The best sites in Korea either awe with beauty or deepen your understanding of the culture. Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do (부산과경상남도) do both. Busan’s easily accessible mountains, beaches and hiking trails, as well as its colourful seafood and drinking scene, make it very easy to love.
Korea’s cultural warehouse, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도) is a region resplendent both in natural beauty and heritage sites, including many fascinating temples, ancient pagodas, rock-carved Buddhas and tombs. Gyeongju is often called ‘the museum without walls’ for its historical treasures, many of which are outdoors.
This beautiful southwest province is one of Korea’s least developed and greenest. The heartland of Jeollanam-do (전라남도) has rolling hills, the towering Sobaek Mountains to the east and 6100km of coastline to the south and west, with more than 2000 islands offshore – less than 300 of which are inhabited.
Chances are that you’ll end up spending a day or two in Jeju-do's capital, Jeju-si (제주시), as this is the main entry point to to the island, either by air or sea. The city centre, 4km east of Jeju International Airport, has a few historic structures, plenty of shopping and lively bars opposite the old City Hall.
The small southwestern province of Jeollabuk-do (전라북도) punches above its weight. At the centre is the capital Jeonju, famous for its hanok maeul, a village of hundreds of tile-roofed traditional homes that house craft workshops, boutiques and teahouses. Koreans also call the UNESCO-listed 'City of Gastronomy' Jeonju the country's number-one foodie destination.