South Korea is one of the most talked about destinations on the Pacific Rim, with its enchanting blend of ancient culture, a thriving modern-day economy and rustic everyday charm. Rarely is technology revered as much as tradition, but in South Korea tourists can marvel at the way the nation embraces hi-tech developments while maintaining the unique customs that made South Korea great in the first place. Everywhere you set foot in South Korea, you will notice the sheer pride Koreans have in their nation. The locals are equally friendly and respectful as they are proud, making it one of the safest countries to explore throughout Asia. For the big city experience, head to capital Seoul, with its raft of historic attractions, notably the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the great south gate of Namdaemun, both of which are dwarfed by city skyscrapers and vast shopping malls, providing a jarring contrast between old and new. Fanatical foodies should devour as much kimchi and makgeolli as they can, with so many eateries available ranging from high-class to modest local fare. Outside of the capital, the ancient history of Gyeongju and Busan have to be seen to be believed, as does the world-famous demilitarised zone, bridging the historic gap between North and South Korea.