A destination chosen by South Korean tourists when traveling to Viet Nam

October 02, 2023 - 10:28
As reported by the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism, in the first seven months of 2023, there were more than 1.9 million South Korean tourists to Viet Nam (accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the total international arrivals) and the South Korean market kept leading the number of tourists to Viet Nam. The number of South Korean tourists to Viet Nam is expected to decrease after the summer as August is traditionally considered a low season for international tourists.
Việt Nam is currently the top destination for South Korean tourists

Explaining this, Mr. Yong Sung Ok, Regional Manager - Southeast Asia at Hanatour, one of the leading travel companies in South Korea, said: “Vietnam is recently the most searched-for and popular destination among Korean tourists. Close geographical proximity, the availability of various flights, and relatively affordable airfare prices all contribute to this popularity.”

Additionally, numerous attractive destinations with a wide range of experiences are also an appeal for them.

Da Nang - a magnet for South Korean tourists

Da Nang is considered by South Korean tourists as the “most worth living” city in Viet Nam in addition to an ideal destination that is easy to reach with reasonable prices, stunning beaches, and an extensive range of culinary experiences and numerous options of luxurious beachside resorts.

Premier Village Danang Resort in My An Beach with a charming stretch of white sand

Yong said Da Nang is the most favoured by South Korean tourists because it offers a perfect blend of sightseeing and entertainment. “Da Nang is famous among South Koreans. It has many appealing attractions, superb tourism infrastructure, in addition to a conveniently located airport and a variety of hotel and resort options. Moreover, infrastructure, transportation and security are all outstanding. Cuisine is also a strength with dishes favoured by South Koreans," Yong praised the city by the Han River.

It could be said that there are few places that “please” tourists like Da Nang where visitors can enjoy both exciting seaside and mountainous experiences. One destination that attracts a substantial number of South Korean tourists, surpassing those from other international markets, is Sun World Ba Na Hills.

With a year-round cool climate reminiscent of European temperate regions, spectacular natural landscapes, fascinating photo spots such as the Golden Bridge, French Village, Eclipse Square, Sun Waterfall and a wide range of lively events throughout the four seasons, Sun World Ba Na Hills is always ranked at the top among attractions recommended by South Korean tourists by word of mouth when exploring Da Nang.  Ba Na Hills is custom-made for tourists of all ages and genders, catering to couples, families and group tourists.

Sun World Ba Na Hills attracts South Korean tourists by offering a host of unique experiences

Statistics show that in the early months of this year, South Korean visitors accounted for about 33 per cent of the total arrivals in Ba Na Hills. Even during the summer months, this figure remained above 15 per cent, while those from other international markets made up only about 1-5 per cent.

“Visiting Sun World Ba Na Hills is really worth the effort. I feel like getting an extra visa to Europe while being in Viet Nam," said Choi Hyun, a tourist from Gangwon. Meanwhile, Cho Il-sang from Seoul commented that “in addition to the Golden Bridge, Sun World Ba Na Hills is also famous for its all-in-one amusement park with a wide variety of exciting and fascinating experiences in a single visit”.

Recently, the South Korean Financial News also stated that for every three tourists in Sun World Ba Na Hills, one is South Korean. A representative of the tourist site stated in an interview that one of the reasons that attract South Korean tourists to the site is its suitability to their preferences. South Koreans favour the atmosphere of an old European town and are interested in highly-rated places on Instagram. 

Particularly, they consider the Golden Bridge one of the symbols of Viet Nam’s tourism.

Phu Quoc - a “rising star” for South Koreans

The Yonhap News recently commented that Phu Quoc is still a lesser-known paradise compared to Da Nang or Ha Long. According to its survey, there is a gradual increase in the number of South Korean tourists to Phu Quoc thanks to word-of-mouth effects, and it is considered "wise to visit Phu Quoc at this time, before it becomes too famous".

The influx of South Korean tourists to the island is on the rise, to the extent that South Korean signage at restaurants and massage parlours could often be seen in the centre of the island city.  South Korean tourists also enjoy fresh seafood and fish sauce – the local speciality.

The charming Sunset Town in Phu Quoc. Photo: Nguyen Minh Tu

A representative from Sun World Hon Thom stated that South Korean tourists account for nearly half of the total users of the cable car system, followed by Chinese. They enjoy riding the world's longest 3-rope cable car to admire the pristine and emerald-green beaches of Phu Quoc from above. 

Besides, the availability of resorts with wonderful ocean views, in addition to an extensive range of experiences such as exploring the island's culture and history, and visiting Sunset Town, have made Phu Quoc an increasingly popular choice for South Korean tourists when travelling to Vietnam.

Fansipan – “South Koreans have an affinity for mountains”

Apart from alluring coastal cities such as Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, South Korean tourists have also begun to choose highland destinations in Viet Nam, especially Sa Pa, because of the availability of the cable car to the peak of Fansipan, similar to Ba Na Hills. Yong said that South Koreans have a fondness for mountains. 

“I personally enjoy riding cable cars. I think the most attractive aspect is being able to admire the scenery from above,” he added.

Majestic scenery of Fansipan Cable Car

In the first six months of this year, Sun World Fansipan Legend recorded 14,300 South Korean tourists, accounting for 11 per cent of the total arrivals in Fansipan. This figure showed an increase compared to the previous years. On several days, South Korean tourists even led the number of foreign arrivals to this site.

One of the reasons is the high number of check-ins on Instagram at this location. South Korean tourists are "overwhelmed" by the cable car route that passes over the spectacular terraced fields characteristic of the northwestern region of Viet Nam or by riding the red mountain railway train through the picturesque Muong Hoa valley, reminiscent of Switzerland.

Besides, conquering the height of Fansipan is also one of those reasons that makes South Koreans fascinated. “Viet Nam's Fansipan peak is 3,143m high, almost double the height of Mount Halla, the highest mountain in South Korea.  This makes us excited,” said Jung Yuri, a tourist from Jeju island, home to Mount Halla.

Many South Korean visitors to Fansipan liken its beautiful landscape to what they imagine a paradise to be like.  

South Korean tourists eagerly check in to Fansipan peak

Viet Nam's tourism will continue to attract more South Korean tourists in the future thanks to these attractive destinations with a diverse variety of experiences. Apart from Da Nang, many other destinations in this S-shaped land will be added by South Korean tourists to their "must-visit" list to experience an incredibly amazing Viet Nam with its unique landscapes in each region.