Visitors will discover its rich natural beauty combined with a unique cultural and historical heritage. After a rapid modernization in recent decades, Koreans still maintain their traditional values such as hospitality and the time- honored Confucian respect for the elderly.
Traveling in Korea is enjoyable all year round thanks to its distinct four seasons and the beautiful changes of nature. In spring (March to May), mountains and fields are in bloom with cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, magnolias and lilacs. In summer (June to early September), luxuriant forests, bright green fields and the cobalt blue sea draw people outdoors. In autumn (September to November), cool temperatures and a clear sky make it the most pleasant time of the year in Korea. The mountains all over the country are covered in red and yellow blazing autumn foliage. In winter (December to February), mountain slopes become the place for skiing and snow festivals. Winter in Korea is another delightful season of great amusement.
More than 400 local festivals throughout the year represent colorful facets of the Korean culture. Events that have great appeal to tourists include the Icheon-Gwangju-Yeoju Ceramic Exposition and the sea-splitting Jindo Yeongdeungje Festival. Korea takes pride in many world-renowned cultural assets which UNESCO has designated on its World Cultural Heritage List. They are Changdeokgung royal palace, Hwaseong fortress, Seokguram stone buddha grotto, Bulguksa temple, the Tripitaka Koreana wood block printing plates at Haeinsa temple, Jongmyo shrine in Seoul, the Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa dolmen sites, and the Gyeongju remains of Silla Dynasty.
Hansik refers to traditional Korean food, centered on rice, served alongside a bowl of soup and a variety of side dishes. Most dishes use meat and vegetables as the main ingredients, and are boiled or steamed in brine or water rather than fried in oil, making hansik very healthy. More than anything else, hansik's most outstanding feature is the amount of fermented foods. The most well-known are kimchi (fermented cabbage), ganjang (soy sauce), doenjang (soybean paste), and gochujang (Korean chili paste).