In a massive boost to its tourism industry, Lonely Planet mentioned Korea as #3 in its latest ‘Best in Travel 2013” list of the ten best destinations to visit in 2013. South Korea has been slowly gathering interest among the travelers, and with mentions in such esteemed publications it is no doubt helping the cause.
South Korea is reportedly expecting a total visitor count of ten million by the end of this year, confirming its growing popularity among tourists. Added attractions such as PSY’s “Gangnam Style” has certainly helped to generate a lot of interest. Reportedly YouTube has already registered got more than half a billion hits for the videos.
Now with Lonely Planet officially declaring South Korea to be one of the best places to visit in 2013, interests are bound to attain new heights. Top mentions in Lonely Planet’s list are the outdoor activities that Korea has to offers to its visitors, including mountain climbing, skiing, golfing and fishing. As more and more tourists start to explore the country, Korea’s outdoor activities are only going to get popular among tourists.
When people think of Korea, they tend to think of overpopulated urban mega cities and the lack of personal space. What is amazing to know is that more than 70% of the country is a mountainous paradise filled with national parks, which offers some of the most breathtaking views a traveler can ever get. These offer great opportunities for outdoor activities such as trekking and skiing. Skiing is becoming a major reason for tourists to come to Korea, especially Australian tourists, as a run up to the 2018 winter Olympics.
Korea is not only about mountains, adventure sports and breathtaking landscapes. It is a place steeped in culture and 5000 years of history. Dotting the countryside are numerous UNESCO world heritage sites that tourists can visit and learn a lot about the nation from. For the foodies Korean cuisine is a major attraction. A number of local tour packages including Food tours are conducted for tourists to taste Korean cuisine. Apart from that there are many colorful festivals held especially around the time of fall when the country is drenched in the bright hues of the season. These festivals offer a rare insight into the lives of ordinary Koreans and an experience of what they savor as their guest.
If you really want to savor experiences like staying overnight in a temple, enjoying the cuisine that the monks eat or learn how to increase your focus and concentration by learning to meditate or pick up a lesson or two in the ancient martial art form of taekwondo, then Korea has all of that to offer to the discerning traveler. Festivals such as the Boryeong Mud Festival can come across as an oddity but in reality is a lot of fun and celebrated with much vigor.
Visiting Korean is a rare opportunity to learn about a nation that has 5000 years of wisdom, tradition, culture, cuisine and history to offer. It is more than enough for one visit and is certainly enough to demand another.