South Korea is one of the most popular countries for tourism in all of Asia. This is not surprising given that South Korea has a large number of historical monuments, Buddhist monasteries, temples and pagodas. Tourists in this country are waiting for ski resorts, beautiful mountains, waterfalls on rivers, as well as long sandy beaches.
Geography of South Korea
South Korea is located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. South Korea borders North Korea to the north, Japan to the east (via the Sea of Japan), and China to the west (via the Yellow Sea). The total area of the country is 99,392 sq. km, including the islands, and the total length of the state border is 238 km.
Most of the territory of South Korea is occupied by mountains and hills. The highest peak is Mount Hallasan, whose height reaches 1,950 m. Plains and lowlands make up only about 30% of the country’s territory, they are located in the west and southeast of South Korea.
South Korea owns about 3 thousand islands, most of them are very small and uninhabited. The largest island of this country is Jeju, located 100 km from the south coast.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of South Korea is Seoul, which is now home to more than 10.5 million people. Historians claim that Seoul already existed in the 4th century BC.
The official language in South Korea is Korean, which belongs to the Altaic languages.
More than 46% of the South Korean population consider themselves atheists. Another 29.2% of South Koreans are Christians (18.3% are Protestants, 10.9% are Catholics), more than 22% are Buddhists.
Government of South Korea
According to equzhou.net, South Korea is a parliamentary republic. Its head is the President, elected for 5 years.
The unicameral parliament in South Korea is called the National Assembly, it consists of 299 deputies elected for a 4-year term.
The main political parties are the conservative Senuri Party, the United Democratic Party, and the Liberal Progressive Party.
Climate and weather
The climate in South Korea is very diverse – continental and humid monsoon, with cold winters and hot summers. The average air temperature is +11.5C. The highest average air temperature is in August (+31C), and the lowest is in January (-10C). The average annual rainfall is 1,258 mm.
Sea in South Korea
In the east, South Korea is washed by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, and in the west – by the Yellow Sea. The total coastline is 2,413 km. In August, the water off the coast of South Korea warms up to + 26-27C.
Rivers and lakes
Most of South Korea’s rivers are in the eastern part of the country. Many rivers flow into the Yellow Sea. The largest river in South Korea is the Nakdong River. Some rivers have amazingly beautiful waterfalls (for example, in the Cheongjeonpokpo Nature Park).
History of South Korea
As such, the history of South Korea begins in 1948, when previously united Korea was divided into two states – the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the DPRK. According to mythology, the Korean state was formed in 2333 BC.
In 1950-53, there was a war between South Korea and the DPRK, in which the United States, China, the USSR and even the UN took an active part. A peace treaty between these countries has not yet been signed, and their border is separated by the Demilitarized Zone.
South Korea was admitted to the UN only in 1991.
The culture of South Korea is based on the centuries-old cultural traditions of the Korean people. The traditions and customs of the inhabitants of South Korea are unique, unless, of course, North Korea is taken into account (and this, of course, is impossible).
The most important holiday in South Korea is the Sol holiday, which is considered a reflection of the Chinese New Year.
In winter, South Koreans celebrate the Hwacheon Mountain Trout Festival and the Inje Icefish Festival.
At the end of March, Gyeongju hosts the annual liquor and rice cake festival, and in April (or May) South Koreans celebrate Buddha’s Birthday. At the end of May, Koreans celebrate the Chungju Martial Arts Festival.
In September-October of every year, South Koreans celebrate the Chuseok harvest festival. These days, Koreans take a short vacation from work to visit the graves of their ancestors.
South Korean cuisine
The cuisine of South Korea is based on ancient Korean culinary traditions. The main food products are rice, seafood, fish, vegetables, meat.
In South Korea, we recommend trying rice porridge, rice with vegetables, kimchi (sauerkraut or pickled cabbage), potato cakes, seafood soup, various fish soups, squid and octopus dishes, bulgogi (Korean kebabs), fried pork ribs, hodukvazha cookies.
Traditional soft drinks in South Korea are rice and barley decoctions, as well as decoctions and infusions of herbs and spices.
As for alcoholic beverages, local rice wine and soju rice liquor are popular in South Korea.
Remember “boshingtang” is dog soup. The South Korean government is trying to ban the preparation of this dish, but so far unsuccessfully. The dish “boshingtang” is usually consumed by South Koreans in the summer. South Korean men claim that this dish promotes stamina.
In South Korea, there are now several thousand historical, architectural and archaeological monuments. In terms of the number of attractions, South Korea occupies one of the first places in all of Asia. Some South Korean attractions are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (for example, the Buddhist temple of Seokguram). The top ten attractions in South Korea, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace in Seoul
- Hwaseong Fortress
- Bulguksa Buddhist Monastery
- Bulguksa Buddhist Temple
- Cave Buddhist Temple Seokguram
- Deoksugung Palace in Seoul
- Li dynasty tombs in Gwangneung
- Changdeokgung Royal Palace in Seoul
- Posingak Bell Tower in Senul
- Heongchunsa Shrine near Asan
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in South Korea are Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and, of course, Seoul.
The best beach resorts in South Korea are located on the shores of the Sea of Japan. The most popular beaches on the coast of the Sea of Japan are Gyeongpodae near the city of Gangneung and Naksan near the town of Chongjin. Most of the beaches are surrounded by beautiful pine forests. The beach season in South Korea is very short – from July to August.
Another popular beach holiday destination in South Korea is Jeju Island, located 100 km from the Korean Peninsula. We also recommend that tourists pay attention to the beaches of Ganghwa Island in the Yellow Sea.
South Korea has many ski resorts that are popular among Asians. These ski resorts have a well-developed skiing infrastructure, and, in addition, the prices there are much lower than, for example, in Europe. The most popular ski resorts in South Korea are Muju, Yangji, Yongpyeong, Bears Town and Chisan Forest.
The skiing season is from the end of November to the middle of March. Some ski resorts use artificial snow, so they ski there all year round.
There are many thermal and hot springs in South Korea. Tourists are advised to visit the Yongpyeong resort in the east of the country, where there are excellent hot springs, the water temperature in which is + 49C. By the way, in this ski resort, tourists will also find good ski slopes.
Tourists from South Korea usually bring handicrafts, lamps, bookends, traditional Korean folk masks, dolls in traditional Korean clothes, Korean tea cups, necklaces, hairpins, bracelets, blankets, scarves, Korean sweets, Korean tea, Korean white wine
Supermarkets are open daily from 10:30 to 20:00 (close later on weekends).
Small shops are open from early morning to late evening.
Most restaurants are open daily from 10:00 to 22:00.
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to visit South Korea.
The official currency in South Korea is the South Korean Won (its international designation is KRW). Credit cards are common in all major cities.
The import and export of foreign currency is not limited (it must be declared), and the import and export of local currency can be no more than 8 million won.
Please note that thriller films cannot be imported into South Korea. Also, you can not import into South Korea any materials with “communist” content.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of South Korea in Ukraine:
Postcode: 01034, Kiev, Vladimirskaya St., 43
246-37-59 mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in South Korea:
Republic of Korea, Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Dongbinggo-dong, 1-97
578-69-11 mail: [email protected]
112 – call the Police
119 – call the Ambulance, Fire Brigade, etc.
The difference with time in Kyiv is +7 hours. Those. if in Kyiv it is 10:00, then in Seoul it is 17:00.
Tipping is not accepted in South Korea, but you can, of course, leave a tip if you are satisfied with the service. Most tourist hotels include a service charge (10%) on the bill. In some prestigious restaurants, a service charge (3-10%) is also included in the bill.
No vaccinations are required to visit South Korea. However, doctors still recommend preventive vaccinations against typhoid, malaria, rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B.
The crime rate in South Korea is very low, foreign tourists can travel around this country quite safely. South Koreans are very honest, sincere and friendly people. However, tourists in South Korea need not be reckless.
The highest crime rate in South Korea is in the resort towns of Jeju, Mokpo, Gangneung, Suncheon, Gumi, Pohang and Gyeongju.