With summer vacation in full swing, you’re probably looking for exciting things to do in South Korea to cure your travel itch. Well, here’s some good news! There are a ton of activities outside of the metropolis of Seoul for both adventure lovers and beach bums alike. South Korea is the perfect place to spend your summer vacation. Not only is the country full of breathtaking views, but each region is known for delicious food, and if that’s not something to travel for, then I don’t know what is! You can take advantage of the county’s cheap, easy to navigate public transportation and start exploring the peninsula today. Here are some of the top summer activities outside of Seoul to get you started.
Photo Credit: Eden Valley
If you’re a big ski or snowboard fanatic, maybe you’ve already heard of the Eden Valley Ski resort in Yangsan, South Korea. But did you know that in the offseason, the slopes are transformed into the world’s longest luge? You can turn your Mario Kart fantasies into real life! Take the ski lift to the top of the slopes and enjoy the beautiful mountain views, then drive in a mini car down the 2.2km road to the bottom. There are various courses, and the twists and turns will have you laughing all day.
To get to Eden Valley, take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Yangsan Intercity bus terminal and a taxi to Eden Valley resort. Alternatively, you can take the Busan subway line 2 to Yangsan and hop in a shuttle bus or taxi from there. The luge operates from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and the pricing is listed here.
Photo Credit: Rainbow Zip Wire
The highest and longest zipline in South Korea, this is definitely an adventure for the thrill-seekers out there. The course is nicknamed ‘Rainbow Zip Wire,’ as it begins and ends at two towers painted rainbow at the top. You’ll fly through the air over the beautiful Buhang Dam between the two towers that are 93 meters and 87 meters tall. The total course is about 1.7 kilometers long, which means you’ll have enough time to enjoy the view after your initial fear fades. While you’re in the area, take advantage of the scenic suspension bridge and the skywalk. There’s also a water park and glamping grounds nearby.
To get to the Rainbow Zip Wire, take the KTX to Gimcheon Station. From there, you can take bus number 885-1 or a taxi to the zipline course. During the summer, the zipline course operates between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM and costs ₩40,000 per person. For package deals and more information, check out the official website.
Photo credit: Erin Honigman
What a better way to spend your summer vacation, than getting fit, right? It’s no surprise that rock climbing has become a popular hobby in South Korea. After all, 70 percent of the peninsula is covered by mountains. The great thing about joining a climbing gym is the weekend excursions! Most gyms take trips to various outdoor climbing spots, both real and artificial, giving you a great excuse to explore some fantastic places in South Korea.
If you have experience and gear, then you can venture off on your own, of course. Ulsan Metropolitan City in South Gyeongsang is a popular climbing spot, and you’ll find groups of climbers at Munsu Mountain each weekend. Munsu has a ton of climbing routes of various difficulties. If you’re not into climbing, you can also visit Munsu Temple or hike to the top for a beautiful view of the city.
To get to Munsu, take the KTX to Ulsan Station and hop in a taxi for about 25 minutes to the Munsu Mountain entrance.
Photo credit: Erin Honigman
If you’re really looking to escape from the bustling city life, try a quiet temple stay at one of South Korea’s many Buddhist Temples. Temple Stays are a great cultural experience and are designed to educate tourists about traditional Korean Buddhism. Typically, the programs last 2 days and 1 night. They not only give you the chance to experience monastic life, but they also offer various experiences.
For example, if you’re a foodie, maybe you’ve seen Korean Chef Jeong Kwan on an episode of Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table.’ Did you know you can take a temple food class with Jeong Kwan as part of a program at the beautiful Baekyangsa? The entire temple stay package costs 150,000 won and includes an overnight stay.
For more information on Baekyangsa’s program and other temple stays nationwide, check out the English website here.
Photo credit: HeyMer
If you prefer to just relax during your vacation, then it’s a perfect time to take advantage of South Korea’s coffee culture. There are infinite coffee shops throughout the country that come with fantastic photo opportunities. Try Ganjeolgot Cape in Ulsan, for example.
Ganjeolgot is famous for being the easternmost spot in Korea; you can see the first sunrise of the new year from here. Not only does Ganjeolgot offer a gorgeous view of the sea, but it also has a lighthouse and giant (functional) post box that are popular photo spots. There are a number of chain and independent coffee shops to choose from. If you plan to visit Ganjeolgot, make sure to stop at nearby Jinha beach as well.
To get to Ganjeolgot, take a bus to Ulsan intercity bus terminal, and hop on the 715 bus all the way to the cape.