A Korea Travel Guide
If you’ve found yourself on this page, yay! I love when people want to come visit one of my favorite places in the world. Korea has become somewhat of a second home to me – a place I always feel somewhat comfortable in, even if I’ve been away for a while. I first visited in 2011 when I studied in Seoul for the summer and returned in the fall of 2014 to teach English in the countryside. I spent two years living in Namwon and traveling on the weekends and then I came back in 2017 to teach for one more year in Suncheon! Now I go back at least once a year to visit friends and to continue exploring this country (although with how the world is, it’s been 2 years). I hope you find all my guides helpful!
Just Starting to Plan Your Trip?
Check these posts if you’re just starting to plan your trip to Korea, especially my very long travel tips post which will give you quite literally everything!
Tips & Guides
What to Eat & Drink
Seoul & Nearby
Every country has its major city, and for Korea that’s Seoul (which is also its capital)! Located up towards the northwest part of the country, it’s easily one of my favorite metropolitan areas in the whole world.
There’s just SO much going on no matter what you’re looking for, and it’s always changing.
It’s also very easy to see some cool nearby sights in Suwon and Gyeonggido, like a French storybook village, a kitschy island, a huge fortress, and more!
One of the most charming places to visit in Korea – Jeju! I always say it takes all my favorite parts about the mainland and does away with the more frustrating aspects. Definitely rent a car or arrange a driver so you can take your time and explore the island at the nice, slow pace you ought to!
North Jeolla Province (Jeollabukdo)
Jeollabuk (and Jeollanam below) are two of the provinces closest to my heart because they’re where I lived. Jeollabukdo, also known as North Jeolla or Jeonbuk, is down towards southwestern Korea and sits along the coast to the Yellow Sea.
Its main capital is Jeonju and as a province is known for its food. I’d go so far to say that Jeollabuk and Jeollanam are the best places to eat food in the whole country! Back when I lived in Namwon, I remember my friend going to Seoul and being unimpressed with the Korean dishes in the city compared to what we got everyday between our schools and ordering takeout!
South Jeolla (Jeollanamdo)
Below Jeollabukdo is Jeollanamdo, aka South Jeolla or Jeonnam. This province sits all the way down to the southernmost tip of mainland Korea and surrounds the major city of Gwangju.
Historically, it, with Jeonbuk, was established in 1896 as one of the Eight Provinces of Korea (then they were both combined to be Jeolla). Today it’s home to some of the prettiest places in Korea! I’m talking a bamboo forest, a folk village, an ecological bay, tea fields, islands… There’s a reason I centered my tour around Jeollanam!
Admittedly, I don’t have quite as much experience with the other provinces on mainland Korea, which is part of what I’m hoping to fix with future trips!
Chungcheongbukdo and Chungcheongnamdo always felt a bit like the forgotten provinces that I passed through from Namwon to Seoul, but I couldn’t tell you what was there to do or see.
Gyeongsangbukdo and Gyeognsangnamdo are in the southeastern corner of Korea and surround Busan. They’re home to loads of cool coastal spots.
Gangwondo sits all the way up north and might be familiar as it’s where the Pyeongchang Olympics took place! I would say of all the provinces it feels the most like the countryside. Loads of amazing hiking and skiing in the winter.
Teaching & Living in Korea
For those of you hoping to live and work in Korea, hopefully these posts will help you out!