Seoul, South Korea. Picture: Lonely Planet

South Korea is a beautiful combination between the past, present and future with its historical landmarks and newly-built monuments that were created for the 2017 Winter Olympics.

Tourists are able to check out the Gyeongbokung palace, the home of the Joseon dynasty. It’s a must-see in Seoul, and hard to miss with its sheer size that will keep you busy most of the day. Within its walls you can find museums that showcase the Korea”s history.

Jeju Island, the jewel of the South Korean coast is a popular destination with tourists and a playground for the rich – with beach resorts, volcanic landscapes and the highest mountain in the country.  
You can walk inside giant lava tubes, or you can explore your wild side at Loveland, where erotica is on display through sexy sculptors aiming to give honeymooners some advice for their marriage.

South Korea boasts amazing destinations to explore and is quite convenient with its current policy of issuing visas upon arrival. 
Here is a quick guide to help tourists who may be planning a trip to South Korea: 
1. Visa upon arrival for tourist purposes for up to 30 days for South Africans with a valid passport. Passport must be valid for up to six months after date of departure.   
2. The South Korean currency is the Won, and the country is 7 hours ahead of South Africa. 
3. The country’s climate is extreme humidity with rain in summer, with snow and below freezing temperatures in winter. It’s also important to take precautions against Japanese encephalitis in rural areas between June and October.
4. Their main airports are: Incheon International Airport (Seoul), Jeju International Airport, Gimpo International Airport (Seoul), Gimhae International Airport (Busan), Cheongju International Airport, Daegu International Airport. 
5. South Korea is most known for kimchi, which is mostly fermented cabbage and other vegetables with chilli. Locals are inclined to eat copious amounts of spicy food, like fire noodles. 
When visiting a restaurant, try out galbi, a Korean barbecue where you cook your own meat in oil. The common local spirit is soju, which comes in many flavours and is mixed in cocktails.
6. If you are having drinks or dinner with any locals, be prepared for excess. South Koreans not only can eat large meals that will make even a South African feel bloated, they are extremely heavy drinkers – so be wary of trying to keep up with them. 
7. South Korea is an extremely technologically advanced society and has the fastest internet speeds in the world. 
8. South Koreans are very conservative and although they are not bothered by women showing leg, they are not fans of women showing cleavage or shoulders, so a T-shirt instead of a spaghetti strap top will help avoid unwanted stares.

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