Recovering Solipsist. South African. Traveller. Becoming...
Gwangju, South Korea
Here's my perspective on Korea (I've only been living here for 18 months & still need to see tons more!). I hope it helps / kickstarts your thinking. Seoul, though crowded, is a must-see -- if only to give you an accurate idea of Korea as a land of contrasts: between super-connected, smartphone-addicted Korea & more traditional country towns (of which there are plenty!). While up there, you might want to check out the demilitarised zone (DMZ), but be sure to book in advance. Busan is a beach city on the east coast. Namhae County, incl. Namhae Island (which is absolutely beautiful!) & the Namhae German Village (not really touristy except during Oktober Fest, but still very interesting) Jeju Island (southern-most Korean island): semi-independent volcanic island, offering beaches, hiking (Hallasan Mountain -- highest in Korea, I think...), horse-riding and lovely scenery. (it won't be as humid in September, & the monsoon will have passed, so it should still be quite lush). Jeollabuk-do Province (main city: Jeonju): - The Hanok (i.e. traditional) Village in Jeonju. It's the only hanok village where people actually live. Jeollanam-do Province (main city: Gwangju): - Jirisan National Park (actually spans bits of three provinces) -- Jirisan is the highest mountain on mainland Korea. It's beautiful... should be gorgeous in Autumn colours. - Small towns for day trips or shorter: Gochang (big attraction: fort); Boseong (green tea fields... but nothing else, really); Damyang (an hour outside of Gwangju; attraction: bamboo forrest); Wando (beach town). - Gwangju city's May 18 memorials (commemorating the democratisation movement & the Gwangju massacre... or "uprising", depending on who's writing the history), Mudeung Mountain - "Lonely Korea" outdoorsy adventure tours based in Gwangju. I've never been -- I don't do "outdoorsy", but it's run by a well-travelled local guy, with a wealth of knowledge about his country & a passion for sharing it with visitors. I've heard good things about the tours. You might want to check out Dok-do (an island that Korea & Japan both claim as theirs). Note: I live in the south, which is why I have so few suggestions from other regions almost 7 years ago