Doha News traveled to South Korea with the Korea National Tourism Organization to bring you the best places to visit in the country.
If you haven’t yet ventured to East Asia and are looking for a place to visit with as much history as nature, Seoul, South Korea is your calling.
Having had the chance to visit the capital with the National Tourist Office of Korea, Doha News have compiled a list of the top five destinations to visit in Seoul.
Paju Imjingak Peace Gondola
He has a story and a story.
South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is one of the most unique terrains in the world, having witnessed the pains and heartaches of a divided nation and later evolving into a near-pristine ecosystem.
The DMZ was established in 1953 after the end of the Korean War, when a boundary line was drawn down the center of the Korean Peninsula, dividing the west and east coasts. Later in 2018, the leaders of the two Koreas joined hands, crossing the line.
Untouched by mankind, Paju Imjingak has become one of the few places in the world where a pristine ecosystem remains, marking it as a symbol of peace, communication, coexistence and a rare natural wonder.
Seoul’s DMZ tourist area is home to many cultural heritage sites where, for example, Peace Gondola, offers views of the area’s fields and rivers. If you follow the fences, you will find an observatory with a panoramic view of Imjingak, Freedom Bridge, Gyeongui-Jungang Line, Bukhansan Mountain and Jangdanbando Peninsula.
The area is also home to Camp Greaves, one of the oldest US Army bases in South Korea, and a cultural heritage center that showcases modern American architecture. Officers’ cantonments, barracks and the like were renovated and refitted there, to be used as hostels for the DMZ experience and tourist events.
To experience the region to the fullest of your ability, you have DMZ LIVE Experience Hall – a place that provides a fun, meaningful and enjoyable experience of the DMZ. This gives you insight into the various attractions through the history, symbolism, and ecological environment of the region’s borders through experiences such as virtual reality and project mapping.
Through the programs, you will be able to see inconspicuous animals and plants, such as Asiatic black bears and otters, while enjoying a virtual journey.
Paju Imjingak is considered a landmark and reminder of the pains of war and the preciousness of peace, as well as a place of healing and understanding that calls for peace and hope.
Cheongwadae (The Blue House)
The Cheong Wa Dae, which was the official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea, is another must-see landmark.
The main building includes the president’s office, a meeting room and other outbuildings.
Beginning with the Main Office Building, or the “Blue House”, this had been used as the President’s official work headquarters and guest reception area.
This traditional Korean-style structure has a hipped and gabled roof covered with approximately 150,000 Korean-style blue tiles, creating a majestic and imposing appearance.
As for Yeongbingwan, it was the state reception hall; the venue for large-scale meetings and official events for state guests, where traditional Korean performances and banquet dinners were usually held for a ceremonial welcome.
The official residence of the first family consists of Bonchae, the “living quarters”, and Byeolchae, an independent reception area. The residence also has an expansive facade with a traditional Korean-style garden and a free-standing Sarangchae, known as the “men’s quarters”.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, commonly known as the North Palace, was built in 1395 and is arguably the most beautiful palace in South Korea. A must for anyone who enjoys a fabulous trip through history as it remains the largest of South Korea’s five palaces.
Even though the palace premises were burned down during the war, all the palace buildings were subsequently restored, and the Joseon dynasty buildings, Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, and the pond around Hyangwonjeong Pavilion remained relatively intact.
The raised slides and stone markers of Geunjeongjeon showcase the artistic style representative of their era.
Everland (amusement park)
For those looking for more adventurous and exciting locations, Everland Amusement Park is a must-see.
Everland Resort entertains visitors through attractions in the five themed areas of Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, Zootopia and European Adventure.
It is decorated according to different themed festivals throughout the year, including Tulip Festival, Rose Festival, Summer Splash, Halloween Festival, and Romantic Illumination.
One of the park’s most famous rides is the T-Express, Korea’s first wooden roller coaster. As for Zootopia, it’s definitely a must-see, as it exhibits around 2,000 animals. Lost Valley, opened in 2013, offers the largest eco safaris where you can see up to 150 animals.
You can also see a pair of giant pandas donated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, as a symbol of friendship between South Korea and China.
Nami Island is another beautiful place to visit in Seoul. an island in the middle of the Bukhangang River and South Korea’s main tourist destination.
With lots of fun activities to do on Nami Island, it has become a very nice theme park, including trails, restaurants, performance halls, wild animals, gardens, rides, and craft shops. memories.
The attraction is particularly friendly for Muslim tourists, indeed for the number of Muslim tourists who have visited it, a prayer room was set up in 2011, and, since 2014, a halal cuisine restaurant has been operating there.
For those who love to commemorate their moments in pictures, you are sure to find plenty of moments to capture with the stunning landscapes and picturesque locations the island offers.
Plus, for more fun and adventure, Nami Island’s ZipWire is the best place to go if you fancy an extra adrenaline rush. It is an eco-friendly recreational facility and one of the largest zipline facilities in Asia.