, and a much happier ending than its Italian counterpart. This tale is best experienced at Gwanghallu Garden. Having been around since the 1400’s, it is considered the main setting for the love story of Chunhyang and Lee Mong-ryong. While enjoying traditional architecture, you can also read more about the famous story.</p>

Gwanghallu Garden | If Verona has Romeo and Juliet, Namwon has Chunhyang. One of Korea’s most famous love stories, it has class differences, an evil villain, various obstacles for our lovers, and a much happier ending than its Italian counterpart. This tale is best experienced at Gwanghallu Garden. Having been around since the 1400’s, it is considered the main setting for the love story of Chunhyang and Lee Mong-ryong. While enjoying traditional architecture, you can also read more about the famous story.

<p><strong>Hwagae’s Cherry Blossom Road |</strong> If you want to experience the full, overwhelming beauty that are Asia’s famed cherry blossoms, Hwagae is the place to do it. Four kilometers of cherry blossoms line the road, and it’s just as magical as you might imagine it to be. It’s also deep in the mountainous countryside, just in case you thought it couldn’t get any prettier... <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thereshegoesagain.org/hwagae-cherry-blossom-festival/" target="_blank">Read More</a></p>

Hwagae’s Cherry Blossom Road | If you want to experience the full, overwhelming beauty that are Asia’s famed cherry blossoms, Hwagae is the place to do it. Four kilometers of cherry blossoms line the road, and it’s just as magical as you might imagine it to be. It’s also deep in the mountainous countryside, just in case you thought it couldn’t get any prettier... Read More

<p><strong>Damyang’s Bamboo Forest | </strong>For a truly relaxing experience, spend an afternoon walking around Juknokwon among all the bamboo trees. Grab a bamboo nutella ice cream while you’re at it! There’s something utterly peaceful to the area, and you can easily get lost for hours.</p>

Damyang’s Bamboo Forest | For a truly relaxing experience, spend an afternoon walking around Juknokwon among all the bamboo trees. Grab a bamboo nutella ice cream while you’re at it! There’s something utterly peaceful to the area, and you can easily get lost for hours.

<p><strong>Suncheon Bay | </strong>My Korean July is typically spent sweltering underneath an air conditioner unit, hiding from the humidity, but I will make an exception for this eight-thousand-year-old bay. With nearly 6,000 acres of tideland and 570 acres of reeds, Suncheon Bay is perfect to witness virgin Korean nature at its cleanest. Make sure you walk along the reed fields and up around the mountain to get a really gorgeous view!</p>

Suncheon Bay | My Korean July is typically spent sweltering underneath an air conditioner unit, hiding from the humidity, but I will make an exception for this eight-thousand-year-old bay. With nearly 6,000 acres of tideland and 570 acres of reeds, Suncheon Bay is perfect to witness virgin Korean nature at its cleanest. Make sure you walk along the reed fields and up around the mountain to get a really gorgeous view!

<p><strong>Boseong Green Tea Fields | </strong>Calling all tea fanatics! Boseong has been home to tea cultivation since the 300’s BC, and to this day most of its plantations use traditional, organic methods of processing tea leaves. Eat green tea pajeon (Korean pancake) and ice cream, climb up the fields to see as far as the sea, and finish up your trip by buying as much green tea chocolate as you can fit into your bag....<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thereshegoesagain.org/boseong-green-tea-fields/" target="_blank">Read More</a></p>

Boseong Green Tea Fields | Calling all tea fanatics! Boseong has been home to tea cultivation since the 300’s BC, and to this day most of its plantations use traditional, organic methods of processing tea leaves. Eat green tea pajeon (Korean pancake) and ice cream, climb up the fields to see as far as the sea, and finish up your trip by buying as much green tea chocolate as you can fit into your bag....Read More

<p><strong>Mt. Naejang (or Naejangsan) | </strong>By far one of the most beautiful places to view autumn leaves, Naejangsan is perfect for a small hike (or, if you’re lazy, a cable car ride *cough*). Everywhere is bursting with gorgeous colors and even in the pouring rain, it’s worth witnessing. You can take a longer hike and enjoy seeing different temples and statues, or, at the very least, head to the observatory to see the surrounding mountain range....<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thereshegoesagain.org/naejangsan/" target="_blank">Read More</a></p>

Mt. Naejang (or Naejangsan) | By far one of the most beautiful places to view autumn leaves, Naejangsan is perfect for a small hike (or, if you’re lazy, a cable car ride *cough*). Everywhere is bursting with gorgeous colors and even in the pouring rain, it’s worth witnessing. You can take a longer hike and enjoy seeing different temples and statues, or, at the very least, head to the observatory to see the surrounding mountain range....Read More

<p><strong>Golgulsa Temple | </strong>Gyeongju is a goldmine for history buffs as it highlights a lesser known part of Korean history -- the Silla Kingdom. This ancient temple, located precariously on a sheer mountainside, is perhaps the best way to experience its traditions.  A short, steep hike will lead you up to a seated, Silla-style Buddha from the ninth century while staying a night at the temple allows you to learn all about Sunmundo, a fighting style that combines both martial arts and meditation.</p>

Golgulsa Temple | Gyeongju is a goldmine for history buffs as it highlights a lesser known part of Korean history -- the Silla Kingdom. This ancient temple, located precariously on a sheer mountainside, is perhaps the best way to experience its traditions. A short, steep hike will lead you up to a seated, Silla-style Buddha from the ninth century while staying a night at the temple allows you to learn all about Sunmundo, a fighting style that combines both martial arts and meditation.

So next time you’re planning your trip to South Korea, be sure to make time to leave Seoul! See more over at There She Goes Again and for more photos, follow along over on Instagram at @thereshegoesagn.

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