With the global phenomenon of K-pop groups like BTS, South Korea’s popularity as a travel destination for Indian tourists has surged. But South Korea offers far more than just K-pop.
South Korea is a peninsula located in East Asia, sharing its borders with North Korea to the north, China to the west, and Japan to the east. It is home to stunning mountains, calm coastlines, lush forests, and bustling cities, making it a paradise for both nature lovers and urban explorers. For foodies, Korean cuisine is also an inviting factor. Staples like kimchi (fermented vegetables) and bibimbap (mixed rice) are a powerhouse of flavours, while Korean barbecue is also a sensory delight.
Travellers to South Korea from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, and Tamil Nadu will now be able to submit their applications with ease for all visa categories, including express visa applications, at these state-of-the-art South Korea visa application centres (KVACs) from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm for individuals, 9 am to 12 pm for travel agents, and 10 am to 3 pm for passport collection.
Operated with assistance from VFS Global, these KVACs also offer optional services for a discerning set of applicants. The Embassy has been working on KVACs in New Delhi and Kolkata since 2011.
In commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and India, the Korean Tourism Department (KTD) in Seoul hosted an extensive roadshow in New Delhi at the end of August to attract Indian tourists. Similar events are also being planned for other major Indian cities.
Despite a decline in tourism from India to South Korea due to COVID-19 and other factors, the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) India office has launched a unique K-incentive Scheme to boost sales of Korean travel packages for Indian travel agents as part of their marketing plans to increase tourism in 2023. Regional tourist destinations, including Busan, Gangwon, Jellanam-do provinces, and Seoul, are being promoted to Indian travellers. Chennai has over 300 Korean companies, primarily in the automobile and electronics industries, while Bengaluru is witnessing the steady expansion of Korean IT-based companies. The operations of KVACs in these regions will enhance collaborative visits as business activities between South Korea and India continue to thrive.
Apart from the attraction of K-pop, this dynamic country offers exploration opportunities of its natural wonders, historical treasures, and the perfect blend of tradition and modernity.
Seoul, the bustling capital of South Korea, is a city of contrasts. Here, futuristic skyscrapers stand in harmony with ancient palaces like Gyeongbokgung, offering a glimpse into Korea’s imperial past. Don’t miss the vibrant street markets of Myeongdong and the serene beauty of Bukhansan National Park, which provides an escape into nature within the city.
Known as the “Island of the Gods,” Jeju Island is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Its volcanic landscapes, clear beaches, and lush forests make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hallasan National Park, home to South Korea’s highest peak, Mount Hallasan, is a hiker’s paradise. The stunning waterfalls and lava tubes add to Jeju’s natural allure.
South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan, offers a different side of the country. Its scenic beaches, like Haeundae Beach, are perfect for relaxation. Gamcheon Culture Village, known as the “Machu Picchu of Busan,” showcases vibrant, terraced houses with an artistic flair. Don’t forget to visit the bustling Jagalchi Fish Market for fresh seafood.
Gyeongju, often called the “Museum without Walls,” is a treasure trove of historical and cultural sites. Explore the UNESCO-listed Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, which house stunning Buddhist sculptures. The Royal Tombs and Anapji Pond testify to South Korea’s glorious past.
Andong is a city that offers a glimpse into traditional Korean life. Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO site, preserves centuries-old customs and architecture. Immerse yourself in the Confucian culture at Dosan Seowon, a Confucian academy, and enjoy a performance of the traditional mask dance drama, Hahoe Byeolsin Gut.