The 3 Best Adventure Travel Trips in South Korea
Adventure travel may not be the first thing you think of when going to South Korea- but perhaps it should be. We had the eponymous Max of TeaMax Adventures give us his list of the 3 best adventure travel trips in South Korea.
The heart and mind behind TeaMax Adventu
re, Max loves swimming in beautiful oceans, trekking through verdant jungles, over rugged mountains, and barren deserts, as well as skiing down powder-covered slopes. He loves travel, challenges, and adventure of all kinds.
South Korea is not a big country: By most standards there are no large mountains or rivers; the straight distance from end to end of the peninsula is only 450km; you can drive it in around 5 hours. In addition to this, South Korea’s big cities are modern concrete jungles, surrounded by endless suburbs filled with department stores, apartments, and large office buildings. It’s certainly not a place you’d expect to be an adventure travel destination, and perhaps this is why the very concept of adventure travel is still relatively new in South Korea.
Yet, despite this, adventure travel companies and facilities are growing rapidly, buoyed by an adventurous expat community and a growing number of Koreans looking for a new challenge. Korea’s distinct four seasons mean that a wide variety of adventures can be enjoyed at different times throughout the year, including biking, camping, sea kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, trail running, skiing, and even more.
South Korea’s small size means you can get to the national parks, mountains, rivers, and oceans incredibly easily. From anywhere in Korea you can reach the great outdoors by bike, subway, express bus, or driving, often in as little as half an hour. It can be really easy to access these adventures – so long as you have the correct information.
And so, let me introduce my list of the 3 best adventure travel trips to challenge you in South Korea.
Adventure Travel Trip 1: Cycling
The Korean government spent over three years developing their bike network, and Korea now has one of the most amazing bike networks in the world. It takes you anywhere in Seoul, and even stretches for 640km across South Korea from Seoul to Busan. If you are a big fan of mountain biking, you can go to Gangwon Province, essentially an enormous mountain range, for some of the best mountain biking around.
Adventure Travel Trip 2: Sea Kayaking and Camping
Being a peninsular country, South Korea is surrounded by oceans. It also has an amazing islet- and island-spotted coastline which makes South Korea an incredible place for sea kayaking. There are also two National Marine Parks, one in the West Sea and one in the South Sea, which have lots of uninhabited islands. Those marine parks are a great place to enjoy remote island hopping by sea kayak, camping on the islands and carrying your tents and food with you.
Adventure Travel Trip 3: Back Country Powder Skiing
Global climate change means that Korea has more snowfall now than in the past. The upside of that is that there are now two great places to enjoy back country powder skiing in South Korea. One is Ulleung Island, described by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s best secret islands. Ulleung Island, or Ulleung-do, is a volcanic island that receives 4m of powder snow during the winter.
The other great location for back country skiing is Mt. Halla on Jeju Island. Mt.Halla is the highest mountain (1950m, 6400ft) in South Korea, as well as an inactive volcano.
Every country has its own beauty and attractions, regardless of its size and constitution of its mountains, and South Korea is such a place, with its own beautiful nature and unique adventures. With the growing popularity of adventure travel in South Korea, now is the time to discover South Korea and help boost adventure travel while developing a wider range of adventure travel trips.
If you have any questions for Max, you can get in touch with him through his website, or at [email protected].