I'm planning a 3 week trip to South Korea in April, bringing my mum along. I hope to see the various sides of Korea (cultural, nature, food, modern) and have a rough idea where I'd like to go, but I'm not sure how much time I should allocate to each area. Would appreciate some advice.
I'm planning on visiting these places & their surrounding areas:
I'd also love to experience these:
- somewhere nice with cherry blossom viewing (any spring festival recommended?)
- traditional village (which one? there seem to be so many..)
- a short day hiking with nice view
- buddhist temple visit
- shopping for korean souvenirs
- hot spring
- nice korean food!
Any recommendation to which places I should definitely line up in my itininery and how long to spend at each place?
Seoraksan (mountains) in Sokcho (about 3 hours away from Seoul on the east coast) are amazing and there are many different hiking trails for all levels and times. Cherry blossoms are everywhere here in Korea and nice Korean food is also everywhere! Try Samgyopsal (pork) Samgyetang (chicken) Bibimbap (mixed rice). For shopping, head to Myongdong, or for a more arty area try Insadong, both in Seoul.
I'd highly recommend visiting Gyeongju the first real capitol of Korea. Lots to see and do including world heritage site temples (Seokgiram Grotto, Bulgiksa) and gardens, the tumulus park (burial mounds) and the lake Bohol resort area. It's not far from Daegu, which I though was a fun city to wander about in ands shop.
As to how much time in each place, that really depends. The nice thing about South Korea is that you can get just about anywhere in 3-4 hours so if you don't love where you are, just hop the bullet train and go somewhere else.
I think with three weeks you'll have a ton of time to really explore.