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807-2 Boseong-ri, Boseong-eup, Boseong, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
South Korea. To the world it is bright neon lights, fuel-efficient cars, genetic research and kimchi. The Land of the Morning Calm is deservedly lauded as a spreading ground for future tech and well known as the K-pop powerhouse, though Seoul is...
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137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea and houses a comprehensive collection of Korean cultural artifacts that tell the story of Korea’s fascinating history, from ancient days to the modern era. There’s also the Children’s...
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Seoksu-dong, Manan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Anyang, located just outside Seoul, is an incredible place for a day trip. The Anyang Art Park has numerous sites to see—including this maze-like staircase. The park, situated in a valley, is a perfect place to spend an afternoon in any season.
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21 Cheonho-daero 4-gil, Sinseol-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's Folk Flea Market is a place where you can buy anything, I mean anything! This scary contraption looks like an invention of a comic book super-villain, but for the small price of 5 dollars you could be tightening those crow's feet and...
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Seongji-ro 153beon-gil, Choeup-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, South Korea
The temples of South Korea are always one of my favorite things to check out while traveling there. For one, the temples in South Korea are usually accessible by hike and are often perched on the top of a mountain so just getting to the temple can...
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60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opened in 2004, the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art seeks to bridge the past, present, and future of art. The sleek complex consists of two wings, one dedicated to traditional Korean works and the other to international contemporary art. The...
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Samseong 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Across the street from Asia's largest underground mall, Bong-eun-sa temple still functions as one of Seoul's largest and oldest Buddhist temples. Under the paper lanterns, ritual continues, a counterpoint to the the wired and wifi frenzy in the...
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Tucked away on the side of a mountain just a few miles south of Seoul proper is the Anyang Art Park, home to dozens of art installations from burgeoning international designers. A favorite among weekend warriors, the place is left virtually empty...
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161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

This “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven” was once the heart of Korea. It was the power center of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897), and was originally built in 1395—some new digs for a new dynasty. Like the Forbidden City in ...

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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
Located below street level, the public space Cheonggyecheon offers an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul. The area is part of a massive urban renewal project in which an old elevated highway was cleared to reveal the stream...
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55 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A window-display near the Jogye-sa temple in central Seoul...now, THAT's a paper lantern! Buddhist temples were not allowed in Seoul during the years of the Joseon (Yi) dynasty (1392-1910); the new rulers were suspicious of clerical involvement in...
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Dang-dong, Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Ever been to Central Park in New York? Well, Seoul Grand Park is a bit like that, but instead of buying a hot dog, you’ll nosh on dried squid or fish cakes. Stroll through the botanical gardens, ogle gorillas at the world’s 10th-largest zoo, and...
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Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Walking in one of Seoul's newer neighborhoods south of the Han River, this unlikely art caught my eye: a sculpture of backpack-toting gorilla climbing up an apartment building. The Gangnam district of Seoul has splashes of whimsy among the new...
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161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
My wife was flying to join me in Korea. Due to weather conditions in San Francisco, she missed her connecting flight. (The airline was less than helpful; when my wife finally got to talk to a ticketing agent after standing in line for an hour, the...
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185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The website said that Changgyeong-gung Palace was closed on Tuesdays. So on this particular drizzly Monday, (my last day in Seoul), I trekked over, planning on revisiting this site of a childhood outing...But when I arrived, the 400-year-old gates...
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Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The upswept rooflines of Korean architecture are beguiling: intricate eaves are a symphony of patterned color...and every once in a while, a face pops out, like this scowling end-tile 'guardian'--a face only a roofer could love. I spent a couple...
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Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Throne Hall of Gyeongbok-gung Palace in Seoul has a lofty name based on Confucian principles: "Geun-jeong-jeon," meaning "diligence helps governance"—words for politicians to live by, eh? Originally built in the 1390s when a new dynasty...
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Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Covering 78 acres of hilly forest in the middle of Seoul, the Huweon, or "Rear Garden" of Changdeok-gung Palace is better known by the city's millions as Biweon, or "The Secret Garden." Once exclusively for the royal family, today it's a favorite...
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Jibong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Dongdaemun" is the old east gate of Seoul. The word is also synonymous with the massive market area that surrounds the gate, both above and below ground. Several of the nearby subway stations connect with underground shopping arcades. You can...
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175 Sejong-daero, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The open plaza area in front of the Sejong Cultural Center was a frequent visiting spot for me when I lived in Seoul. In the summer months the cool water was a relaxing spot to wet your feet and watch children running through the musically...
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Gugi-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Clear your mind with an overnight session at Geumsunsa Temple, where you’ll welcome the dawn with 108 yogic bows. On a hill in central Seoul, the grounds are a welcome escape from the city’s urban center. geumsunsa.org. This appeared in the...
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Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This religious site is within a quarter mile of the popular Gyeongbuk Palace and is worth a visit. The courtyard in front of this wall of buddhas is shaded by bamboo. The atmosphere is extremely peaceful unlike the busy streets just outside this...
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Jongno 5(o)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Anyone who's been to Seoul knows how coffee-crazed South Korea's capital is: There are well over 200 Starbucks locations in Seoul alone! But this independent coffee shop, a few blocks down from the city's medieval East Gate, takes it to a whole...
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99 Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Surrounded by skyscrapers in the center of Seoul, Deoksu-gung Palace ("The Palace of Virtuous Longevity") got its start as a prince's villa in the mid-15th century. In 1907, the compound became the 'retirement home' of the next-to-the-last king of...
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Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Located 18 miles south of Seoul in the bedroom community of Suwon, the Toilet Culture Park showcases a toilet-shaped house, museum, and a collection of outdoor sculptures all dedicated to the latrine. Guests take an interactive journey through the...
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Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Café Publique is one of my favorite spots to sip a beverage and watch the world go by in Seoul. Actually more of a café hybrid attached to a quirky boutique called Around the Corner, Café Publique serves up a cool bohemian vibe similar to what you...
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105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Look to the top of Seoul’s 860-foot-tall Namsan Mountain and you’ll see the N Seoul Tower, which rises an additional 777 feet. This aerial perch is the highest point in the city and offers incredible views. Far below, Seoul sprawls out...
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55 Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Buddha's Birthday is a splendid time in South Korea. The streets of Jongro in central Seoul become filled with prayer lanterns. If you are in Seoul head to the Jongro and Insadong areas as musical performances and street performers will be...
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29 Itaewon-ro, Namyeong-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Seoul’s War Memorial Museum is a massive complex that can easily eat up a history buff’s whole day. The big-ticket items—tanks, planes, missiles—are outside; inside is a complete history of military actions in Korea. One...

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Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Seoul is the quaint Insadong district, where a Korea of yore comes to life in the form of traditional artists and musicians, shops selling Korean crafts and souvenirs, and street performers dressed in native...
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2층, 1 Itaewon-ro 15-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Finding Mexican Food in Korea is a chore, and if you do, never mind it being anywhere even close to authentic. Enter Vatos Urban Tacos. Run by two guys hailing from California and Texas respectively, Vatos has made the quest for south of the...