The Korean peninsula was formerly split in 1953 after a war that devastated both the north and the south. From this turbulent event, South Korea regrouped to focus on economic growth and prosperity – and in doing so achieved extraordinary success. The country was able to officially demonstrate their achievements at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. The Korean Wave continues to sweep the world.
Seoul, the country's capital, is generally the first city most tourists experience when visiting South Korea. At the top of your sight-seeing list should be the various imperial palaces that are scattered throughout the city. Gyeongbok-gung is arguably the most impressive palace and Changgyeong-gung is also definitely worth exploring. Travellers should also admire the architecture of the shrines and temples - we recommend Jongmyo Shrine and Jogye Temple.
For peace and tranquillity away from the hustle of central Seoul, head to one of the nearby mountains; many that can be enjoyed as a day trip. The trekking opportunities around Mount Bukhan are terrific. Alternatively, consider hiking around Mount Gwanak or Mount Samseong. There are also beautiful parks within the city itself including Namsan Park.