So last January I made another trip to Korea again for a short vacation. So this is my 6th time there and I hardly ever get bored going there. A lot of my friends and family keep asking why I keep going back so I thought I’d write down the reasons here to share to all.
Flights are affordable.
You can actually get extremely cheap prices for tickets to Korea as low as RM500 for a return trip with Air Asia. Considering the distance of Korea and the price I’m paying, I consider that as affordable for a vacation. Even if I don’t want to go on low cost carriers, with Malaysia Airlines or Korean Air, I can get a return flight for about rm1.5k which includes check-in baggage and food. A return ticket to Japan might cost a few hundred ringgit more.
Great for a four seasons destination.
Ok, so there are other cheaper destinations to go from where I live but if you’re looking for a country where you can experience 4 seasons, it’s definitely Korea. Moreover, Korea has extreme weather, so you’ll be getting the full blown experience. Hehe. I love it. My first time there was in he middle of winter and I got to endure a weather as cold as -18 degrees. That’s cool (or should I say cold?). So far the summers are ok. It was hot but it’s nothing hotter than over here in Malaysia I guess. I’ve experience even hotter weather in Bali. I’ve been to Korea in fall as well and got to see Autumn colors, which is beautiful (go to the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace). I’ve yet to experience Cherry Blossoms in spring so I’m looking forward to a trip during that time.
Easy to navigate around.
Korea is doing everything they can to ramp up tourism in their country. It used to be really hard to navigate through the langguage barrier there but nowadays there are a lot of information on the internet that can help you plan your trip there (VisitKorea.com). In Seoul, there’s a lot of English signage and they’re adding more in Busan and Jeju as well. I hope to one day try going out of the main cities. The people are also starting to embrace the English language so you won’t get totally lost. Ask me if you want more info.
I would consider it a fairly safe country. I’ve been through countries where I’ve heard stories of how I shouldn’t go out here and there on my own, how I should be careful of certain people and more. So far, I felt quite safe there to roam around the cities on my own. You hardly hear stories of even pickpocketing. I guess because the people in the country is doing quite well and the government is doing the best they can to curb poverty and crime.
So many activities to do.
In terms of activities, there’s so many things to explore. If you like sports activities, you can try cycling, skiing, kayaking and many more at so many locations around the country. The 4 seasons opens up so many possibilities to do a lot of sports activities. If you’re into museums, there’s a lot of museums to visit around the cities. War Museums, Folk Villages, National Museum, you name it. If you’re into shopping, you don’t even have to worry about where to go. From Myeongdong to the their many underground shopping centers, you’re not gonna miss out. Even if you’re on a budget, there are so many free activities around the country to enjoy.
Interesting culture and history.
I loved that Seoul still had its palaces among the great skyscrapers of the city. These palaces represents their colorful past and I enjoyed learning about it. Check out also the folk villages to learn about how the village people in olden days lived and survived. There’s also the DMZ where you can learn about the 50 year old divide of the North and South region of the country. You could also learn about their culture through the food they ate. Yes they do eat rice, but it’s much different than Japan or even China.
Pop and Fashion culture center.
Eversince my first time to Korea, I’ve been a huge Kpop fan. So to go there and see that their music scene was huge was something I was excited about. Whenever there’s a chance, I’d try to catch any Kpop act performing during my trips. I use to be this excited when I go to the UK but the music scene hasn’t been as good as previously. Then there’s also the fashion scene. They are big on fashion over there. On the streets you can easily see a lot of the people dressing up, and they’re good at it. I love their local casual brands like SPAO and WHO.A.U. They’re trendy yet affordable. If you’re into it, they’re also big on selling beauty products. My friends keep saying they are good because they cater for the Asian skin.
I think there are more reasons to love about Korea and to keep coming back. These are just some of it. Whenever I go on a trip with people who’ve never been there, I made a point to show them all these wonderful things that I love and hope that they see the appreciation I have for this country. It’s not to say I wouldn’t want to visit anywhere else, but Korea is definitely one place I would gladly want to come back over and over again.
If you’re interested to know some of the places to visit, you can read about them from posts at my personal blog here.