South Korea and Taiwan are working their way to the top of many traveller’s wishlists, and rightfully so. Although lesser-known than their East Asia neighbours China and Japan, these two delightful destinations are by no means less impressive. Both offering a plethora of sights to see and experiences to enjoy, you could easily spend two weeks discovering the amazing landscapes, fascinating history and charming cities of each.
We’ve delved into some of our favourite streaming services so you can soak up the sights of South Korea and Taiwan without leaving your home. From factual documentaries to fantasy movies, these top picks for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Audible will give you a greater insight into these wonderful countries.
Netflix: Top Watches for South Korea and Taiwan
Rookie Historian: Goo Hae-ryung
Determined to make her mark on history, this is the story of a young woman named Goo Hae-ryung embarking on a new life as a scholar in the Joseon royal court. Set in the 19th century, she becomes one of the first four female historians to compile the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty as she fights a battle to prove her intellectual worth to her male colleagues. A great watch for those interested in historic Korea, and there’s a little romance thrown in too!
Set in 15th century Joseon Korea, this thrilling series tells the story of a kingdom shrouded in rumours about their ill king whilst facing a mysterious plague overtaking the land. The prince becomes their only hope in leading the battle against an army of undead. Probably not for those who scare easily, but still a fascinating watch with great historic references, costumes and scenery!
Conan Without Borders
Episode 2 of this docuseries sees American talk show host Conan O’Brien exploring South Korea. From wandering around a Buddhist monastery and visitng the DMZ, to becoming a K-pop star and even adopting an octopus, follow Conan on his travels as he meets the locals and experiences South Korean culture.
Street Food Asia
Explore Southeast Asia’s booming street food scene with an entire series dedicated to some of our favourite locations! In fact, episode 5 takes you to Taiwan’s Chiayi where family-owned street stalls serve up a whole host of traditional dishes including goat stew and tofu pudding. And journey to Seoul in episode 6 to discover some of South Korea’s favourites, like soy-marinated crab and knife-cut noodles, at Gwangjang Market.
Chef’s Table: Volume 3 – Jeong kwan
Another great one for the foodies, this hour-long episode features Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan who approaches cooking as a spiritual practice. Her dishes are world renowned and you can embark on a visual feast of the flavours of South Korea and explore the road to enlightenment with this watch.
Amazon Prime: Top Watches for South Korea and Taiwan
A fantastic documentary series if you want to delve into Asia’s fascinating culture, each episode features a different Asian country and captures the past, present and future in arts, heritage, architecture and nature. Venture to Taiwan in episode 7 to meet the island’s last remaining sword maker and explore the tradition of handcrafted paper art. In episode 8 discover South Korea with visits to traditional Korean houses and see how classic Hanboks are being transformed into high fashion.
A mixture of romance, suspense, and betrayal, this 2016 movie is set in the 1930s during imperial Japan’s occupation of Korea. This is the story of a young woman who is hired as a handmaiden to a wealthy heiress, little does the heiress know that the handmaiden was sent undercover to try and steal her fortune. The movie itself is visually stunning, with plenty of intricate Korean clothing, beautiful buildings, and stunning settings to enjoy.
12 Day in Taiwan
Providing the perfect insight for anyone wanting to explore Taiwan, this 5-part series documents the 12-day adventure of Will and Chantelle as they travel the island from top to bottom. Starting in the capital Taipei, follow their adventure as they discover night markets, head to the mountains of Alishan, hike the Taroka National Park and even take a dip in Taiwan’s famous hot springs.
Audible: Top Listens for South Korea and Taiwan
Story of Taiwan: A Captivating Guide to Taiwanese History and the Relationship with the People’s Republic of China
If you want to know all there is to know about Taiwan’s fascinating history, this is the book for you. Covering the most important events throughout Taiwan’s past, hear how the arrival of the Chinese impacted the island, what happened during the Dutch trading years, the cultural changes influenced by the Japanese and so much more.
South Korea: What I Want to Tell You About My Trips to South Korea
Although only 24 minutes-long, this audio travelogue gives the perfect overview of things to see, do and eat in South Korea. With tricks on finding cultural gems in the heart of Seoul, to the best places to enjoy hiking amongst South Korea’s natural wonders, this handy audio book is jam-packed with tips on getting the most of a trip to this fantastic destination.
Want to know more about South Korea and Taiwan? They’re featured in our China brochure, order your free copy here.