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TRAVELLING TO KOREA

Foreign nationals entering Korea are required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa issued by the Korean embassy or consular offices in their country. However, citizens from many countries are now permitted visa-free entry for a limited period under certain conditions. In order to check whether you are allowed to enter Korea without visa issuance and for other requirements, please contact a Korean embassy or consular office in your country or visit the following websites to confirm.

 

Korea's Greatest Food, Kimchi

Kimchi is the most famous traditional food and icon that well-represents Korea itself, as it accompanies almost every meal served in the country. The name of the dish also differs depending on the main ingredient used, where cabbage, radish or cucumber most often play the main role. In addition, there are many variations in recipes and forms, offering the fun of tasting different textures and flavors from all across the nation. In addition, kimchi is gaining more attention nowadays worldwide due to its enormous nutritional value, becoming an international wellbeing food not just limited to Korea. 

Origin of Kimchi

For as long as humans have been harvesting crops, they have enjoyed the nutritional elements of vegetables. In order to preserve the vegetables to enjoy during the cold winter months when cultivation was practically impossible, people soon developed a storage method known as pickling in which vegetables were fermented. Rich in vitamins and minerals, kimchi was introduced in Korea around the 7th century. 

It is presumed that beginning from the 12th century, several spices and seasonings began to gain popularity The exact date when hot pepper powder was first added remains unknown, but  was finally used as one of the major ingredients for making kimchi in the 18th century. In fact, the very same kimchi we know today has retained the same qualities and cooking preparations that prevailed ever since it was first introduced. 

Nutritional Value of Kimchi

Eating kimchi is highly recommended because of its nutritional values! Thanks to the fermentation process, kimchi is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals. It also contains lactic acid bacteria, a bacterium that not only helps with digestion and combats harmful bacteria, but also helps prevent the growth of cancer. It was also featured in "Health," a famous health magazine, as one of the top five healthiest foods in the world. 

Types of Kimchi

Since kimchi is so nutritious in many ways, and consumed throughout the entire year, it is often referred to as a staple food. This explains why you can find kimchi in all households throughout Korea. Regions, temperatures and other environmental conditions have led to the creation of more than 100 different types of kimchi. Read on to learn more about this fascinating dish.

 

Spring

April to June

Typically lasting from April to June, spring is often seen as the best time of year to visit South Korea, with average daily temperatures a pleasant 15 - 18°C. During this time the flowers are in bloom and green spaces are bathed in the delightful hues of the pink cherry blossom, especially the city of Gyeongju. The weather is the least likely to be inclement and, as a result, many festivals and events can be found taking place.

Join the locals in heading for the hills and making the most of the many National Parks, such as Songnisan, Seoraksan and Jirisan. You can expect sunny days but you should also count on destinations being more crowded as it is the most popular time to visit South Korea.

Summer

July to August

The brief summer lasts from July to August and is the hottest time of the year in South Korea. Temperatures may range between 23°C and 30°C but this is also the wettest time of the year, with the monsoon rains bringing half of the country’s annual rainfall during these months.

It can be incredibly humid so you may find yourself seeking sanctuary in the many air-conditioned spaces of Seoul or relishing the sea breezes of coastal cities like Busan, where the famous Haeundae Beach is packed with people and parasols, and the southern holiday island of Jeju.

Autumn

September to November

Once the muggy heat and rains of summer have passed, South Korea once again bursts into colour and festivals come to the fore. Stunning shades of orange and red pepper the autumnal landscapes - particularly throughout the country's National Parks such as Songnisan, Jirisan and Seoraksan. 

Long into October the weather is usually mild enough to sport a t-shirt during the day in the seaside resorts of Jeju - and even higher in the hills - but after this you will need to think about packing some extra layers.

The mild temperatures (avg temp: 19-21°C), low rainfall and natural beauty make autumn a strong rival to spring as the best time of year to visit South Korea.

Winter

December to March

South Korea is indeed a land of extremes and nowhere is this more apparent than in the sudden drop of temperature that winter brings. From summer highs of 30°C the temperatures in winter can plummet to as low as -20°C on occasion in the northern regions of the Gangwon-do Province, although it can be significantly milder along the southern coast and on the holiday island of Jeju in the far south.

Falling between December and March, the long winter is freezing cold but relatively dry, and certainly charming. Crisp, white snow can be expected creating romantic views you can enjoy without the madding crowds of spring. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy ski-ing and snowboarding at the ski resorts in the Gyeonggi-do Province and in Gangwon-do which sees a higher than average annual snowfall.

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