Top Places To Visit Outside Seoul, South Korea [Part 1]

Top-Places-To-Visit-Outside-Seoul-South-Korea

High fashion, amazing sceneries, colorful culture, delectable food, friendly locals, and home of tech giants – these and many more wonderful things, make Seoul, South Korea a viable tourist must see in Asia. But the capital is not the only place that makes the country worth traveling. With the country’s many colorful cities and majestic islands, there are still a lot of explorable places that you need to visit outside Seoul. So for your wanderlust hearts, here are the best places to visit outside Seoul, South Korea, and the amazing activities that you can do while visiting them.

 

Busan

busan

Busan is the second largest city in the country. It is a port city that is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque mountains, relaxing hot springs, and beautiful temples. It is a laid back destination that will give you that ultimate relaxing travel experience while enjoying numerous exciting tourism attractions. It is also highly accessible. If you are in Seoul, you can get to Busan via bus, train or even via plane

 

Things to do in Busan, South Korea

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae, which means “Sea and Clouds” in Korean, is the largest beach in the country. The beach is famous for its fine white sand and dramatic seascape. There are a lot of water activities and recreations that you can do while you are here. There are also events and festivals being held here throughout the year. The beach is usually packed with tourists and locals during the summer season usually around June to August. Along the beach, there is also an ultra high-tech submarine theme aquarium that you can visit.

 

Beomeosa Temple

This 1,300 year-old temple, is the largest, one of the oldest, and most historical temple in the country. It’s famous four-pillared entrance gate, Jogyemun, is often considered the best entrance gate among Korean temples. The temple is home for a variety of amazing national treasures, cultural properties, and relics that are concrete evidences of the colorful Korean culture.

 

Taejongdae

It is one of the most notable tourist spots in Busan. Its remarkable rock beach is very popular among tourists. Aside from the mesmerizing rock formation here, you will also enjoy the amazing scenery of the vast sea. There is also a lighthouse that you should not miss. At the top of the lighthouse, there is an observation deck for you to have a closer look of the whole ocean.

 

Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream

The Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream is one of the amazing things you will want to see in Busan. It is the world’s largest flat fountain. Your eyes will marvel at the dancing water and fascinating lights. There is a water and light show every night that you can enjoy with your loved ones, families, or friends.

 

Heosimcheong / Hurshimchung Spa

If you are tired from all the traveling and looking for the best place for a relaxing spa or hot spring, Heosimcheong / Hurshimchung Spa is the place to go to. It is one of the largest spas in Asia. They have strawberry milk-filled baths, saunas, pools, and outdoor spa facility that you can enjoy. It is so big that it can accommodate over 3,000 guests.

 

Jeju Island

Because of its beautiful beaches, inactive volcanoes, and tropical climate, Jeju is known to be the “Hawaii” of Korea. Aside from this, it’s marvelous natural wonders, also makes it the honeymoon capital of the country. Just like other tourist must see places outside Seoul, Jeju is also highly accessible via plane or regular buses, and ferries.

 

Things to do in Jeju, South Korea

Mt. Hallasan

If you love hiking, Mt. Hallasan is your dream trek mountain in South Korea. It is the highest mountain in the country that is located at the center of Jeju Island. Even though it is the highest mountain, it is very easy to climb. You can easily finish the climb within the day. There is also a scenic trail that you can visit. In here, you can enjoy the majestic view of over 6,000 species of plants. At the peak, you can see the beautiful crater lake and the whole picturesque Jeju Island. A dormant volcano, Mt. Hallasan has been listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site.

 

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

If you are on Jeju, go chaste this breathtaking waterfall. Also known as the “Pond of God”, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall is a three-sectioned waterfall. The place also brims with different flora and fauna, as well as rare and unique ferns and plants.

 

Manjanggul Cave

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Manjanggul Cave is one of the finest and longest tunnel cave in the whole world. It houses a variety of interesting natural formations like long lava stalagmites and lava tube tunnels. You will be amazed at the different rock formations that are being illuminated by soft colored lights.

 

Interesting Museums and Theme Parks

There are a lot of interesting museums that you can visit on Jeju Island. If you are a die-hard teddy bear fan, you will be amazed with the thousands collection of different kinds of teddy bears from all over the world. From handmade, to the smallest up to the historical teddy bear figures like Mona Lisa, they have a wide variety of teddy bear displays both kids and adults will enjoy. But if you are an adult looking for an unconventional theme park, you will be amazed with the Loveland Themed Park. With focused on sexuality and eroticism, the park is exclusive only to adults age 18 and above. From phallic statues, labia figurines, up to different sex positions, your imagination will go crazy as you visit this controversial theme park.

 

Korean-Drama Film Locations

If you love watching Korean films or TV dramas, you don’t want to miss visiting some of the famous shooting locations in Jeju Island. These places are not that hard to find. These locations are highlighted on tourist maps. They are also included in some of the major travel tours and itineraries.

 

Daegu

Even though it is not as popular as Busan and Jeju, Daegu is the third largest city in South Korea.

Just like the other areas in the country, there are a lot of amazing places and activities that you can do in this city. It is also highly accessible. You can go around traveling the area and visiting its popular tourist spots via public transport

 

Things to do in Daegu, South Korea

Mabjeong Farming Village

If you want to visit and experience historical Korean culture, you need to visit Mabjeong Village. It is an old, historical preserved farming village in Daegu. It is like a museum on which its walls are filled with murals. With these murals, you can see and feel the old Korean way of living. There are still local farmers living in the area. So aside from the old Korean styled homes, you can also interact with the friendly locals.

 

Hanok Village

The Hanok Village features old Korean houses. In here you can have an up close experience of the open styled, simple houses of Koreans in the past. Unlike the Mabjeong Village, Hanok Village does not have any residents. It is just a tourist spot to feature the rich and colorful Korean culture.

 

Mt. Apsan

If you want to see the big city of Daegu, you need to go to Mt. Apsan. You can hike the lovely mountain, or you can simply ride a cable car and watch the whole amazing scenery in the city. It is also a lovely place to watch the sunrise and sunset.

 

Dongwasa Temple

There are a lot of temples in Daegu. But if you are traveling in the city, you don’t want to miss out the infamous giant standing Buddha. It is very impressive and one of the main tourist spots in Daegu. The place also houses a Buddhist temple in which they hold lantern festival during Buddha’s birthday.

 

Seomun Market

As the largest market in the city, Seomun Market is rich in history. It is one of the three main markets during the Joseon Dynasty. Aside from that, it also houses everything that you will ever need – from clothing, accessories, dried seafoods, crafts, household goods, and many more. But the best part of visiting this place is its delectable and affordable Korean food.

 

These are just some of the many cities that you can visit outside, Seoul South Korea. There are still other places that you don’t want to miss. So watch out for them in the next blog.

 

Happy roving!

5 Things You Need To Know To Survive The Mysterious Chislehurst Caves

chislehurst caves

One of the interesting and scariest trips that you can experience while roving around in England, is taking a detour in the mysterious and deepest caves of Chislehurst.

 

Located in the southeastern part of London, England, Chislehurst Caves is a man made labyrinth of more than six hectares situated below the woodlands. Each tunnel in the cave holds the rich history of Druids, Romans and Saxons. It serves as a shelter for refugees during World War 2. And today, the cave has become a popular attraction not only to locals but also to foreigners.

 

Just like any typical cave, it is filled with darkness and mystery. So if you are feeling courageous and want to test your fear level, Chislehurst Caves is the right travel challenge for you.

 

But before you unearth the mysteries and the dark secrets of the caves, here are some amazing things that you need to know and that would help you have the most exciting and thrilling cave experience:

 

There is total darkness.

Since caves are enclosed areas, except that there is total darkness on some parts of the cave. Travellers should carry a lamp before going inside. Torches are also allowed. However, only experienced tour guides are allowed to carry them. Improper handling of the  torch can be quite painful when inadvertently shine in people’s eyes.

 

It’s a bit chilly.

There is 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature inside the cave all year round. So it is a bit chilly during the summer and warmer during winter. So you might want to wear appropriate attire when you decided to take the cave tour. The inside has also a rough floor so visitors are advised to wear proper foot attire. Avoid stilettos or any other high heeled shoes that will give you difficulty in walking.

 

It’s a mysterious maze.

Even though it is a man-made labyrinth, there are still other undiscovered caves inside. That is why, travellers are not allowed to enter without a guide. Tour guides here are well-experienced and they know the place very well. So travellers are always advised to follow their tour guides and avoid going anywhere. There has been no reported lost here, so don’t be the first one.

 

It’s reputably haunted.

Chislehurst Caves Carving

Chislehurst Caves Carving © Kent Atttractions

Chislehurst Caves is not for the faint-hearted. It has a rich history of smuggling and murder during the Victorian era of Druids, Romans and Saxons. So expect tour guides to tell haunted stories every time.

Actually, these haunted stories may have the tendency to be true. Some visitors, even tour guides, claim to have heard or experienced some unusual activity or presence while inside the cave. Real or not, you can’t expect a totally dark and chilly cave to not have a little mystery and hauntedness. Just don’t let this affect you in discovering the mysteries inside.

 

It is a very long labyrinth.

Chislehurst Caves is a 22 miles (35km) series of tunnels and passageways. The walk tour inside lasts approximately forty five to fifty minutes. There are no bathrooms inside, but there are areas where your tour group can take a rest for some minutes.

If you are looking for a unique way to spend a holiday vacation or thinking of an unusual family or friend trip, discovering the caves of Chislehurst might be the one you are looking for. So pack up. The dark Chislehurst caves are waiting for you.

 

Keep roving!

 

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Why Camel Ride In Uluru Is The Best

camel ride uluru

Uluru, also known as the Ayers Rock, is a gigantic sandstone formation stand in the world. It is one of the most recognizable natural landmarks in Australia and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from its humongous size, Uluru is known to be one of the tourist spots in Central Australia. Tourists marvel at the different springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings that can be found around the formation. But the camel ride in Uluru is one of the exciting activities that is popular with locals and foreign travelers. And if you are traveling to central Australia, you don’t want to miss the chance of experiencing the best camel ride in the world. If you are not convinced, here are the reasons why you need to jump on to these awesome humpy creatures.

 

Camels are natural Uluru residents

You might be thinking that tour operators used camels as travel gimmicks  to lure travelers. But in reality, camels are natural residents of Uluru rocks. They’ve been here for more than centuries. Because camels consume less water, they’ve also become a good transportation means around the area.

 

Other exciting activities

Aside from camel ride, Uluru is also famous for its marvelous changing appearance in different light. The sandrock formation changes in color once hit by the sun’s rays. Sometimes it can be seen as fiery orange while sometimes it looks browner in appearance. The changing of light just adds up to its beauty.

 

Uluru is a holy place

Anangu tribe an aboriginal people of the Central Australian desert considered Uluru as a holy place. As local residents of the area, they believe that the rock was formed by the activities of ancestral beings during the creation period. So roving here can be considered an eventful sacred travel activity.

 

Travel, relax and unwind

There are other relaxing activities that you can try while traveling in Uluru. Ayers Rock Resort, the only accommodation option for travelers that is close to the national park, offers dining and luxurious spa treatments and other activities to locals and foreign visitors. You can also have a romantic dinner here while watching the sunset or the sunrise here or watch the changing colors of the rock formation.

 

Climbing Uluru is an option.

It may be an option, but Anangu, or the aboriginal tribe here encourage people not to climb or do any hiking activity here. This is because they don’t want to be responsible for any deaths in the area, which is understandable because accidents happen occasionally in the area. The best thing to do, aside from climbing, is to get up close to Uluru and just explore the base while riding a camel.

 

Uluru is indeed a great place for a camel ride. But with its beauty and natural appeal, there is so much more things that you can experience here. Travelling here is not just best for solo travellers, couples or group of friends. It is also a good getaway for families and retirees. So don’t plan your vacation watching camels at the zoo. Ride or fly down here and have a personal and up close experience with camels and the amazing huge sandstone formation of Australia.

 

Happy roving everyone!

 

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Interesting Gobi Desert Tours That You Need To Experience

gobi desert tours: gobi desert

Mongolia may not be one of the places that would pop up into your mind when you think about traveling. But despite of its elusive popularity, Mongolia is one of the most fascinating places that you can go to especially if you are looking for interesting sceneries and unforgettable adventure. And one of the best things that you can try in this vast and rugged country is wanderlusting in the Gobi Desert.

 

Aside from being one of the largest deserts in the world, Gobi is also the most notable place in the Mongol Empire as it is the location of several important cities. It is not only rich in culture and history, but it also brims with exciting adventure and tours.

 

So if you are looking for a crazy nomadic adventure, here are Gobi desert tours that you need to try:

 

Sand Dunes of Khongoryn Els (Singing Dunes)

gobi desert tours: khankhoriin els

Image by Blue Peak

If you are a trek freak, you don’t want to miss climbing the soft, fine sands of the Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes. It is the largest and the most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia that you must see once you are in the Gobi Desert. If you think climbing a mountain is hard, wait till you try climbing a sand dune. Your step will get stuck in the soft sands that seems to pull you down as you try to climb. But every step is worth it once you reach the top and witness the marvelous sunrise.

 

Oasis of Bayankhongor Aimag

If you got tired of travelling in the vast desert, the small, isolated oasis in the southern part of the Gobi, known as the Ekhiingol, is a must see sanctuary that you don’t want to miss. This small oasis in the barren desert is used to be an important agricultural research station. But now, it has become the home of almost 20 nomadic families. Locals grow plants and vegetables for a living. But export and import of products are nearly impossible because there are no flights here and the capital is 400 km far.

 

Wildlife of Southern Altai

gobi desert tours: wildlife of southern altai

Image by Severin Stalder

Southern Altai is the host of rare indigenous Gobi desert animals. Some of the wildlife you can find here includes the Przewalski horse, the world’s last wild horse; the Gobi bear; the golden eagle; and Bactrian two-humped camels. If you are coming during winter you might see some snow leopards roaming around here.

 

Dino Eggs at the Flaming Cliffs

Named because of its beautiful flaming colors, Flaming Cliffs is said to be the place where the very first dinosaur egg in Mongolia was discovered. There’s no more dino eggs here, but you will still be in awe with the spectacular view.

gobi-desert-tours-flaming-cliffs

These are just some of the must see Gobi desert tours that you must not miss once you travel in Mongolia. But before travelling here, we have a few reminders that we want you to remember, for a safer and more exciting travel.

 

Here are few reminders about Gobi Desert tours:

  • Make sure to arrange accommodation and tours with trusted travel agencies. You may arrange your tours with your chosen hotel in Mongolia.

 

  • Van renting is also an option when travelling to the Gobi Desert. However, beware of drunk drivers. There are a number of reported cases of drivers who are often drunk when touring visitors. There are also some who steals and try to rip off travelers.

 

  • Check the weather before travelling to help you prepare. There is an extreme cold during winter that usually starts as early as September

 

  • Research and check out some travel reviews to help you decide. Be aware of the culture and know some basic information about the location to avoid any conflicts.

 

  • Lastly, don’t hold back on trying all the wonderful activities in the area. Have fun and enjoy the trip.

 

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Keep roving!

How To Turn Your Climbing Mount Fuji Adventure From Blah Into Fantastic

climbing-mount-fuji

Hiking Japan’s highest peak can give you an exhilarating rush of emotions. Maybe that why it has always been an iconic and popular climb for both locals and travellers alike.  Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner hiker, climbing Mt. Fuji should be on your bucket list.

 

The Reason to Climb Mt. Fuji

Seeing the sunrise at Japan’s highest peak is an awe-inspiring experience. There’s just something that touches your soul when you see the orange glow of the sun, and the next moment you realize that the hike is truly worth it.

In order to see the sunrise, most people hike up to the 7th or 8th station, rest, eat, and sleep before continuing on to the summit just in time to see the sunrise. The sunrise during  summer is around 4:30 am and 5:00 am.

Climbing Mount Fuji: Sunrise

Image by Luna Tan, Life to Reset

 

When To Go For A Hike

Official climbing season for Mt. Fuji is usually around early July to mid-September. This is when all the mountain huts along the trails open for business. And since it’s summer break for kids, the crowds during the official climbing season can be quite massive.

To get away from the worst of the crowds I’d recommend going around early July during the weekdays before school lets out. The only downside of this is the unpredictable weather during the early summer in Japan. But it’s worth a try compared to the throngs of people you’ll see yourself fighting with in order to reach the summit and pick a good spot to marvel the beauty of the view from there. Trust me, crowds and a good spot at the peak do not go well together.

 

What Travel Bloggers Have To Say

How I Almost Died Climbing Mt. Fuji

This is a unique blog post by Pete R., founder of Bucketlistly. He went on to climb Mt. Fuji during the super typhoon Neoguri, which is really dangerous and not something I recommend you to do. But nonetheless, despite the danger of climbing during a typhoon, Pete reached the peak.

 

climbing mount fuji: luna tan, Life to Reset

Luna Tan of Life to Reset

I Climbed Mt. Fuji

Luna Tan, the blogger behind Life to Reset, went on a hike with six other friends. Her blog recounts on why the hike should be experienced with a bunch of friends. She and her friends hiked on a perfect weather, which she described as “not too hot, no rain, and just the perfect amount of sunshine.” The stunning photos on her blog would make you wish you were with them on the climb.

 

Climbing Mt. Fuji: How One Dream Came True

This blog narrates the experience of hiking the mountain as a husband and wife team. Igor and his wife Dina had Mt. Fuji on their bucket list. On this blog, Igor tells us that he became fascinated with Japan after the internet boom and chatting with a guy from Japan was considered “fun and cool”. That cemented his Japan trip on his bucket list which he already made a reality.

 

Climbing Mount Fuji and Being Defeated

Travel blogger Becki, the girl behind Borders of Adventure, climbed solo. What a brave woman! On her blog, she recounts how she planned to hike to the summit but instead, she was assaulted with severe altitude sickness that stop her from doing so. Her blog is a good reminder on what we should do in case we experience the same thing as her. With the steep climb of Mt. Fuji, it is inevitable for some people to experience altitude sickness. Give her blog a read and give yourself a plan B in the odd case you experience altitude sickness.

climbing mount fuji: Becki, Borders of Adventure

Travel Blogger Becki of Borders of Adventure

 

Important Reminders

  • Money

Bring money. You need money to use the washrooms along the hike. Though the washrooms are not the most sanitary ones, it is what it is.

 

  • Guide

Do you need a guide to hike the mountain? That is your choice. The pro side of hiring a guide is that you have help acquiring huts as well a translator when ordering food. Some of the menus are not translated in English. And if you don’t know Japanese cuisine well enough you might have a hard time distinguishing what it is they cater to you. But then again, I’m pretty sure there are some kind Japanese people willing to help translate for you even without a guide.

 

climbing mount fuji: huts

Image by Pete, Bucketlistly

 

 

  • Huts

The huts are not really the best place to stay, since the sleeping areas are crammed together in order to accommodate as much people as possible. But they’re the only place you can stay for a rest before going onwards to the summit. The huts are always crowded, so it is always a good idea to make a reservation beforehand.  A reservation without a meal would cost you around 5000 yen, and a reservation with meals would cost you 7000 yen.

 

  • Food

Food prices are exorbitant! So better bring some snacks and water with you if you can. Though I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a meal just because of the expensive price. I actually recommend you to eat when you need it. Eating would help you regain some energy for the rest of your hike. And trust me, you need all the energy you can get if you’re aiming for the summit.

 

 

 

  • Hiking sticks

Your hiking sticks can be stamped along the way, for a fee of course! In my opinion, it is the best souvenir you can get from your hike. Though sending a postcard at the highest post office in Japan is awesome as it sounds, I still prefer the hiking sticks. They’re like a trophy you can display after you conquer Mt. Fuji.

climbing mount fuji: hiking sticks

Image by Luna Tan, Life to Reset

 

Hiking Mt. Fuji can seem deceptively easy even for a beginner. But don’t make a rookie mistake dear rover. Make sure to check out this article by japan-guide.com that list all of the things you need in order to prepare.

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Safe travels Rover!