South Korea

One of the most advanced economies in the region, South Korea has long been an under-the-radar tourist destination. It is a mix of bustling cities and mountainous countryside. Spring and autumn offer the best temperatures for visitors. Seoul, the capital, lives with the threat of North Korean forces stationed just 35 miles (55 kilometres) away. Day trips to the spookily empty DMZ are arranged for the stout of heart.

South Korea also has has many wonderful palaces and temples. Danyang is a beautiful lakeside town in the central mountains. Seoraksan National Park has spectacular mountains and hiking. Gyeongju in the southeast was the seat of power for over 1000 years and has some fabulous temples and other historical sites.

Country

South Korea flag

Why you should go:

The Cold War continues there.

Why you shouldn't:

You think it's a less glamorous alternative to Japan.

Map of South Korea