On the southern tip of Korea, Busan is
a hidden gem that boasts picturesque
beaches, Buddhist temples, and open-air markets like the one above, the
world-famous Jagalchi Fish Market.
Not only can you eat fish, squid, and
shellfish raw here but restaurants
above the market will cook it for you.
Ancient and Modern
Seoul City Race
Groups are divided into teams and
instructed to find the King Sejong
statue in Gwanghwamun Square, visit
Gyeongbokgung (above), and then go
to Dongdaemun Design Plaza, among
other tasks. Along the way they will
have the opportunity to try Korean
street food and purchase souvenirs.
Set in a pristine forest, this traditional
Korean house features a variety of
buildings and outdoor gardens to
host events, and can also arrange
customized concerts featuring singing,
dancing, and acting.
worldliness that is very hard to find these days.
Just look at its flag.”
A taegeuk sits at the center of the country’s
flag — a design inspired by the Chinese yin
and yang, in blue and white, intertwined as
one. It is a fitting symbol for a destination
balancing old and new.
“The country has done a really good job of
modernizing without giving up their heritage
in a way other countries have struggled,” says
Rozsa. “The initial impression of Korea on the
global stage doesn’t do it justice.”
Historically the heart of Korea, not only is Seoul
an economic hub driving cultural innovation,
but it’s a meetings powerhouse. According to
the Union of International Associations (UIA),
it was the third-most-popular city for international meetings last year.
On the national level, Korea ranked first by
hosting 997 international conferences, 53 percent of which were located in Seoul, followed by
Busan and Jeju Island.
Seoul’s largest convention center, Coex,
opened in 1979 as the first convention and
exhibition center in Korea, with the aim of
providing a venue for global trade and cultural
exchange. The center includes 12 exhibition
halls and 93 meeting rooms. The World Trade
Center, which houses Coex, is also home to
Asia’s largest underground shopping center.
As a world leader in technology, Korea
boasts some of the fastest Internet speeds in
the world, both wired and wireless. Seoul’s
city-wide Wi-Fi coverage allows connectivity
everywhere. The city is also the center of Asian
pop culture and has propelled
brands like Samsung and
Hyundai around the world.
Seoul is graced by the
Hangang River that flows
through the center of the city
as well as majestic mountains.
Public parks of all types and
sizes are scattered throughout
the city. One of the newest is
Seoullo 7017, named after a
Seoul Station overpass that
was built in the 1970s and
that today is a pedestrian
promenade with more than
24,000 indigenous plants in a variety of colors,
a foot bath, and trampolines for the young.
Another area in Seoul perfect for a stroll is
along the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Set 15 feet
below street level, this green oasis in the midst
of the city features serene waterfalls, nearly
two dozen overhead bridges, art installations,
and street performers. It’s hard to believe that
the original stream was paved over in the late
The 123-story Lotte World Tower, which
recently opened in Seoul, is Korea’s tallest build-
ing, boasting the world’s highest glass-bottom
observation deck — definitely not for the faint
of heart. A mall, aquarium, cinema, and concert
hall join the world’s highest swimming pool that
is housed on the 85th floor, and the world’s fast-
est elevator whisking visitors to the top in one
minute. For groups, Signiel Seoul, a 235-room
luxury hotel set in the World Tower, has the
world’s highest ballroom and function spaces.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a futur-
istic building that opened in 2014, has quickly
become one of Seoul’s most striking landmarks.
Event facilities housed here include two Art
Halls, the Design Exhibition Hall, and a Green
Showroom with a rooftop lawn. But as with so
much in this city, the modern is juxtaposed with
the traditional: the DDP sits beneath the slope
of scenic Naksan Park and next to the ancient
Dongdaemun, the East Gate. n Questions or
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Learn about another South Korean meetings gem
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza, also called the DDP, is an urban development
landmark in Seoul with a neofuturistic design