Have you heard that more than 60% the entire surface of South-Korea are mountains? No wonder, that there are so many hikers, rock climbers and mountain lovers in this country.
During the last months, I had many chances to go hiking and climbing, because the weather was just right for it. On my trips, I could not only enjoy the stunning landscape of Korean mountains, but also gain a lot of new experiences and knowledges about Korea. Each step was worthy!
If you’re also interested in hiking in South-Korea, please read this post. It’s a guide for your orientation while preparing for your trip.
Remember back in May, when I first arrived in Korea, I was really amazed by the Latern festival to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday. I didn’t know that Buddhism was that common here. Well, the information online said that Buddism already came to the Korean peninsula (at that time in Goguryeo-Kingdom) from China in the 4th Century AD. It spread out through other Kingdoms and shaped it own form. Today, about 15% Korean still believe and practice Buddha’s teaching. That’s why you can still find and visit a lot of Buddhistish temples, statues, arts and events in Korea.
While visiting the Jogyesa in Seoul, I ran into a sign advertising for “Templestay” program. Because of my curiosity about the Korean Buddism, I’ve booked a two-night-three-day stay at the Naksan-Temple, to be able to experience more and also relax.
Traveling to foreign countries you can see a lot of new interesting things, check in in many awesome locations, meet new great people, enjoy new kind of food and gain a lot of new experiences. That‘s why I really love traveling. But before you get to the destination of your trip, you need to organise many other things, too, e.g. apply for a visa, think about how to get cash, purchasing a sim card, take a cab, etc.
In this post, I’m gonna share with you some good things to know upon your arrival, that might be helpful for you first visit to South-Korea.
1. Visa for Korea
You may need a visa, maybe not to enter South-Korea depending on your nationality, purpose and length of stay. The best information about that is available on the official page of Visa Korea Portal .
Please check it before you plan to come.
2. Immigration and Customs 👮🏼
2.1 Filling the forms
So, now everything is booked and you’re on the airplane ✈️ to Korea. Before landing, you may receive an Arrival card as well as a Traveler declaration form (one per group) from the flight attendants. They both need to be filled out and handed to officers when you pass the immigration.
When travel in South Korea, you may have seen the high-speed train KTX – Korean Train eXpress. This is a very convenient, safe and super fast way to travel on long distance that you would love.
KTX is operated by the Korean Railroad Corporation, designed and working based on the French technology that is applied for the TGV and can drive up to 350km/h. So for such a long route as from Seoul to Busan, which is around 400km with car, it only need about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Additionally, for this connection, you can choose any of the 60 (!) different trains that go per day. Super convenient!
The ticket price depends on the departure time, but is quite affordable. The price for a economy class is some what between 50.000~60.000₩ (~40-50€) from Seoul to Busan incl. Seat reservation. Children under 13 years old will have discount.
Foreign tourists, who want to travel a lot through the country, can purchase a Korail Pass to save more money.
The train cabinet is clean, equipped with Air Conditioner and is despite the high speed, relatively quiet.
Earlier (around 2nd c. BC till mid. 4th c. AC) Buyeo was a small Kingdom in the west of Korea. Later on (538-660 AC) it became the capital of Baekje – one of the there Korean Kingdoms. Today, Buyeo is a county in South-Chungcheong-Province, which locates approx. 300km in the south of Seoul.
In every July, a Lotus festival is held here, at the Gungnamji pond. Beside the pretty flowers, wonderful smell, you will find a lot of interesting activities as well as tasty food here.