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13 days in Korea

13 days in Korea

Old May 31, 22, 12:50 pm
  #1  
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13 days in Korea

Hi all,

We have a 13-day trip booked for S.Korea in December, 2022. We will be travelling as a group of 4 (including one 4-yr old and one senior). I've dug through some older threads on here, and the recommendations seem to be mostly Seoul, Busan, DMZ, Jeju Island etc.

Typically, we don't like to rush on our travels so we'd rather vist 2-3 regions and spend a longer time at each rather than try and hit 5-6 spots and move every 2 days. I keep reading that Jeju is the "Hawaii of Korea" and no offense to Hawaii or Jeju, but that makes it less appealing to us since living in NA, Hawaii is more easily accessible to us than Korea so we'd be looking at visiting areas that give us uniquely Korean experiences than a place in Korea that is like Hawaii. Is this a realistic comparison or is it overblown? For example right now, Gyeongju sounds more appealing than Jeju on paper.

We are interested in culture, history, food and sports. Although my wife and I would love to check out the nightlife, I suspect our opportunities for that will be limited somewhat travelling with a 4 yr old and an older parent. Any recommendations on where we should go/what we should see/eat/experience would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
hermesN is offline  
Old May 31, 22, 8:55 pm
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Location: Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
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If you can go to Hawaii, OBVIOUSLY it will not even be remotely close. It's just a very tropical, natural, beachy vibe compared to Korean cities busy, dense vibe. That's why it gets the nickname. Jeju is also, IMO, expensive and a lot of work - lots of driving around because the island is so big. Now, if you wanna go there and just SIT at a beach and a resort or an AirBnB in the middle of nowhere - perfect. But again, the beaches are Korean beaches. Nothing REMOTELY CLOSE to real Hawaii.
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mikesaidyes is offline  
Old Jun 1, 22, 7:00 am
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Thanks Mike. That is what I expected.
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Old Jun 2, 22, 2:37 am
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Gyeongju will be a nice place to travel for Korean culture as it used to be a capital of the Shilla dynasty.
They have some historical places there and the area is really open and nice to travel.

Andong near Gyeongju is another spot where u can go as well.
Suggest staying at a countryside Hanok residence in Andong where u can experience traditional Korean stay.
Something like Nongam Jongtaek
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...angbuk_do.html

This website seems to have a good writeup
https://www.creatrip.com/en/blog/10150

There is also a traditional Korean village at Suwon about an hour south of Seoul that u can visit.

Gangneung and Sokcho are beachside towns that might interest you.
Near Sokcho is Seoraksan mountain, quite popular in Korea.
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HawaiiO is offline  
Old Jun 2, 22, 11:44 am
  #5  
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Thanks for the suggestions. Seoraksan National Park wasn't on my radar. Will do some more reading.

Is domestic bus/train travel in Korea fairly hassle-free if one doesn't speak the language? I've travelled quite a bit by bus and train in India. Would the two be comparable in any way? We will be away from home for about a month on this trip so will have some luggage between the 4 of us. Just trying to determine if bus/train would be a good option or if we should look at flying as much as possible. I see that the Seoul-Busan KTX is considered the best option. I'm more thinking of the travel to some of the smaller centres like Gyeongju, Seoraksan and/or Jeonju.
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Old Jun 3, 22, 12:10 am
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Seoul - Busan KTX is the best way to travel between both cities.
It is fast easy and very accessible.
Language isnt a problem as there are English signs everywhere for the trains.
Local buses dont really have English signs though.

KTX also goes to Gyeongju and Jeonju
For Gyeongju itself, best to have a car to move around.
Can rent one from the train station area.

For the Busan, Gyeongju, Jeonju area, can take KTX to the area, and rent a car to drive around.
Return car to KTX station and take KTX back to Seoul.
U can also rent a car to drive to Busan area but it is a long drive and not particularly interesting drive.
I feel it is easier to get on the KTX although would be more expensive than renting a car for 4 people

Flying isnt really a good option unless u want to fly back to ICN and immediately out of the country.
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Old Jun 3, 22, 4:50 am
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Train is extremely easy - English announcements. Bus, too. Except the bus has no bathroom and is NOT ideal for kids who can't hold it for two hours haha (stops at a rest area every 2 hrs for 10 mins).
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mikesaidyes is offline  
Old Jun 3, 22, 10:21 am
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Great! Thanks for the information. KTX and rental car it is.
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