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Best Places You Should Not Miss When Visiting South Korea

October 22nd, 2013 12:03 am

One of the largest emerging aspects of the South Korean economy is itstourism. In fact, today, it is truly one of the hottest destinations in the world, and very popular with Americans who want to discover the beauty of this Asian country. It has gained much popularity ever since it started progressing economically. Some famous attractions include:

Seoul

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, consists of a wonderful modern and ancient architecture which make this city a worth a visit. Seoul has many historical and cultural landmarks. The Seoul metropolitan area contains four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul is also home to endless street food vendors and vast nightlife districts, an extraordinarily high-pressure educational system and serene Buddhist temples, a dynamic trend-setting youth culture and often crushing conformism, extraordinary architecture. Major modern landmarks in Seoul include the Korea Finance Building, N Seoul Tower, the World Trade Center and the seven-skyscraper residence Tower Palace.

Jeju Island

Jejudo or Jeju Island, also known as the “Island of the Gods,” is a popular tourist attractions for Koreans and many international visitors. It remains one of the top honeymoon destinations for Korean newlyweds. The island’s mixture of volcanic rock, frequent rains, and temperate climate, make it very similar to the Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. The island offers visitors a wide range of activities: hiking on Halla-san (South Korea’s highest peak), catching sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, viewing majestic waterfalls and lava tubes, Jeju Loveland, riding horses, or just lying around on the sandy beaches. There are also a lot of museums that can be found in the area like the Folklore and Natural History Museum, Jeju Independence Museum, Jeju Education Museum, Jeju Teddy Bear Museum and a lot more. You can also give in to your interest with nature by going at various parks and caves that can be found in the place.

Haeundae beach – Busan

Busan is a seaport surrounded by several beaches. The most beautiful of them is the Haeundae-beach. It is well worth visiting in the summer as well as the winter. During wintertime, it is a beautiful place to go for a walk, with packs of seagulls overhead. The beach is busy year round with several kinds of beach festivals and visitors from in and out from the country. Dongbaekseom (Dongbaek Island), located at the south end of the beach, offers a view of the sea by car and its coastline is famous for fishing. Haeundae beach is one of the most popular spots in Busan to view the first sunrise of the year on January 1, with around a thousand gathering before dawn.

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon Province in eastern South Korea. The national park attracts many national and international tourists all year round, but the main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn. The autumn colours in the area are considered amongst the most beautiful in Korea. The red and yellow forest is interrupted by rocks and small mountain streams flow amidst this. The park contains several famous temples, including Baekdam-sa. The inner part of the Taebaek Mountain Range is named Inner Seorak. The other major areas are Outer Seorak and South Seorak. All three areas are divided by Daecheong-bong, the main peak of Seorak-san.

Gyeongju

Gyeongju is a small city north of Ulsan and Busan in the southeastern corner of South Korea. The city is actually referred to as the museum without walls. This is because the city has numerous historical sites. Gyeongju is home to Bulguksa Temple, famous throughout Korea as the site that was once depicted on its paper money (the old 5,000 won note). Bulguksa, which is perched atop a mountain, is a classic example of Korean Buddhist architecture. The best time to visit Bulguksa Temple is early morning. Its structure is very impressive and this is actually considered a masterpiece of the Buddhist art. It was in the 8th century when the temple was built at the time of the Silla Kingdom. Gyeongju is best seen in springtime, when the miles of cherry trees lining the main streets burst into life.

Shopping in Kaohsiung

August 6th, 2013 4:55 am

Located in the southwest part of Taiwan, Kaohsiung is a must-visit location. A very beautiful city and the second largest in Taiwan, it is home to nearly half of the country’s population. Shopping in Kaohsiung is all about fun and excitement. With a variety of malls, stores, supermarkets, night markets and handicrafts shops, Shopping in Kaohsiung is an incomparable experience. It can be experienced best at the sprawling malls or department stores, supermarkets, night markets, arts and crafts shops and shops for computer equipments and sportswear.

Dream Mall

The second biggest mall in Asia, the Dream Mall is located on the outskirts of the city in the Cianjhen District. The mall has ample parking space for 4,000 cars and is spread across a sprawling 400,000sqm and houses an amusement park on its roof which is home to the famous Kaohsiung Eye. Though only linked by road, there are plans of opening up stations to the Kaohsiung Metro nearby. It has showrooms for all major brands along with a multiplex cinema hall and gyms. With 1,200 flagship stores and 2,300 stores in total, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Dushwan

Located in the Lingya District along Wumiao Road, Dushwan is a market place which claims to offer visitors the ultimate shopping experience. Being a street market, it opens early at 08:00 and the shopping continues till 22:30 every day. With great parking space it is best accessed by car.

Fongshan

Located along the Raylon E Road, Fongshan or Fong Shan offers new and modern facilities for shoppers. With ample free parking, accessibility by road is never a problem and there is no train station in the vicinity. All major credit cards are accepted and many hawkers throng the marketplace with exciting electronics and other goods. Open from 08:00 till late, Fong Shan is a shopping hotspot in Kaohsiung.

Hanshin and Isetan

Linked by the KMRT, the Hanshin and the Isetan shopping centres are located on opposite sides of the street with a whole shopping district around. Located on the Bo-ai 2nd Road, it opens up to visitors in the morning and stays open till late evening with ample options to go on a shopping-spree!

Hsin Chueh Chian Shopping Area

Located in the Sinsing District, the Hsin Chueh Chian Shopping Area is a favourite with the younger generation. Located on Yuchu Street, it houses the famous NOVA Computer Mall. With stores and hawkers selling the newest Japanese gizmos at cheap prices, this is your one stop for buying any sort of electronics. Featuring ample parking space, the mall uses a very classy approach to lure all sorts of customers and the shop owners all are made to dress up accordingly; the modernistic touch of the mall makes it hard to resist.

Cingnian Street

Located in Sinsing District, Cingnian Street is one of the oldest marketplaces in Kaohsiung. It is known all over the east for its furniture shops. Here, you can get anything from bookshelves to cupboards, tables and wine cabinets – hence it is a very busy marketplace. The furniture is very reasonably priced and comes in all types; western as well as oriental designs are available. Smaller, easier carried items such as curtains, lamps and light stands are also for sale.

Kaohsiung is home to many markets with a small market on almost every street. A shopper’s paradise, make sure you don’t decide a budget limit before starting as you will go crazy seeing the variety of goods!

Kaohsiung’s Night Markets

Chiayi Wenhua – Foreign tourists love the Chiayi Wenhua Night Market located along the Zhong Shan Road for its low prices. It is one of the many night markets in Kaohsiung and is located in close proximity to the Chiayi train station and is perhaps best known for its world-famous noodles in a cup and is one of the longest markets in the country at nearly half a kilometre long. Most of the markets here are for daily needs and visitors should head here for groceries if they prefer to cook their own food.

Liuhe – Located on either side of the Liuhe Second Road in the Sinsing District, the Liuhe Night Market attracts visitors from all over the world for its numerous food stalls. Famous for its extensive Japanese cuisine and the ‘eel spaghetti’, it is one of the cleanest markets in Kaohsiung. It is also accessible from the nearby Formosa Boulevard KMRT station.

Pintung Minzu – Located on Minzu Road, the Pintung Night Market is one of the most crowded markets in town. Easily reached from nearby Pintung Railway station, it’s famous for its innovative food stalls. Being a major tourist hotspot, you will also find a lot of local ‘tour guides’ who may cheat you so beware of them. Famous for its dumplings, it also has other delectable food items like sweet taro cake and many popular local snacks. Adjacent to Zi-feng-Gou Temple, the biggest of the Mazu Temples, it is a great place to buy souvenirs and small trinkets. It is open till late at night so the best time to visit to beat the rush is the afternoon.

Sinsing – Located along Datung Road and Nanhua Road, it is a shopping heaven for the ladies with all kinds of shops for clothing and accessories, all very well priced. Known as the Nanhua Market in the daytime, the market is located in the Sinsing District and goes on till late at night. It is easily reachable from the Formosa Boulevard KMRT station. Don’t forget to bargain while you