Damyang is located towards the southern tip of South Korea and is actually a small county containing a number of small towns and villages. Visitors flock to Damyang for its wealth of bamboo, including a bamboo theme park and a bamboo museum. Visitors can peruse bamboo kitchen supplies or other practical gifts, as well as taste unusual bamboo wine or ice cream. There are also a couple of nearby hiking opportunities around the mountains of Byeongungsan and Chuwolsan.
Boseong is a small but picturesque county and the tea farming capital of South Korea. Visitors here can see traditional terraced farmlands dotted with local women handpicking the tea leaves. The green tea that is farmed in Boseong is known for its high quality, which has been developed over a 1600-year history. As well as tea fields, the area is surrounded by an impressive mountainous landscape, with cedar tress that can reach a height of 20 meters.
Yeongam Gurim Village
As well as being a historical South Korean village, Gurim is also close to the Wolchulsan National Park. The national park is one of smallest and least well known in the country, which makes it quiet and relatively free from coach tours of tourists. The park reaches 800 meters above sea level at its highest point, which offers outstanding views of the area. Gurim Village is nearby and is famed for its old buildings and pottery.
Jinhae is mostly visited for its annual spring cherry blossom festival, when the city’s cherry blossom trees are in full bloom for a short 10-day period before the petals start to fall. The best spot within the city to see the blossoms is by the Gyeonghwa Station, where there is a mile-long stretch of trees. The festival also features cultural performances, art, and parades; the event attracts more than two million visitors annually.
Bukchon Hanok Village (Seoul)
Bukchon Hanok Village is actually within the city of Seoul itself, but it is a perfectly preserved village dating back 600 years to the Joseon Dynasty. Features include narrow streets and traditional one-story homes with classic pagoda roofs. Today, very few people actually live in this area, but the buildings are used as traditional restaurants, guesthouses, tea houses and cultural centers, making it the perfect place to absorb the atmosphere of historic Korea.
Off the northwest coast of South Korea, a couple of hours’ boat journey from the mainland, is Deokjeokdo, a small island famed for its relaxing beaches and hiking routes. The island is secluded but has a decent selection of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. There are both sandy and pebble beaches, and a beautiful pine forest where visitors can enjoy a shady walk. While there are many idyllic islands for visitors to choose from around the country, Deokjeokdo is a popular choice with those staying in Seoul, as it is a day trip from the city.