I have heard different reviews of South Korea, ranging from those who loved it to those who couldn't get out of the country fast enough! I am still up in the air about visiting, especially now that I heard it is not a good place for women travellers. Any comments? If I do go, I will be vacationing for 14 days and would like to go to South Korea and surrounding areas. Do you have any suggestions on places to go and things to see? How easy is it to travel around the country? Any other countries or cities that are close and worth the trip? Please help......
Korea is a good place for visiting.
I think it's difficult for a woman traveler to travel alone.
Do you have any company? Will you travel alone?
When will you visit?
Japan and China is easy to reach by air.
14 days (10 days in Korea, 4 days in Japan)
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I am currently living in the greater Seoul area, and have been for the past year and a half. South Korea is a great place to be, and I would highly recommend coming to Korea. There are TONS of places to see and things to do - it just all depends on what you're interested in. Are you interested in seeing nature? Historical sites? Religious sites? Are you into clubbing and drinking? Prefer to take in more culture? Having said that, what you're interested in will greatly determine what you can see.
To see the nightlife, go to Gang-nam or Hong-dae in Seoul. To experience some nature, and some buddhist temples, visit Sohngni-san. Namhansanseong can also be nice for hiking in the mountains. For historical sightseeing, go to Gyeong-ju... the ancient capital of the Shilla kingdom.
If you're in Seoul, check out the royal palace (Gyeongbokgung). For a culinary adventure, go to the seafood market in Noryangjin - pick your fresh seafood, bring it to a restaurant, and have them cook it for you! For cheap shopping, go to Dongdaemun or Namdaemun. There's also Namsan Tower, for a commanding view of Seoul (especially nice at dusk to night). For an idea of ancient Korean life, and to see a traditional farmer's dance, go to the Korean folk village in Suwon (Min sok chun). Myeong-dong in Seoul has higher-end shopping as well as the oldest cathedral in Seoul. Insa-dong in Seoul is an artisan's street to buy pottery and hand-made paper, etc.
Largely, South Korea is a highly safe place to be. The people are very friendly and because the older generation can be very old-fashioned, traditional values tend to keep violent crime to an absolute minimum. Think 1940/1950's style values in America. As such, you may have heard about chauvanistic attitudes... which do pop up now and then... However, to stereotype a little here, Korean men are generally intimidated by western women because they don't really conform to the submissive female stereotype, and as such, they don't bother western women much, aside from perhaps a lewd comment once in a while. I've had several western female friends living here and they have talked about how the men are sometimes lewd, but never violent. They said they always felt safer walking around Seoul at night than they did in their own home towns in North America.
In general, it's fairly easy to travel around the country - you can take buses or trains, and many places in Korea have signs in English as well as Hangul. The further you get from Seoul or major cities though, the less English you'll see. Don't let it worry you too much though, as many people know some basic English, from learning it in High School and Elementary. It's a standard compulsory subject in many places. Finding lodging in smaller areas can be more difficult IF you're picky about the kind of place you stay in. However, if you're not too picky, there are warm, comfortable rooms available for reasonable rates in most areas.
If you'd like more info, please let me know, and I'll try to answer your questions further!
Hope that helped!
I know this is an old post. & I have never been to S. Korea first hand, but I know much about it's culture and am studying it's language.
you are so lucky ... you BETTER have gone ^^!