Beyond borders - Korea 2023 - Magazine | Monocle

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Go beyond the skyscrapers of Seoul’s glitzy Gangnam district and you will find an entirely different side to South Korea. Busan is home to chic city beaches while Yang Yang’s surf culture is riding a more laid-back wave. Jeju is a home favourite – the volcanic island getaway has it all, from quiet coastal roads and stunning forest hikes around Halla mountain to a budding art scene and unique stone architecture. 

Three places to visit

Jeju 
Mountain trails and seaside saunas make this one of Korea’s most popular tourist destinations. Cultural homestays and wellness retreats are attracting a younger generation in search of a relaxed pace of life. 

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Busan 
Korea’s second city boasts a dramatic skyline of high-rise towers soaring above white-sand beaches. The 14th-century Haedong Yonggung Temple, perched on a rocky outcrop, is a must-see.

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Yang Yang 
This coastal province is one of Korea’s best-kept secrets with pristine beaches, temples and nature trails. Watersports abound and Yang Yang’s beachside cafés and restaurants are the perfect place to kick back after a day out on the water. 

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