Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top Experiences in Seoul & Jeju Island

For all those who are wondering what to do on their trip to Korea, here is a list of top things to do in Seoul - the capital city of South Korea; and on Jeju Island - a destination offering gorgeous beaches, picturesque scenery, inactive volcanoes and other fascinating natural wonders. 

Top Experiences in Seoul


1.    Experience Royal Palace Life


Royal palaces like Gyeongbok Palace, Gyeonghui Palace, Changgyeong Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine are some of the must-see tourist attractions in Seoul. Explore the palace grounds, wear the Korean traditional costume of a royal guard, and participate in the guard-changing ceremony – a truly cultural experience!

2.    Bukchon Hanok Village


Take a leisurely walk admiring the beautiful traditional hanok houses in this unique village. Some of these houses are opened as guesthouses and you could choose to stay there for a night to experience traditional Korean lifestyle. Partake of the amazing array of local street food whilst you are there.

3.    Lovelock on N Seoul Tower


Located at the top of Namsan Mountain, the N Seoul Tower offers a bird’s eye-view of the city. Its main attractions include multi-coloured digital art projected onto the tower at night, a Digital Observatory, a Roof Terrace, the HanCook Restaurant and the n.Grill Restaurant. The Roof Terrace is popular for its "Locks of Love” where couples write their names on a lovelock and add it to the thousands of padlocks attached to the fence.

4.    Han River Cruise 


Enjoy a fine dining experience whilst admiring the scenery and the live performances on board the cruise on the Han River.

5.    Shopping & Nightlife 


Seoul is one of the most lively and dynamic nightlife capitals of the world. Even after midnight, throngs of people wander the streets in major shopping districts and popular downtown areas. The top attractions are Myeongdong Street - one of the primary shopping areas of Seoul; Dongdaemun Market for late-night shopping; and the Hongik University (Hongdae) neighborhood with its concentration of nightclubs. Enjoy local cuisine including Korean street food and fine dining at restaurants which are open long into the night.

Top Experiences on Jeju Island


1.    Hike up holy Mt. Halla


Hike up Mt. Halla which rises 1950m above sea level. Designated as a bio-reserve area by UNESCO, it offers breathtaking views of the island. Don’t miss the wonderful crater and lake at the peak of Mt. Halla. 

2.    Seongsan Sunrise Peak


Experience the mesmerizing beauty of Jeju Island from Seongsan Sunrise Peak. The climb up the peak’s northwest side ridge to the 180-meter highest point takes 30 minutes. A perfect spot to watch the sunrise with your loved ones! 

3.    Explore the Parks 


Visit Jeju Stone Park inspired by Jeju's legendary history about Grandmother Seolmundae who created Jeju Island and the stones of Obaek Janggun (the Five Hundreds Generals). Also visit Jeju Mini Land to take pictures with iconic buildings around the world in miniature sizes, or get lost in the labyrinth in Gimnyeong Maze Park.

4.    Relax at the beaches 


Experience the golden sands and blue waters of Jungmun Beach during the summers. At Hamdeok Beach, enjoy a banana boat ride and other leisure activities. Visit Hado Beach located in Gujwa-eup for its views of traditional fishing boats at sea and its amazingly clean and serene beach. 

5.    Partake of the Jeju Island Cuisine


The regional food of Jeju Island, which is located to the southwest of the Korean peninsula, is quite distinct compared to food from mainland Korea. Enjoy the traditional cuisine which is characterized by the spare use of seasonings to highlight the natural flavours of each dish’s ingredients.

Modern Day Flemish Masters

Travel with Rubens, Bruegel and van Eyck to their homeland Flanders, where art and creativity continues to prevail.

Indeed, Flanders is a joy for gourmands, fashionistas, and music lovers – with its fabulous food and fashion, delectable chocolates and boutique beers, edgy design and diamonds culture, and scintillating festivals all year long. Such delights are out of this world, really and they all originate in the DNA of Flanders: where state of the art craftsmanship could give rise to artistic talents such as van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens, and where true Flemish Masters create masterpieces for the enjoyment of every traveller, day and again!

There is no better way to sample Flanders than by leisurely enjoying a local craft beer on one of the terraces of a café that has been run by the same family across many generations. A Trappist, brewed by monks, still today, following the same recipe for centuries, is like a journey back in time for your taste buds. Back to Rubens' day, for instance, as you sample Seefbier. Seefbier has been around since the 17th century and was given a new lease of life in 2012 thanks to a big crowdfunding campaign. The brewery of this beer is open to visitors at the Noorderpershuis at the Eilandje in Antwerp.

Antwerp today is the diamond capital of the world with approximately 80% of all rough diamonds traded here. But the history of diamond trading goes back many centuries, to which the DIVA, Antwerp’s exclusive diamond experience centre bears witness. Also, the painted portraits of the day depict the sparkling wealth of the bourgeoisie, as they posed in fashionable and lavish costumes, draped in jewels, pearls and diamonds. Many of those precious valuables were lost, but a necklace with 25 cut rock crystals set in gold, and 25 roses decorated with red and white enamel, can still be seen at the Rubens House.

As one of the Top 10 most stylish destinations in the world, Antwerp is also a shopping paradise for fashionistas. With its conceptual and avant-garde taste, world-renowned Fashion Museum (MOMU), and constant supply of new talent from the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy in Antwerp, the city is the centre of modern day Flemish Masters of Fashion.

And then there are the mouth-watering chocolate delicacies prepared with an immaculate sense of detail in taste and texture – the Belgian chocolate. It is the “maître chocolatier” – a “master” in the true sense of the word – who continues to refine and reinvent the age-old tradition of chocolate making that has put Belgium in the mind and heart of chocolate lovers worldwide.

Indeed, this - and so much more - is state of the art craftsmanship that any traveller to Belgium should indulge in.

So, on your journey to Flanders, home of the Flemish Masters, you come to realize that it is not about art alone – it is about an experience of the culture, cuisine, design, landscape, and lifestyle of Flanders and its people. That is true art – the art of living!

To partake in this wholesome soul-stirring journey, visit www.flemishmasters.com