World ? Asia ? South Korea

South Korea: Frommer's Favorite Experiences

  • Staying Overnight in a Buddhist Temple: Many temples in South Korea offer overnight stays, where you can enjoy true solitude and quiet, and perhaps a bit of inner peace. Wake up early to the sound of prayers, and cleanse your mind, body, and spirit with a bath and a meal of mountain vegetables.

  • Sipping Tea in a Traditional Teahouse in Insadong (Seoul): In the middle of Seoul's cosmopolitan madness, you'll find a bit of tranquility within the walls of a traditional teahouse. Enjoy the music of a gayageom (a traditional stringed instrument) while calming your spirits with a cup of history.

  • Haggling with a Vendor in an Open Market: South Korea's markets are bustling centers that can be found along winding alleyways and crowded streets. You haven't truly experienced South Korea until you've elbowed your way through the crowd and convinced a vendor to drop the price on something by at least a couple of won. Even if that souvenir is already dirt cheap, it's fun to get caught up in the excitement of bargaining.

  • Being Naked in Front of Hundreds of Strangers: Okay, so nudity isn't the real attraction. That would be the traditional bathhouses (or even better, the water parks featuring hot springs) scattered throughout South Korea. Don't leave the country without relaxing in a hot sauna with a bunch of old ladies (or old men) or getting a water massage at one of Korea's many spas.

  • Seeing a Traditional Performance: Whether you're in Seoul or hanging out in a rural village seemingly in the middle of nowhere, there is probably a festival going on nearby. Try to catch a performance of gayageom, a mask dance, or just the hallowed sound of the bamboo daegeum (flute).

  • Visiting the DMZ: The Demilitarized Zone is probably one of the least aptly named places on the planet. A result of the last vestiges of animosity between Soviet Russia and the U.S., now that the Berlin Wall has fallen, Korea is the only divided country in the world.

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