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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Vacation in Korea

Summer is finally back. Regardless of the hot weather, there are so many things to do in Korea during the summertime.

If you want to make the most of your summer vacation in Korea, consider this as your guide!

  1. Top 5 Summer Vacation Destinations
  2. Korean Food for Summer
  3. Summer Activities on Hangang River
  4. Thrilling Rides at the Best Water Parks

1. Top 5 Summer Vacation Destinations

1) Boryeong

Every summer, thousands of locals and tourists flock to Daecheon Beach in the city of Boryeong where the popular mud festival takes place. From mud slides, mud pits, a mud prison, a giant mud bath, to a mud swimming pool, there are plenty of mud-based activities visitors can enjoy at the festival.

2) Busan

Yes, we can never miss out on the southern coastal city of Busan when it comes to summer destinations in Korea. The city is famous for beautiful beaches such as Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach where you can bask in the sun, sail on a yacht or a cruise, and enjoy paddleboarding. You can also charter your own crewed yacht at Busan Marine City! This fabulous city also offers some of the best nightclubs for you to drink and dance all night long.

[Recommended Water Activities in Busan]

[Recommended Reading for Busan Trip]

3) Jeju Island

From emerald beachesHalla Mountain to oreums (volcanic cones), Korea’s southernmost island, Jeju Island, offers plenty of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. Horseback riding, off-road driving, and a variety of water sports and activities are some of the best things you should experience on Jeju Island!

[Recommended Water Activities in Jeju]

[Recommended Readings for Jeju Trip]

Also, don’t forget to check out Shinhwa World Water Park for an energetic summertime water adventure! It’s an ideal aquatic combination of breathtaking rides and calming spas. Spend a sun-kissed day in a water paradise with 13 indoor & outdoor pools and 6 world-renowned water slides.

4) Gangwondo Province

Gangwon-do Province, the northeastern part of Korea, has many nature-friendly cities like PyeongchangHongcheon, Gangneung, and SokchoSeoraksan National Park and Naksansa Temple are the two most visited getaways in this province.

Also, Surfyy Beach, a trendy beach in Yangyang, is popular for surfing and paddle boarding. The surroundings resemble a tropical beach and draw many young crowds every summer.

[Recommended Water Activities & Tours in Gangwon-do]

5) Yangpyeong County

If you want to do something more exciting and thrilling rather than walking around the city, challenge yourself with the thrill of paragliding over Yangpyeong. Just an hour away from Seoul by subway, Yangpyeong County is one of Korea’s most famous paragliding sites with its fascinating bird’s eye views over where the North and South Han rivers meet.

| TIP: You can also enjoy paragliding in Danyang, Gyeongju, Daegu, or Jeju Island!

2. Korean Food for Summer

1) Samgyetang

‘Samgyetang’, a chicken soup with ginseng and other nutritional ingredients, is one of the popular Korean specialties during summer.

Here’s a fun fact. For Koreans, eating hot foods during the summer is their way to beat the summer heat! That’s why Koreans eat highly nutritional Samgyetang, which helps people get back their strength and stamina. And the dish is particularly popular in ‘Sambok’, the three hottest days of the year (usually mid-July).

If you want to try Samgyetang this summer, you may want to visit Tosokchon, one of the oldest and most famous Samgyetang restaurants in Seoul. The price usually ranges from 10,000 won to 30,000 won.

2) Naengmyeon

Naengmyeon is a Korean cold noodle in beef or pork-based broth. Mul-naengmyeon is the Naengmyeon with icy cold broth while Bibim-naengmyeon is the one with less broth but with more seasoned red pepper sauce. The price of the dish varies from one restaurant to another, but it usually ranges between 5,000 won and 8,000 won.

3) Kongguksu

Kongguksu is similar to Naengmyeon, but with broth made of soybeans. It has a deep rich flavor of soybeans and is considered a healthy food as soybeans are known to have high protein content. The price of the dish usually ranges from 5,000 won to 10,000 won.

[Recommended Food Tours in Seoul]

[Recommended Makgeolli Tours in Seoul]

3. Summer Activities on Hangang River

1) Paddle Boarding & Windsurfing

Instead of spending your valuable time driving on a highway during vacation, you can escape from the summer heat in Seoul by experiencing a variety of water sports on the Han River.

One of the trendiest water sports that you can easily try in the Han River is paddleboarding & windsurfing. Enjoy windsurfing or paddleboarding in the pleasant breeze and appreciate the splendidly shining view of Seoul with your friends! You can also see the gorgeous sunset and admire the dazzling city lights of Seoul.

2) Kayaking

Kayaking on the Han River is also very popular these days. After taking a basic lesson from the instructors, relieve your stress on the water, as you canoe your way down the Han River, and see the stunning day view of Seoul. You can choose between a day tour and a sunset tour.

3) Yacht Ride

If you are not a big fan of water activities, book a Han Riverboat or yacht ride and watch the Banpo Bridge Fountain Show on the Han River. You can also see the fantastic island called Some Sevit (Sevit Island), the modern architecture of a “floating island”!

Yeouido Hangang Park is also a great place to take in the sights of Seoul on a yacht ride along the Hangang River! This 40-minute yacht ride will let you soak in the views of the towering skyscrapers of the Yeouido Financial District.

4) Ferry Cruise

Hopping on the Han River E-land Ferry Cruise is one of the best ways to admire the fascinating view of the Han River and Seoul City. It has been rated as one of the top tours to do in Seoul!

5) Tubester Boat Ride

For those who want to experience Hangang River in a fun and unique way, hop on a Tubester! A Tubester is a small round motorboat, which is easy to operate and fits up to 6 passengers at a time. It’s a cool new way to spend time and relax with your loved ones at Some Sevit Floating Island on Bangpo Hangang River.

4. Thrilling Rides at the Best Water Parks

In Korea, there are many outdoor and indoor water parks all year round. During the summer, those water parks are the hangout places for hipsters.

1) Caribbean Bay Water Park

The most famous one is the Caribbean Bay water park adjacent to the Everland theme park. Located in Yongin City, the water park can be reached roughly 2 hours from Seoul.

[Best Caribbean Bay Deals]

[Recommended Readings]

2) Ocean World Water Park

Another popular water park in Korea is Ocean World, which is located in Hongcheon in Gangwondo Province. Ocean World boasts various attractions, which include 4 different zones (Aqua Zone, Extreme Zone, Dynamic Zone, Mega Slide Zone). You can book Ocean World’s discount ticket here.

[Best Ocean World Deals]

3) Aquafielid Spa & Water Park

Aquafield is a modern jjimjilbang and water park located within Starfield Goyang & Hanam. It’s an excellent way to experience an authentic Korean-style spa and unwind from travel fatigue. It also has an indoor and outdoor water park with water slides, jacuzzi pools, and an infinity pool! After relaxing at the spa, you can enjoy shopping at Starfield, a large shopping mall run by Shinsegae.

[Best Aquafield Deals]

4) Yongpyong Peak Island Water Park

Peak Island is a water park located within Yongpyong Resort, nestled within a mountain resort! It offers facilities catering to the whole family, from children’s pools, beach pools, to saunas. Unwind and rejuvenate in the sauna after a day of outdoor activities.

[Best Peak Island Deals]

5) Gapyeong Water Park

Get your 3/4/5-hour unlimited rides at Blue Shark Water Park in Gapyeong and enjoy a day packed with fun water activities from inflatable water slides to paddle boats! You can choose the packages that suit you the best, including a jet boat tour and a water skiing beginner’s course. An accommodation option is also available for you to stay overnight.

[Best Gapyeong Water Park Deals]

6) High1 Water World

High1 Water World is the newest and biggest water park in Korea, which is at High1 Resort in Jeongseon, Gangwon-do. There are brand new exhilarating water slides and attractions you can enjoy! With a 2D1N package, you can have a perfect summer trip without any hassles since it includes a 1-night stay at Mountain Condominium, High1 Water World 1 day pass, locker rental, life jacket rental, and round-trip train ticket from Seoul (option).

7) Wave Park


Wave Park is the largest artificial wave pool in Asia that offers the best surf experience! It’s located in Siheung, Gyeonggi-do, which is only about 1.5 hours away from Seoul. All levels from beginners to advanced surfers can enjoy Wave Park making it more enjoyable and safer for everyone. You can also choose a basic surfing lesson option or a hassle-free round-trip shuttle bus option from/to Sadang Station in Seoul.

[Best High1 Water World Deal]

8) Woongjin Playdoci Water Park

If you are looking for a water park near Seoul so that you can reach it by subway, Woonjin Playdoci is a perfect choice for you! They have a water park, where you can enjoy swimming and water slides at the water park all year round!

Looking for more fun things to do in Korea? Check out, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, to find more ideas for your next adventure in Korea!

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