There is no doubt that going on a shopping spree in Myeongdong or visiting the gorgeous Namiseom Island should be on the list of everyone who is visiting the nation for the first time, but just in case you want to explore some of the less travelled paths as well, here are four places that very few foreigners ever get to see on their visit to South Korea.
The lush green island of Oedo Botania looks so puzzlingly perfect and beautiful that it’s hard to believe you are not looking at a fairy tale island from a children’s book. In fact, Oedo Botania is even known as the Fairy Tale Island! Although the land on the island was not conducive to vegetation, in the beginning, the authorities turned it into a marine botanical garden four decades ago. The only way to reach the place is by taking the ferry, and in spite of its beauty, it still is one of those places that very few foreign travelers ever visit.
A place near Seoul where old Korea and new Korea come together, Ikeseon Dong is practically hidden from most people by tall buildings, and unless you know that it exists and ask the locals about the place, it’s very hard to just chance upon it. Historically, it is a Hanok village, but it’s famous among the locals today as a place that has traditional, Korean teahouses, complimenting the modern cafes nearby. There are shops in Ikeseon Dong as well, which are occupied primarily by tarot card readers and handmade goods (soaps, incense, etc.) sellers.
It is a better option to book hotels in Incheon before actually reaching the place because the rooms fill up pretty fast in this busy and popular port-city. Once you arrive at your hotel though, don’t just limit yourself to the local sites, but go a bit further and explore the beautiful Wolmido Island, which lies at just a kilometer’s distance from the city’s coast. Getting there is easy as it’s connected to the city by the highway and once you do get there by bus, the peacefulness of the place is intoxicating. It’s hard to imagine that such a peaceful and gorgeous place exists so close to the busy city.
Boseong Green Tea Fields
The Boseong Green Tea Fields is a green tea plantation that runs for a whopping 1,384 acres. You will have to do quite a bit of hiking to get to the top of the trail and see the magnificent views on offer, but the views and the experience are more than worth it. As you can imagine, green tea is the theme here, so you will find everything in matcha flavor, which includes matcha powder, matcha latte, matcha ice cream and even matcha biscuits and matcha chocolates!
Not that this is a complete list of all secret places in South Korea that travelers miss out on, but these four should be enough for your next trip. After all, you will need to find time for some of the major attractions as well.