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hallyu, Korean WaveHallyu, Korean Wave

Hallya refers to the significant increase in popularity of the Korean culture around the world. It started with TV dramas and has expanded to Korean films and music. The Korean culture has spread throughout Asia and other parts of the world as well.

Tourists can make unforgettable memories while visiting filming sites of the popular Korean dramas like Winter Sonata, Jewel in the Palace and All In.

Futher information can be found Korean Tourism Organization.

Information valid for December 2010

UNESCO's World Heritage

Hwaseong Fortress UNESCO World Heritage Seoul South KoreaKorea has nine World Cultural Heritages, one World Natural Heritage, seven Memories of the World, and eleven Intangable Cultural Heritages of Humanity.

Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list are:

  • Tripitaka Koreana printing woodblocks; the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks at Haeinsa Temple; Jongmyo Shine; Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple; the Changdeokgung Palace Complex; Hwaseong Fortress; Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites; the Gyeongju Historic Area; 40 Royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty, and the Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and yangdong.
  • The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes are also on the world Heritage list for their outstanding natural landscapes and ecological value.
  • The Hunminjeongeum Manuscript is the most well-known UNESCO Memory of the world asset in Korea.
  • The Intangible Cultural Heritages of Korea are most notably teh Royal Ancestral Rites and Ritual Music of Jongmyo Shrine and the Pansori Epic Chant.

Futher information can be found Cultural Heritage Administration.

Korean Cuisine

Bowl of Kimchi A traditional Korean meal is composed of streamed rice accompanied by guk (soup), jjigae (thick stew) or jeongol (stew) with various side dishes called banchan such as namul (seasoned vegetable or wild-greens), gui (grilled dishes), jeok (seasoned meat pan-fried or boiled).

In particular, kimchi is world-renowned for its health benifits. The most wel-known Korean foods are galbi (marinated grilled short ribs), bulgogi (barbecued beef), bibimbap (streamed rice mixed with seasoned vegetables and meat), and makgeolli (rice wine).

Traditional royal crusine can also be enjoyed with sinseollo (roayal hot pot), gujeolpan (dish of nine delicacies), and tangpyeongchae (mung-bean jelly mixed with beef and vegetables).

Futher information can be found Korea Tourism Organization.


Shopping in Korea Based on their interests and tastes, visitors can shop for everthing from the trendiest fashion items to Korean traditional souvenirs and cutting-edge electronics.

Korea provides a shoppers' paradise with well furnished and upscale department shores, duty-free shops, large shopping malls, traditional markets and various shopping streets.

In particular, the Namdaemum Market in Seoul is one of the most well-known traditional markets in Korea. It offers clothing, household supplies, jewelry, ect.

Dongdaemun Market is packed with large shopping malls for clothing and sporting gear. Insa-dong is a nice place to find traditional artifacts.

Myeong-dong, Coex Mall, Apgujeong-dong, and Itaewon are also recommended areas for shopping.

Futher information can be found Korea Tourism Organization.

Royal Palaces

The royal palaces of Gyeongbokgung. The royal palaces of Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung and Deoksugung are the most historic and artistic sites in Korea which epitomize tradirional beauty.

There are various programs at the royal palaces where overseas visitors can experience and taste the traditional Korean culture first hand. Visitors can see the Changing of the Guards ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace, or take pictures in royal and traditional Korean court costumes.

Futher information can be found:

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Deoksugung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changgyeonggung Palace

Korea Tourism Organization


Temple Stay guests are instructed in the proper etiquette for bowing at Kilsangsa temple in Seoul, South Korea.It is a unique cultural program that lets you experience the life of a Buddhist practitioners at traditional temples where the 1,700 year-old history of Korean Buddhism is preserved. Especially, as most temples ate located deep in the mountains, a stay there will help you relax through Zen meditation or a Buddhist sevice.

More than a 100 temples across the nation run templestay programs and six of them, including Jogyesa Temple in Seoul, have English translation services.

Futher information can be found: Templestay Information Center

Green Tours

Jejudo Ollie TrailsThrough green tours visitors can observe, understand, and enjoy mother Nature. The most popular and famous tours are to the first "Slow Cities" in Asia, a cultural trend known as the slow movement. Slow cities include Jeungdo, Cheongsando island, and Damyang.

Also of significance is the Olle Trails and the Jejudo Island and Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, which are UNESCO's World Heritage sites.

Jejudo Ollie Trails: The Ollie Trails are a collective pathway of 22 routes on Jejudo Island. Depending on the pace of the individual or group, each route takes four to six hours.

Walking along the coast is the best way to experience the unique and startling beauty of Jejudo Island.

Futher information can be found: Korea tourism Organization

Must See performances

samulloriPeople from all over the world can enjoy non-verbal Korean performances. The most popular performances include world-class b-boy dances, martial arts, samullori (a traditional dance and acrobatics.

Anon-verbal comedic kitchen show called Nanta is based on the rhythms of samullori and attracts over 600,000 overseas tourists annually. Well received at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as the number one box office program for two consecutive years, Jump is a another bestselling show in Korea. Jump is a charming mix of the traditional Korean martial arts of taekwondo and dazzling acrobatics.

Futher information can be found: Korea tourism Organization

Year-round Festivals

Boryeong Mud FestivalThe chance to experience a variety of Korean festivals is one thing you cannot afford to miss. The Boryeong Mud Festival held at Daecheon Beach is the most famous and popular. The mud used at the festival is said to radiate long infrared rays and contains minerals such as germanium.

There is also the Andong International Mask Dance Festival held at Hahoe Village, where traditional Korean cultural assets are well preserved.

Also recommended are:

  • The Hwacheon Sancheoneo (mountain trout) Ice Festival in January
  • The Hampyeong Butterfly Festival in April
  • The Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival and the Chuncheon International Mime Festival in May
  • The Gangjin Celadon Festival in August
  • The Geumsan Insam (ginseng) Festival in September
  • The jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival and the Gimje Horizon Festival in October

Futher information can be found: Korea tourism Organization

Medical Travel

Medical Travel South Korean DoctorWith cutting-edge medical facilities, high caliber professionals, and time-proven knowledge in oriental medicine, South Korea has emerged as an attractive destination for medical travelers who seek better health care, plastic surgery, oriental medicine, physical check-ups, and spinal or other surgical treatments.

These advanced medical services costs less compared to other counties, and international patients can recuperate while enjoying shopping and sightseeing in Korea.

All required information on medical institutions and professional consultations are also provided by medical tourism information booths located on the B1 level of the Korea Tourism Organization building in Seoul, as well as inside the passager arrival area (1st floor) of the Incheon Int'l Airport.

Futher information can be found: Korea tourism Organization

Major Museums and Performance Halls

National Museum of KoreaFrom the National Museum of Korea, the sixth largest museum in the world, to the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, foreign travellers can experience a delightful and fulfilling course on Korean art.

Consisting of a concert and recital hall, an opera theater, and the Towol and Jayu theaters, the Seoul Arts Center is a cultural complex that South Korean are proud of.

Also, the Sejong Center for performing Arts, located in downtown Seoul, is ready to serve travellers exhausted from there daytime sightseeing excursions with concerts and performances at night.

Futher information can be found:

National Museum of Korea

National folk Museum of Korea

Seoul Museum of History

The Royal Museum

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

National Museum of Comtemportary Art of Korea

National Theatre of Korea

Seoul Arts Center

Sejong Center for the Performing Arts

The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing




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