Sports in South Korea – How You Can Get Involved

From the snow covered mountains to beautiful beaches and amazing national parks, Korea certainly has a lot to offer nature lovers and sports aficionados. Koreans love nature and they love sports, which is why it is easy to find places where you can be active while enjoying the picturesque landscape. Winter provides numerous outdoor sporting activities; skating and skiing are popular winter sports. In the summer you can go rock climbing, hiking and white water rafting.

If you are looking to explore Korea while living an active lifestyle, here are some great activities to get involved in!

Hiking with a Korean Family

If you get the chance to hike with a Korean family, don’t hesitate to take it! Be prepared to don full hiking gear. Koreans love hiking and they always want to be properly outfitted. On the trail, you will likely see groups of older Korean women hiking and talking. It is common for older women to spend their time hiking. There are many beautiful spots for hiking throughout Korea. National parks are extremely popular on weekends, so be prepared to see others on your hike. One of the most breathtaking hikes is in Songnisan National Park.

Attend A Baseball Game

While watching a baseball game isn’t exactly exercise, it is still a chance to get outdoors and watch Korean sport. Koreans are CRAZY about baseball. There are teams for almost every province and the fans can get a bit out of hand from time to time because of their intense love of the sport. The tickets are not incredibly expensive and you can experience life as a Korean Baseball fan from the stands. Not only that, but there are cheerleaders for each team!

Ski and Snowboard

There are ski resorts all over Korea that offer a wide range of winter sports. Some resorts offer only skiing, others offer skiing and snowboarding as well as sledding. The price for the lift and rental in total can range anywhere from 55,000 KRW to 80,000 KRW. Try going to resorts if you get a free day during the week. The slopes are packed on the weekends. Many ski hills offer lessons for beginners.

White Water Rafting

Traveling and teaching is an adventure in itself. Many ESL teachers are adventurous by nature and Korea has a lot of great adventure sports. White water rafting is popular in the summer, especially in the province of Gangwon-do just northeast of Seoul. Spend a day with a Korean rafting instructor learning the ropes (And some Korean if you aren’t very familiar with the language. The panic you experience while hitting rapids and paddling while trying to understand someone speaking in a foreign language is probably one of the best ways to learn.). It is a great workout in a beautiful place.

Taekwondo

Taekwondo is Korea’s martial art and their national sport. It is also the most popular martial art in the world. You can learn self defense as well as highly specialized skills. Taekwondo can be found throughout Korea. Instructors in both English and Korean are available, especially in city areas such as Seoul.

Koreans are crazy about health and fitness. They usually lead active lifestyles. To keep up with your Korean friends, get outside and experiment with as many different sporting events as possible while seeing Korea and having fun at the same time! As always, don’t forget to send us photos and stories about your experiences!

For more information on up to date sporting events try worknplay which gives a range of different upcoming activities. Also for future hiking and rafting events try the Central Korea Hiking and Travel Group who organize events which also involve things like rest stops and barbecues.

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