Located in East Asia, South Korea is a highly developed nation whose name means ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ and its capital is Seoul, a major metropolitan city and the second largest in the world. The Korean Peninsula itself is located in a temperate climate with terrain that is quite mountainous. While winters can be relatively cold in South Korea, the summers are warm and balmy, punctuated by a short monsoon period called ‘jangma’ which takes place mostly in the month of July. With rolling hills and river basins, there is much natural beauty in this land and, in fact, the country has 20 national parks and natural places to enjoy such as the Suncheon Bay Ecological Park and the Boseong Tea Field. For most people, the preferred season to visit South Korea is during the autumn season which spans from September to November. Within these months the air is crisp, the humidity drops significantly and foliage turns to brilliant shades of orange, red and gold. Between April and May, spring arrives and many global travelers prefer to visit during this season to catch the sights of many trees and flowers in full bloom.
Being a nation that has warmly embraced high technology, South Korea is exceptionally advanced among nations in terms of transportation so you will definitely find the expected modes of travel such as air travel, motor ways and trains. In fact, Korean Air served over 21 million passengers in 2008 alone and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport has been named the “Best Airport Worldwide” every year since 2005. Frequent high-speed train service runs between all major cities, courtesy of Korail and subway systems are in these large cities, as well.
While South Korea’s culture has been said to be influenced heavily by its western neighbor, China, it does maintain quite a unique culture all its own. With 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Korea, there are clearly plenty of historical sites to visit. Pop culture has a strong following in this nation, with many popular television shows and styles of music having quite eager fan bases. Another surprise for visitors is the intense popularity of online games such as Starcraft, which is often televised in South Korea. With an estimated 90% of Koreans owning mobile phones, this is clearly a land of people on the go.
Korean cuisine is nearly as storied as that of its neighbors China and Japan, based primarily on rice, tofu, noodles, fish and meat. Kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable dish is often served with each meal and soup called ‘guk’ is traditionally enjoyed as a main course. If you enjoy spicy foods then you will be happy to know that Korean food is typically heavy in seasonings such as sesame oil, garlic, ginger and hot pepper.
Clearly, South Korea is a country with a clean atmosphere all its own with something to offer everyone.