LKL ponders some of the out-of-the-ordinary things you might want to do on holiday in Korea
In the Q&A which followed the Korean Tourism presentation and documentary screening at the Cultural Centre last week, some unusual holiday ideas were floated, all of which are achievable in Korea. Here are some of the suggestions, supplemented with one or two of my own.
- Industrial tourism: book in advance, and you can visit some of the state of the art steelworks and shipyards which have made the Korean economy the powerhouse that it is.
- Language tourism: come to Korea and take a crash course in the Korean language in one of the universities.
- Sporting tourism: come to Korea and go to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2010. Or go skiing in Pyeongchang, candidate city for the Winter Olympics twice over
- Celebrity and hallyu tourism: Visit your favourite entertainment company (like Jo did) in the hope of seeing your favourite K-pop star filming a commercial, or visit the places a particular TV Drama was filmed – the visitkorea website has some useful tips. Book tickets for the Pusan International Film Festival for the hottest films and the hottest stars.
- Biennale and expo tourism: people go to Venice for the Biennale: why not go to Kwangju for the contemporary art or design biennale, or the International Ceramics Biennale, based in Icheon, Yeoju and Kwangju. Or save up for the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu.
- Cold War tourism and tours behind bars: The DMZ is a familiar tourist trip. As an add-on, Skyscanner recommends Seodaemun prison for a different perspective on Korean history.
Of course, there are the more conventional holidays where you can do the museums, the world heritage sites, the glitzy nightlife, the shopping, the temple stays, the hiking. In fact, one of the problems with marketing Korea as a holiday destination is the variety of things on offer.
- Some more ideas for themed trips to Korea, courtesy of the KTO