Vietnam: South Korea’s most wanted tourist destination

Vietnam: South Korea’s most wanted tourist destination

For the past few years, the numbers of South Korean visitors has been on the rise. In fact, last year in 2018, the number of South Korean visitors hit 3.48 million, a rise of 44.3% from a year earlier. But how come South Koreans are so drawn to Vietnam all of a sudden? Well, there’s a few answers to that. They call Vietnam for instance a “home away from home”, but what does this even mean? Let’s dive deeper into this.

Geographical proximity

One of the main reasons why South Koreans are so drawn to Vietnam is due to the proximity. It only takes an average of five hours to go from South Korea to Vietnam. For those who don’t want to travel too far away but still want something foreign, it’s the perfect choice.

Visa free

Since 2004, the Vietnamese government allowed people with South Korean passports to enter Vietnam without a visa. Since then, the numbers of South Korean travelers started to rise. In 2004 the number of visitors reached 233,000 while in 2018 it skyrocketed to 3.5 million.

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Affordability

Vietnam is one of the most affordable countries in Asia so it’s no wonder that it attracts foreign travelers who are looking for a cheaper destination to travel to. Since South Korea is known for their high prices, especially Seoul, it’s no wonder that they flock to Vietnam to spend their money.

Tourist services

Nowadays, there are established traveling firms in both South Korea and Vietnam who are offering well-organized, reliable, comfortable and reasonable outbound tours that make customers satisfied with all-in-one service packages. It’s now easier than ever to plan your trip to Vietnam.

Park Hang-seo

After the South Korean football coach started to coach the Vietnamese national men’s football team, more locals from South Korea started to pay more attention to this Southeast Asian country and what it has to offer in terms of touristy activities

Good relations

The relations between South Korea and Vietnam has been very good and the economic support for Vietnam has contributed to the growing bilateral ties. South Korea is by far the largest investors in Vietnam with over 65 billion USD in more than 7,000 projects. This has also led to a high influx of expats moving to Vietnam. It’s estimated that 160,000 South Koreans are currently residing in Vietnam. Most of them live in the big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where you can even find Korea towns.

Food

The food in Vietnam is great and it’s definitely a good reason to visit the country. The local cuisine is of world class and is renowned in the world. A bowl of warm pho will surely make anyone fall in love with the Vietnamese food, or why not try a tasty banh mi for lunch or snack. When you’re craving for other food, there’s tons of international places you can go to. Since there’s many expats living in Vietnam and foreigners traveling, the food scene has expanded and you can find food from all over the world – including Korean.

Cultural similarities

The culture is quite similar in both countries and therefore it might be easier and more comfortable traveling around in a country that is similar to yours. The Korean culture has also started to heavily influence the Vietnamese, with K-Pop music playing in bars, Korean beauty shops and coffee chains popping up and there’s even barbecue restaurants. Since there’s a growing number of tourists from South Korea, you will also see that there’s more and more stores where you can find Korean products and brands to cater for the visitors. Indeed, a home away from home.

Natural scenery

It would be unfair not to mention the beautiful sceneries that Vietnam has to offer. This is one of the biggest attractions of the country and has charmed people from all over the world. The beaches, mountains, rolling hills, rice paddies, lush jungles, caves and waterfalls have all cast a spell over international arrivals.

To sum it up, there’s really no reason why South Koreans should not visit Vietnam. There’s no need to get a visa, the political relations between the two countries are very good, Vietnam has a lot to offer both in terms of culture, nature and tourist services… There’s no reason to believe that tourism will start to decline in Vietnam anytime soon. Especially when it comes to South Korean travelers.

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