South Korean won (KRW)
Korean, English widely taught in junior
high and high school
Christian 49%, Buddhist 47%, Confucianist
3%, Shamanist, Chondogyo (Religion of the
Heavenly Way), and other 1%
North Korea 238 km
| Map |
|The Korean Peninsula lies wedged between Russia, China and across the East Sea, Japan. Korea in fact, lies right in the heart of North East Asia. For years, Koreans have fought hard to repel neighbouring invaders who have attempted to annex Korea. The Korean War in the 1950�s is harsh evidence of this, yet this struggle to remain an independent nation appears to have paid off well, in respect of Koreans having maintained their own unique blend of cultural heritage and customs. After the Korean War, the US provided aid to South Korea, and many large banks in the US, helped South Korea into becoming one of the great economical giants of today. The unit of currency is the won. Seoul, the capital along with many other parts of the country, was levelled during the Korean War though today, few signs of that bitter time remain. Modern day Seoul is a thriving economical metropolis and South Korea as a result, aims to experience a great economic boom in the not too distant future.|
South Korea is relatively small in size, with a landmass of 98,190 sq km For a small county though, South Korea does have a large population of approximately 48.3 million, 10.6 million of which live in the capital, Seoul. Much of the Korean terrain is mountainous, and the Koreans have pulled out all the stops into ensuring that areas of outstanding natural beauty, have been properly and tastefully preserved into national parks. The Korean word for mountain is �san�, and the main parks are named thus:
Bukansan, Seoraksan, Songnisan, Chiaksan and
Woraksan. Within these national parks, one can find serenity in the form of beautiful rock carvings, temples and monk�s hermitages, some of which are set alongside tranquil babbling streams and shaded woodland.
Koreans are extremely receptive towards foreign tourists, and often extend a warm welcome to the curious tourist and delight in explaining life from a Korean point of view as well as providing an insight into Korean history and culture.
The peninsula receives a temperate climate similar to Western Europe, although winters are harsh due to blizzard winds from Siberia. Summer is a time of much rain and sticky temperatures. During the wetter summer months, South Korea experiences freak typhoons which bring with them mass destruction.