The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) recently published a brochure outlining 10 essential cultural experiences throughout South Korea.
With recommended itineraries ranging from a half-day to four days, the KTO's must-see sights encompass cultural aspects both classical and contemporary.
For example, in Gangneung, in the eastern province of Gangwon-do, the KTO suggests a literary-themed tour following the life and works of 16th-century poets Shin Saimdang (subject of the upcoming Korean TV drama "Saimdang: Light's Diary") and Heo Nanseolheo.
About 170 miles south in Sancheong, the focus is on Heo Jun, the Joseon Dynasty physician whose 1613 book "Donguibogam" ("Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine") is said to be the foundation of traditional Korean medicine. The KTO suggests experiencing "the therapeutic power of herbal fomentation … and herbal spas" at Donguibogam Village, an herbal medicine-themed park.
More modern treatments, and attractions, are touted in Busan, South Korea's second-largest city, where visitors are encouraged "to take care of all your beauty and anti-aging needs" via various medical tourism itineraries and to experience the coastal city's mountains and beaches.
For each region, the brochure provides accommodations information, restaurant suggestions and contact information for local visitors bureaus and various attractions.
In the U.S., the brochure is available from the KTO's Los Angeles or New York offices.