Some 25 million South Koreans -- about half the population -- travel abroad at least once a year, but it’s safe to assume that most haven't seen all the beautiful sights within the country.
Seoul only takes up a mere 0.6 percent of South Korea's territory: here are 10 stunning photographs from the other 99.4 percent of the country that are all worth a visit.
Here are the flowery spring landscapes, sandy beaches, rocky mountains and quietly stunning historic sites on your new Korean travel bucket list. And just in case you were wondering, they are in no particular order. Feel free to add some suggestions of your own in the comment box at the end of the article.
1. Seongsan Sunrise Peak (성산일출봉)
Hydrovolcanic eruptions formed this majestic volcanic crater 5,000 years ago on Jeju Island.
A UNESCO world heritage site, the peak is famous for many things, including numerous rare plant species, but is best known for the magnificent sight of the sun rising over it (hence the name).
The climb up the peak’s northwest side ridge (its other sides are steep cliffs) to the 180-meter highest point takes 30 minutes.
1 Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 성산리 1번지)
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2. Ggotji Beach (꽃지 해수욕장)
Located four kilometers southwest from Anmyeon-eup, this cream-colored beach is the ideal place to go for a drive and watch the sun sink into the ocean between two large rock formations known as the Granny Rock and the Grandpa Rock.
Legend has it that the wife of a base commanding officer in the Shilla Dynasty became the Granny Rock when she died after waiting faithfully for her husband.
Seungeon 4 ri, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (충남 태안군 안면읍 승언4리)
3. Darangee Village (경상남도 남해 가천 다랭이마을)
Honghyeon-ri, Nam-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 남해군 남면 홍현리)
4. Gwang-An Bridge (부산 광안대교)
Kwang-An Bridge is not for pedestrians, but anyone can enjoy the spectacular night view of the bridge from afar; its state-of-the-art lighting system allows an exterior lighting of over 100,000 colors.
Suyeong-gu, Busan (부산광역시 수영구)
5. Kyeong-Wha Station, Jinhae (진해 경화역)
Cherry blossoms rain down on the train track and countless shutters click madly away as the train approaches the station under the cherry blossom tunnel.
The cherry blossom road at Yeojwa stream, (number 17 on this list) is also nearby for those who want more photo-ops.
Kyeongwha-dong, Jinhae-gu, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 창원시 진해구 경화동)
6. Upo Marsh (우포늪)
At 2,314 kilometers squared, Upo Marsh is the largest inland wetland in Korea and thrice the size of Yeouido. Formed over 140 million years ago, the marsh is home to 1,500 plants and animals, some of which are endangered species.
Visitors can bike or walk around this beautiful natural swamp, where migratory birds are known for flying low.
Daedae-ri, Yueo-myeon, Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 창녕군 유어면 대대리)
7. Jeungdo Salt Farm (전남 신안 증도 염전)
This treasure island (artifacts from the Song Dynasty have actually been found at the bottom of the sea) is famous for its clear seawater, soft beach, and salt farms.
The magical sight of huge salt farms is not the only spectacle that can be found here; the mud flat leisure town allows tourists to experience and observe the marine life of the mud flat.
Jeungdo-myeon, Sinan-gun, Jeollanam-do (전남 신안군 증도면)
8. Gongryong Ridge, Seorak Mountain (설악산 신선대 공룡능선)
Physical fitness and mountain climbing experience are prerequisites to viewing these curious peaks in the Seorak mountain range.
Thought to be shaped like the spine of a dinosaur (hence the name, "Dinosaur Ridge"), this rocky ridge offers spectacular views of both inner and outer Seorak.
The climb is no picnic: the peak elevation of Gongryong Ridge, the most popular ridge route in the range, is approximately 1,200 meters.
Goseong-gun/Yangyang-gun/Inje-gun, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 속초시 고성군, 양양군, 인제군)
9. Uleung Island Seaside Road (울릉도 해안도로)
Uleung Island, nicknamed "Mysterious Island", is a popular weekend getaway spot for Seoulites.
Curious rock formations, shore cliffs and numerous waterfalls adorn the island’s Seaside Road.
Anyone planning to walk or bike their way around Uleung Island should make sure they set aside enough time, as they will inevitably stop countless times to admire the glorious view.
Uleung-eup, Uleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경북 울릉군 울릉읍)
10. Seopjikoji, Jeju Island (제주도 섭지코지)
First-time visitors to Jeju island need to plan their trip wisely, as the Jeju bucket list is long and varied. One of the musts on the list is Seopjikoji, a promontory on the coast famous for its serenity and romance.
Yellow rape blossoms fill the field in the spring, creating a colorful contrast with the red soil and cerulean sky.
The best photographs of Sungsan Sunrise Peak (the first item on this list) can be taken here at Seopjikoji.
The scenery of Seopjikoji has also been captured by several Korean films and dramas, including "All In," one of the first Hallyu dramas starring Lee Byung-hun and Song Hye-kyo.
261 Seopjikoji-ro, Sungsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 섭지코지로 261)
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