Delve into the country behind the kimchi, the K-pop wave and the song gone viral, Oppa Gangnam Style – South Korea. The nation is the epitome of ‘work hard, play hard’, with its 24-hour minimarts and nightclubs that are lit up till dawn.
Come by the largest museum in Korea, National Museum of Korea, and beef up on your historical understanding of the country. Catch a heart-stopping game at the Jamsil Baseball Stadium, take a hike at the Bukhansan National Park and pass by the numerous temples on the way up, and visit the majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace that has stood for six centuries. Take optically deceiving photographs at the Trickeye Museum and be sure to shock your friends back home!
Pop by the Gamcheon Culture Village for the vibrantly coloured houses all over after a breakfast spread at Jalgachi Market. Watch the sunrise by the sea at the Haedong Yonggung Temple, be dazzled by the light show at the Gwangan Bridge before hopping over to DongBaek Island for a leisurely time of sunshine and ocean. The nights are filled with local snacks and trinkets at the BIFF Square, and nearby, Gwangbokro Culture and Fashion Street also holds numerous upmarket stores for shopaholics.
Gather clues and find your way to the exit at Kimnyoung Maze Park, where it’s possible to have fun while losing your way, and grab a cab to the Manjang Cave, formed by the red-hot lava flowing through it ages ago. See albino peacocks and walk under cherry blossoms at Halim Park, before unwinding at Hyeopjae Beach nearby. Take a ferry out to Udo island and chill out at the beach, or savour freshly caught seafood.
Where should you go after leaving South Korea? Here are some recommendations.
Find that the night is always young over at Taiwan, where the streets are abuzz with excitement no matter the time. The numerous night markets, such as the Shilin Night Market, are sure to bring you cheap bargains, and great street food. Go by Hualien, where the hot springs are bound to soothe your nerves, see the beautiful Taroko Gorge, which have been the inspiration of many Chinese calligraphy paintings, and be sure to head to Tarako National Park for its waterfalls and Swallow Grotto.
Visit the Beijing Zoo, known for the exotic animals that come from all over the world, such as the white-lipped deer and the giant panda (China’s own icon), and make sure to drop by the Beijing Aquarium for its beluga whales! For a mini world tour at a miniscule cost, head to World Park Beijing, where the replicas of international landmarks sit. Be sure to walk the Great Wall of China before leaving, though – you can’t say you’ve been to China without doing that!
Take a leisurely ride on the Singapore Flyer for starters, and enjoy the view of the city lights and skyline on the giant Ferris wheel. Thrill seekers, the Universal Studios Singapore is for you – the rollercoasters and the movie themed rides are sure to satisfy your need for adrenaline! Another alternative is the Wild Wild Wet theme park, for those who enjoy being in their bathing suit and still seek some excitement. Come by the Gardens by the Bay for a unique garden experience, where the sky tree structures will leave you dazzled by its changing lights.
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