Why Korea Is One of Asia’s Most Underrated Destinations

Posted in: ASIA, SOUTH KOREA | 5

When we first wrote up our bucket list for Asia, we tended to focus on the big, well known countries and activities such as walking the Great Wall in China, stuffing ourselves full of delicious Japanese sushi and snorkelling in the Thai islands. (I also can’t leave out Katherine’s number one: visiting Harry Potter World in Japan, because that is a MUST do for us!)

But we quickly realized, like with most travels, there are so many more hidden destinations that warrant adding to your list and making some time for during your next adventure. One of these examples is Korea. We have been fortunate enough to get the chance to explore this amazing country and discovered that it is one of Asia’s most underrated destinations. Let me tell you why…

Why Korea is Underrated
Yakcheonsa Temple – Jeju Island
1. More times than not, foreigners are treated with tremendous respect

We’ve been examples of this first point too many times to keep count. From a young group of students walking us directly to the restaurant we couldn’t seem to find, to our taxi driver using his senior discount to get us tickets to an attraction at a cheaper rate, Koreans are very eager to make sure you enjoy your time spent in their country and will often go the extra mile to ensure you do.

Why Korea is Underrated
Green Tea Fields – Boseong
2. It hasn’t yet succumbed to tourist traps

Due to not being the first place to visit on many people’s list, tourism hasn’t quite taken off like it has around neighbouring Asian countries. For us, this is a plus! Although some things might be more difficult to find/get to because the country isn’t set up to accommodate foreigners at every stage of travel, it also gives you a much deeper connection to the place you’re visiting (as you are more likely to feel like a local instead of a bumbling tourist just passing through, taking your pictures and leaving). Also, there won’t be people hounding you to buy your 56th souvenir or food item in the last 10 minutes.

Why Korea is Underrated
Harbour – Wando
3. Transportation across the country is some of the best we’ve ever seen

We’ve touched on this in the past, but we feel it’s worth reiterating just because of how useful and helpful it is. Neither of us spoke a word of Korean before moving here and not once have we ended up in the wrong city or taken the bus in the wrong direction. There are times when we couldn’t find a store or restaurant (like I mentioned earlier) but usually it was because it had closed down or moved lol. The intercity buses and trains are affordable, punctual and suuuuuper comfy. The subway system is a snap to navigate and several airports are available to get into and out of the country.

Why Korea is Underrated
Cherry Blossom Trees in Full Bloom – Jinhae
4. It has a great variety of sites to see, things to do and places to go that is sure to satisfy everyone’s agenda

When we travelled to Iceland almost two years ago (time flies!), we knew that we would be mostly visiting and experiencing the beautiful nature the country is known for. Due to it’s population and location, it simply doesn’t have a big sprawling metropolis. If you are someone that travels to see the big cities of the world, we can’t really recommend visiting Reykjavik over London, for example (even though we still think you should go to Iceland regardless :P). Korea on the other hand has a good variety of places to see and things to do that should have no problems satisfying your entire travel party. Giant cities with lights, stores and life a plenty? Check. Quiet, calm country-side surrounded by mountains? Check. Even a resort vacation island with tropical vibes, you ask? Check.

Why Korea is Underrated
View of Namsan Tower – Seoul

I’m sure we could make this list hundreds of points long but these are just a handful of reasons why we think Korea is one of Asia’s most underrated destinations. It has easily opened our eyes and minds to even more possibilities to consider for our future travels. Never count anything out until you try it!


Have you been to Korea?

What are some countries you think are underrated destinations?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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Why Korea is Underrated

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Co-founder of travel and lifestyle blog World Abound, Jordon has a passion for discovering what the world has to offer. When he isn't on the road, he can be found on the ice playing hockey or slaying monsters in the latest video game.

5 Responses

  1. stephanie

    Interesting article. South Korea looks lovely, but for some reason it is not on the top of my list. And after reading this article it made me wonder. I think that is because I know so little about it; I would wonder like …is a VISA easy to get? How is the weather? Is it possible to go there on a budget? Is it safe for foreigners?
    stephanie recently posted…Travel guide: Ubud (Bali), IndonesiaMy Profile

    • World Abound

      Hey Stephanie!

      Thanks for your comment. We totally agree – so many people just don’t know much about Korea (and we were some of them not that long ago).

      In terms of visas, if you are a Canadian citizen and just want to visit you can be in the country for 180 days without a visa! Unfortunately we aren’t sure about the visa requirements for other nationalities but we can tell you that getting our work visa was a very efficient process. In terms of weather, Korea has 4 seasons so you can pick and choose what you’d like to experience. Our favourite season so far has been spring due to the amazing cherry blossoms (so pretty!!). We’ve also found Korea to be very budget friendly thanks to its inexpensive restaurants and cheap/efficient public transportation. Last but not least, Korea is extremely safe in our opinion. We’ve never felt uneasy here 🙂

      Hope this helps (and even persuades you to visit Korea). Please let us know if you have any other questions!


      Katherine and Jordon

  2. Tim B.

    I lived in Korea for almost 10 years and loved almost my whole time there. So many hidden little gems off the beaten track.

    • World Abound

      Agreed! Korea is an awesome place to live/work as an expat. We’re so sad that our time here is coming to an end soon but maybe we’ll be back one day 🙂

  3. Gaurav


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