How to capture the essence of this fascinating, complex nation? Social relations may be grounded in ancient Confucianism but South Korea is most decidedly a forward-thinking country thanks to its hurry-hurry approach to everything, an insatiable appetite for technological advancement and an indomitable can-do attitude. No one knows where the country is headed, but it’s fast-forward all the way. That’s what makes South Korea so exciting and at times unnerving; it’s a country of endless possibilities. Seoul is where this is felt most keenly. There’s an infectious energy here and it’s easy to get caught up in the Korean joie de vivre, as well as the city’s non-stop attractions. Less modern but no less appealing is the ancient city of Gyeongju, where temples, pagodas and royal tombs are a source of much fascination. Further south, the bustling port town of Busan is a little rough around the edges but rewards those travellers willing to persevere.