Every country has its best kept secrets—and Korea is no different. You’ve probably visited Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Hongdae, which are frequently promoted by K-dramas; but have you heard of ‘Dinosaur Island’, tried getting lost in a maze, or visited the border separating North and South Korea? Here are some unexplored places in Korea that are commonly overlooked by the typical tourists!
1. Sa-do Island
Sa-do Island, better known as Dinosaur Island, is one of the few places in the world with preserved dinosaur tracks scattered throughout the entire island. Get away from the bustling city life and escape to Sa-do Island: a quiet, peaceful and tiny island located south of Yeosu.
Don’t be alarmed if you realise you’re the only tourist wandering about on this island — Sa-do Island is one of the least visited places in Korea. In fact, feel free to swim in their crystal clear waters!
With only one convenience store, one restaurant and a couple of minbaks (low-priced hotel) around the island, you’re advised to bring your own food, in case any of the stores decide to close for the day.
2. Gimnyeong Maze Park (Jeju Island)
Your childhood dreams are finally coming true — Gimnyeong Maze Park is a real life-size maze that you can actually get lost in, instead of going around in circles with a paper and pen!
The cautious adventurers usually enter the maze with a map, but where’s the fun in that? For our daring explorers, we challenge you to get out of the maze without any help from physical or Google Maps. Some visitors have been known to spend up to 50 minutes lost in the maze, so remember to ring the bell of victory once you successfully find your way out!
p/s. Watch out for spider-webs while you’re walking! We wouldn’t want spiders weaving webs in our face now, would we?
>> Go on a One Day Eastern Jeju Island Tour to see the best of Jeju Island!
Not exactly hidden, but still a gem in its own charming way.
Situated near Incheon International Airport, check out Incheon’s Chinatown if you have time to spare before your flight!
Since the opening of Incheon Port in 1883, this place has flourished with many Chinese restaurants offering visitors mouth-watering and palatable food, harbouring the many flavours of China.
It’s a sin to not savour jjajangmyeon in Incheon’s Chinatown! A Korean-Chinese dish created by the early Chinese immigrants as a cheap and simple means to fill their stomach after a day of labour, jjajangmyeon is now presented differently — the noodles are mixed well with seafood, pork and a variety of vegetables in milk soup with chicken broth. Mashitda!
Tip: Take the Arex Express Train from Seoul to Incheon to shorten your travelling time.
Located right in the middle of this bustling city, Inwangsan Mountain is a little sanctuary where nature, history, culture and religion come together. A quiet mountain perfect to get an incredible view of Seoul and some exercise after all that yum yum in your tum tum.
Surrounded by the Seoul Fortress Wall, Buddhist temples are scattered throughout the mountain as well as Shamanistic shrines, where exorcism rites and healing services are being held. As spooky as the shamans’ spiritual chants may sound, the breathtaking view allows you to forget how spooky as the shamans’ spiritual chants and the hike up the mountain is not demanding at all, at 338 metres high.
Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
Presenting to you the world’s most dangerous and militarised border on Earth — Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). It is a buffer zone between the North and South Korea, dividing the Korean Peninsula into half. Cross the buffer zone and be prepared to be shot.
The DMZ is a strip of land running at a length of 250 kilometres and about 4 kilometres wide, acting as a meeting point between both nations. Negotiations are usually taken place in a small Joint Security Area.
Because of the high security at the DMZ, the only way you can access the area is following a Korean Demilitarized Zone and Joint Security Area Panmunjom Tour.
You’ve probably heard about this place but never had the chance (or guts) to visit. But fret not, so long as you stick with your local tour guide and not wander to any restricted areas, you’ll be able to safely explore the mysterious relationship between the North and the South, and even catch a glimpse of what North Korea looks like if you’re lucky.
If you can’t get enough of South Korea, plan your itinerary with KKday today!