Samcheok, Korea
  • Samcheok made the biggest leap in rankings among top 100 domestic destinations
  • Danyang and Hongcheon jumped more than 30 spots in the booking ranks

In the past year, as domestic tourism dominated the travel agendas, Korean travelers got more adventurous, with more off-the-beaten track and nature focused travel destinations skipping into the top 50 destinations, according to global digital travel platform Agoda.com’s booking data. Samcheok, Danyang and Hongcheon showed the biggest jump in rankings and found their way into Top 50 domestic destinations (from June 2020 to May 2021) ranking #35, #33 and #49 respectively. Other destinations that rose to Top 50 this year, compared to the same period in the previous year, include: Boryeong, Cheongwon-gun and Yangyang.

Jeju Island, Seoul and Busan remain Koreans’ top three destinations, with Jeju beating Seoul as #1 ranked spot this year.

As Agoda’s Travel in 2021 survey also showed 45% of Koreans are “taking short trips”, Agoda shares four perfect short trips at increasingly popular destinations that Koreans can add to their bucket list for the upcoming holidays:

Samcheok, the best view of the sea

Samcheok moved up 35 rankings compared to the same period in the previous year. Located on the East Coast, Samcheok is a great place to relax in a natural setting. For travelers who enjoy driving with the windows down, take a cruise along Isabugil, considered one of the Korea’s top 100 beautiful roads. The eye-catching coastal scenery is itself a natural wonder. The Samcheok Energetic Healing Forest is a perfect place to rejuvenate one’s mind by taking a quiet hike, and the Daegeumgul and Hwanseongul Caves offer a glimpse of the mysterious power of nature to create beauty over hundreds of millions of years. Stay at the Sol Beach Samcheok to be close to the beach.

Danyang, scenery like a Korean painting

Danyang moved up 33 spots compared to the same period in the previous year. Danyang is known for its stunning scenery and great place to enjoy the harmony of nature. Renowned for the Eight Scenic Views of Danyang, which inspire emotions similar to a Korean landscape painting masterpiece. Trek along the Danyanggang Jando Trail, which was formed along a rock wall, or climb famous mountains such as Sobaeksan or Geumsusan. The Namcheon and Saebat Valleys each boast cool mountain streams, making them perfect places to escape the heat. Agoda offers a variety of Danyang accommodation to use as a base to get close to nature, including Sobaeksan Village.

Hongchoen, a thrilling leisure sports paradise

Hongchoen, which increased by 31 places to #49, is well-known for its pristine nature, and the thrilling leisure sports. Garisan Leports Park offers exciting activities such as Forest Adventure, Flying Zipline, and Survival Game, all set amid nature. The local Cukyasan Cultural Arboretum is a great place to visit for history of the independence movement and learn about plants. Check in at the Healience Seon Maeul Healing Resort to make it a truly rejuvenating trip.

Wonju, a harmonious mix of culture and nature

Wonju, which rose from the 51st to 36th position, offers a combination of culture and nature. Pak Kyongni House, is a place where travelers can get a glimpse of the life of Pak Kyongni, a writer famous for the novel “Toji” (The Land). Take a stroll at the three parks in the vicinity, which were all built based on the themes of her novel. For more floral and fauna and a dose of art, visit Museum SAN where there are outdoor installations in its beautiful gardens. To gain a better understanding of Wonju’s history, the scenic Wonjugubigil trail offers glimpses of the city’s past along a network of trekking routes. Agoda offers a variety of accommodations in the Wonju area, including Oakvalley Resort.

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