South Korea has one of the most homogenous societies in Asia, but with a concerted effort to attract more tourists, it is now becoming a must-see destination for world travelers—and for good reason.
Don’t let the fact that Korea has been at war with its brothers and sisters to the north for decades. Both countries have maintained one of the longest cease-fires in history with the help of a United Nations—mostly American presence in the country. The younger generation has no direct knowledge of the past hostilities and the only reminders are the occasional emergency drills and heightened tensions along the demilitarized zone or DMZ that separates the two countries.
The presence and investments from foreign countries has greatly affected the ability for South Korea to become a player in the worlds of manufacturing, entertainment and, now tourism. The country is evolving at breakneck speeds, starting with its Internet.
South Korea boasts the fastest Internet speeds in the world allowing travelers to stay connected while they explore the exotic, aromatic and spiritual adventures found in the big cities, small villages and even the temples that straddle the many mountain peaks of the land of kimchi. Gaming, Internet and Noraebang (karaoke) bars are everywhere. All the above has inspired a phenomenon called K-pop.
K-pop or Korean pop music is an expanding musical genre that, with the help of tourism, is being exported around the world over the Internet—garnering fans from Australia to America. It looks more like synchronized singing and dancing, incorporating their interpretation of American pop, hip-hop and R&B.
Korean is a café culture—they love their coffee. There are a thousand and one coffee shops on every street with literally translated names like Café of Bill and Angel Hands Coffee serving up hot and cold coffee drinks that include atypical ingredients like avocado and corn. Sitting in one of the cafes is a great way to people watch and absorb the changes in real-time.