BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA
Spring blossom and autumnal foliage create an ever-changing Korean canvas as the east coast comes alive with colourful contrasts.
Although spring signals the start of blossom season (Apr-Jun), it also finds a fair few crowds heading south on the peninsula so we recommend Sep-Nov as the best time to visit South Korea. At this time, temperatures are comfortable, there's little rain and the countryside is swathed in the most amazing umber, orange and fiery red and yellow foliage. Summers can be moist with monsoons kicking off in Jul-Aug to make for quite an uncomfortably humid experience as well as an increase in crowds during the school vacations from mid-Jul to end of Aug.
Seoul Weather Chart
Things to do in South Korea
Things to do in South Korea
Things not to do in South Korea...
If you'd like to chat about South Korea or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
SOUTH KOREA TRAVEL ADVICE
Marta Marinelli, from our supplier Exodus, shares her top advice, recommendations and experiences following a recent trip to South Korea:
Discover the history
“One of the many positive things about a visit to South Korea is how far they've come since the Korean War in 1953. The country was absolutely flattened. Not a stick of anything was left. Everything that you'll find today has been replanted and rebuilt to provide an absolutely fabulous modern experience with lots of little touches, like flowers planted along the center of motorways, displaying just how much people value and respect their country; there's a real sense of civic pride.”
Where to go in South Korea“I'd really recommend a trip to the island of Jeju which can be reached by plane from the coastal city of Busan. Busan is a lovely city and well worth spending a night if only to enjoy a beach stroll over sand apparently imported from China. The highlight of Jeju, for me, was seeing the Haenyeo fisherwomen diving into the sea to catch urchins, shellfish and seaweed. The Manjanggul lava tube cave was also incredible and climbing up the steps to the top of the Seongsan Ilchulbong volcanic tuff cone was, although quite hard, really rewarding thanks to the great views from the top.”
Cultural tips“I'd definitely recommend spending a night at the Haeinsa Temple in the Gaya Mountains as although sleeping arrangements are fairly basic – you sleep in communal same sex dorms on a floor mat with one small pillow – the experience, as a whole, was uplifting. On arrival you swap your Western clothes for temple clothes and do as many ‘temple activities as you wish, including getting up at 3am to take part in early morning prostrations with the monks. Food is simple fare: rice, soup, veggies and tofu, and there's no speaking at meal times. A question and answer session with a Buddhist monk with a PhD in law and impeccable English lasted about an hour. He was prepared to answer some invasive question very fully!”
Stef Studley, from our supplier Regency Vacations, shares a few of her South Korean highlights:
Festivals & events
“The Chuseok harvest festival is one of South Korea’s best-loved celebrations and takes place at the end of September or early October, around the time of the autumnal equinox. Tombs and ancestral homes are visited across the country as families sit down to a traditional feast which will usually include kimchi (pickled cabbage), songpyeon (glutinous rice cakes), Korean table barbecues and plenty of rice wine. Things can get really busy around this time of year with services and transport often booked up in advance.”