Can’t make it to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang? There’s still plenty to see and do in Korea all year round. With the games just a few weeks away, PAX is taking a look at five unique Korea offerings available from Canadian tour operators.
(All photos courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization)
A unique cultural program to experience the life of Buddhist practitioners at traditional temples, a typical temple stay program begins the day at 4 AM, where guests participate in Buddhist services, a tea ceremony, making lotus lanterns, Zen meditation and Baru gongyang, a formal monastic meal ritual. Temple stays are also available in a one-day program, which includes temple tour, lotus flower making, Cham-Seon meditation, and a traditional Da-Seon tea ceremony.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)
Established on July 27, 1953 when the Armistice Agreement was signed during the Korean War, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a buffer between North and South Korea. The countries drew a truce line across the Korean Peninsula, from the mouth of the Imjingang River in the east, to the town of Goseong in the west. On either side of the truce line is a two kilometre-wide stretch of land where military activity is forbidden.
The DMZ extends largely from Gyeonggi-do to Gangwon-do, including seven different cities and smaller counties of Paju, Yeoncheon, Cheorwon, Hwacheon, Yanggu, Inje and Goseong.
Tourists are required to bring a legitimate form of identification and/or your passport when going to the DMZ. It reminded that photography is highly restricted, so please check before taking photographs.
Jeju Island is the largest volcanic island in Korea, officially called Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Among the island’s tourism draws (which are also featured on the UNESCO list) are Manjanggul Cave, the longest lava cave in the world, extending beyond 7.4 km; and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, a crater which resulted from an underwater explosion on a shallow shore 5,000 years ago, famous for its breathtaking view of the sunrise.
K-beauty refers to Korean Beauty, skincare and cosmetics products derived from Korea. In addition to skincare and makeup, spa, facial, manicure, hair styling, massage, and medical beauty are also categorized as Korean Beauty. Jjimjilbang, known as Korean sauna, is a traditional experience of Korean culture. It has a large public unisex areas, and various rooms with different temperature. Most jjimjilbangs are open 24 hours.
The traditional markets are characterized by their densely-packed small shops. Lots of street food, clothing, household items and much more can be purchased at affordable price. Examples of traditional markets include Namdaemun Market (the oldest market in Korea), Gwangjang Market, Busan Gukje Market, Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market (the largest traditional market in Jeju Island).