Collected by Connie Tremain
Not known for its tourist attractions, Ulaanbaatar shouldn't be ignored just because it "ain't gonna win no beauty contest". One thing I did here was go to a traditional throat singing performance, which was surprisingly impressive. I think I...
Gobi Desert Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92211, USA
While in Mongolia, you will likely have the opportunity to stay with a nomadic family. It's a fantastic experience that I can't recommend highly enough. However, in order to be a respectful guest- it's important to understand the the ger not just...
Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
Chong-gye-cheon stream and park is a several-miles-long ribbon of pedestrian tranquility in the heart of Seoul. For decades, an elevated expressway ran through the heart of Seoul. The air pollution and congestion made people forget that a stream...
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...
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...
Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Oh-deng" is a street-food classic found on the streets of Seoul. It's kind of hard to describe: formed crab-cakes, or white fish sausage (sounds weird, tastes great!). Late one night in Seoul's Myongdong district (think Times Square meets the...
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Among the biggest and most chaotic markets in Korea, Seoul's Namdaemun Market is the capital's oldest, dating to the 1400s. Today you can find ANYthing here, if you're willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers:...
종로51 종로타워 17층, 공평동 Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
One of the most distinctive buildings in central Seoul is the 33-story Jongno Tower, a triangular glass and steel tower topped with an oval floating above seven stories of emptiness. Across the street is the traditionally reconstructed...
531 Bongeunsa-ro, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Modernization. Westernization. Globalization. These words are sometimes used synonymously, but while all three certainly might be used to describe East Asia, distinctions should be made. South of the Han River in Seoul is the Gangnam district; the...
18 Insadong 4-gil, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Yeot...what?" The closest approximation in English for one of Korea's favorite street-sweets might be "taffy." It ranges from sticky-soft all the way to jaw-breaker-hard. Traditional vendors announce their confectionery presence by loudly and...
88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For over a century, Seoul's Gwangjang Market has been a destination for snack-seekers. The labyrinthine passageways are covered, and you can find anything from knock-off shoes ("fira" instead of "Fila," for example) to chili powder and embroidered...
135 Sejong-daero, Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This wax display attempts to capture the suffering of the South Korean people during the active fighting years of the Korean War. This museum is not to be missed. It offers everything from live black-and-white footage of the war to real airplanes...
1 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Current tensions require close monitoring, but Cheong Wa Dae is open for visitors. From its mountainside overlooking central Seoul, "The Blue House" is the official residence of the South Korean president, and if you apply weeks in advance with...
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...
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...
Seoul, South Korea
The traditional curves of the sloping roofs and intricate patterns adorning doors and gates are the benchmarks of Bukchon Hanok Village in central Seoul. Set on a gently rising slope with views of the modern metropolis in the distance, the...
110 Sejong-daero, Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul’s City Hall is a swooping mass of glass and steel tucked snugly into the heart of the city at Seoul Plaza. This modern architectural marvel stands out starkly behind the small stone building of the Seoul Metropolitan Library—the building...
Namyeong-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
One would think that all toilets are created equal, but that is certainly not the case in Korea, where many loos are equipped with fancy gadgets to ensure you a comfortable visit to the restroom. Most common of these is the etiquette bell. This...
６ Yulgok-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Perhaps not your average sightseeing activity, but a visit to the Japanese Embassy each Wednesday at noon is quite a spectacle. In fact, the gathering of protestors has been causing a scene every week since 1992 when the Korean comfort women and...
2198 Hwanghak-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
There are only two other countries in the world that have more Starbucks locations than Korea. It’s fair to say that Koreans love their coffee, and Seoul is leading the pack with over 200 of the brand’s coffee shop locations. My favorite is the...
272 Gonghang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea
If you have a few hours to kill before your next flight, don’t sweat the downtime at Incheon Airport. Packed with possibilities, Incheon’s international terminal is a wonder of airport entertainment. A movie theater, ice-skating rink, jimjilbang...
161 Sajik-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Originally built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and greatest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. Burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, it was reconstructed in 1867. Today, the palace grounds, filled with lotus ponds,...
Dongjang-ri, Jangdan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Located between the two Koreas in the Civilian Control Zone along the 38th Parallel, Dorasan station has recently awakened as though from a spell. Once only used as a showcase boasting of hopes for reunification between the divided peninsula for...
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