Culture Villages in Korea: Real People, Real Art

In this post, I’m taking you to some of the most prominent Culture Villages in Korea which over the past years have become trendy art districts and hip Instagram backdrops. But despite all the enthusiasm for the wonderful art projects, we shouldn’t forget to also take a look behind the colorful layers of paint, because in Korea’s Daldongnae, behind real art live real people.

Culture Villages in Korea: Real People, Real Art
Painting the village in Jeonju.
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Grand Tour of SOUTH KOREA – A Guide for Individual First-Time Visitors

BTS and Gangnam Style, Squid Games and Parasites – never before has South Korea been this hyped. Korean pop culture is not only on everyone’s lips, but also in everyone’s eyes and ears.
Time to join the hype?
Well, although everything Korean has become so incredibly popular, a first trip to Korea can be a challenge, especially for individual solo travellers who are not basically carried from place to place on a pre-organized tour.
Time to scratch your travel plan?
No way! In this post, I’m taking you on my first individual grand tour of Korea, the motherland of K-Pop, Kingdoms, and Kimchi. I’m by your side, supply you with much useful info, and warn you of some foolish rookie mistakes.

Change of the guards at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, the capital of Korea. Grand Tour of SOUTH KOREA - A Guide for Individual First-Time Visitors
Despite Korea’s booming economy and industry, there is still a lot of traditional culture and heritage.

All this will make your trip to Korea easy and smooth and so much fun!
Hence, 한국에 오신 것을 환영합니다 – Welcome to South Korea!

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An Easy Day Trip to the Hahoe Folk Village from Andong

An easy day trip from Andong brings you to the Hahoe Folk Village where Korea’s traditional rural life remains unspoilt. Hahoe is a cute little village full of adorable crooked houses. You wouldn’t be surprised if you met Hansel, Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and all the other fairy tale characters in the narrow alleys.
And, of course, a Queen.
In 2019, the time had actually come and none less than Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the picturesque village in the south-eastern part of Korea. I assume Elizabeth travelled in a pumpkin carriage, befitting her status. Not being a queen, I took the bus to Hahoe on my day trip from Andong – and what can I say, it was a cheap and comfortable ride, and most importantly, the coach didn’t smell like pumpkin.

Hahoe Folk Village visited on an easy day trip from Andong.
Village people at Hahoe.
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How to Experience the Folk Heritage of Korea in ANDONG

Located almost 100 kilometers north of the former imperial city of Gyeongju, Andong seems to stand in the shadow of its smaller yet more glorious sister. Far too few international visitors foresee a stop in Andong on their trip to Korea.
Not me.
The only thing I regret regarding my visit to Andong is that I couldn’t stay for a few days longer since the city has an unexpected amount of tradition, culture, and absolutely authentic vibes to offer. Hence, it’s time to experience Andong where the folk heritage of Korea has been living on for generations.

People crossing the Woryeonggyo Bridge in Andong.
Strolling across Andong’s Woryeonggyo Bridge is a favorite pastime of locals and visitors alike.
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A Day Trip to the Haeinsa Temple the Easy Way

Although Haeinsa, the most significant Buddhist temple in all of Korea, is tucked away on the slopes of Mount Gaya, this architectural and spiritual gem can be visited on an easy day trip from various cities like Busan and Gyeongju even by public transport.

Gate at Haeinsa Temple.
Please, step into the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Seon Buddhism.
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GYEONGJU: Two Days in the City Where Korea’s Imperial History Comes Alive

All the places I visited during my trip to South Korea were amazing: Beautiful, interesting, rich in culture and delicious food. However, if I had to pick one apart from Seoul that under no circumstances you ought to miss out on, without a doubt, it would be Gyeongju. Gyeongju has so much cultural heritage and so many archaeological sites that the city rightfully bears the nickname Museum Without Walls. But during my two days in Gyeongju, I wasn’t only looking back at a thousand years of Imperial History. The so-called Golden City is also a major center of the country’s artisan bakeries and belongs on every true connoisseur’s itinerary.

Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Gyeongju, the city of Imperial history.
The clean aesthetics of the Daereungwon Tomb Complex.
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Why the City of ULSAN is Absolutely Worth a Visit

You might have never heard of Ulsan. In ye olden days, the city was known for whaling. Fortunately, all that’s left of this kind of animal cruelty is a whale museum and some memorabilia at the former whaling village Jangsaengpo.
Today, Ulsan prides itself on being the home to the world’s largest single industrial plant. Hyundai Industries consists of five independent factories with a total of approximately 32,000 employees. And while this is pretty impressive, I totally understand when it doesn’t sound like a good reason to squeeze a day in Ulsan into your already very tight itinerary for South Korea.
But wait, not so fast: In this post, I’ll give you three proper reasons why a visit to the underrated city of Ulsan is absolutely worth your while.

Daewangam Park on the coast of Ulsan. Just one reason why Ulsan is absolutely worth a trip.
As you leave the humongous industrial plants behind, you get to enjoy an absolutely exquisite stretch of Korea’s eastern coast.
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7 Best And Most Beautiful Coffee Houses in Busan

In Korea, a rich coffee culture is a crucial part of the modern lifestyle. Not only do you find far too many Starbucks branches. No, there are countless cafés where you find peace’n’space to study, work, or just relax while enjoying a house specialty. In Busan, they even have a so-called Cafe Street! For you, I bit the bullet and immersed myself in the city’s vital café culture. This allows me to introduce you to the 7 best and most beautiful coffee houses in Busan.

Space And Mood, one of the Seven Best And Most Beautiful Coffee Houses in Busan
One of Busan’s literally hidden gems, the Café Space And Mood on the 13th floor.
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The Perfect Itinerary for Three Days in BUSAN

Home of the sixth busiest industrial port in the world next to one of Korea’s most beautiful beaches. Around 3.5 million inhabitants are cradled between lush hills dotted with ancient Buddhist shrines. Tradition embracing modernity: The number of things you can do in Busan will make your head spin, and therefore, I put together a perfect itinerary for how to spend three memorable days in the city.

Market in Busan.
Busan is full of sights and landmarks. Yet, its strongest suit is its street life and the bustling markets.
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