Introduction to South Korea

south-koreaKorean women performing a traditional dance during a festival in Namwon City

South Korea: An Introduction

Korea is a pine-clad land of mountains, misty archipelagos, and rice paddies of emerald green, something that is of a mystery to visitors. It is surrounded by three superpowers in history – China, Russia, and Japan.

However, it has survived and transformed into an economic power while at the same time keeping its culture and customs mostly intact.

Koreans are keen on preserving their sense of national identity – both the North and the South – which are divided by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) since the Korean War in 1953. The two nations are still at war technically since they only agreed and ended the war through an armistice.

The Korean War, which was principally a civil war but was started by external forces, left millions of soldiers and civilians killed and brought to the ground almost all structures built. North Korea has since armed itself by strengthening its army and developing weapons and has made itself the least accessible countries on Earth.

On the other hand, South Korea started to build up and stand up from the ashes of war by promoting economic development by using aids and exporting human labor. Some say that it was during the dictatorship period of former Park Chung-hee that economic miracle speeds up in Korea; however, many critics and activists think otherwise.

Anyhow, economic progress and becoming a technology hub, South Korea proves that extreme poverty can be overcome and that democratic processes are significant factors in improving both the lives and national economy.

At present, you will experience South Korea’s cities pulsating with neon lights, endless activities, and 24/7 business. Here, you can shop, eat, drink, or get entertained until you drop!

You can buy souvenirs at night markets in Namdaemun and Dongdaemun. Or, you may proceed to a Noraebang (Korean Karaoke) to sing your favorite songs and sing to the top of your voice.

Get giddy on a bottle of soju or makgeolli with friends and then sweat out at day time or night time in a sauna available in almost every block where residents and businesses thrive.

However, in the remote rural areas – which are actually fast changing with new tall apartments, roads, and modern structures emerging – you will find that life there is still catching up with the development in the cities.

You can travel to the islands and see life, which is quite different and stunningly slower than the cities. You will notice that mostly only grandparents remain in the rural areas as most younger people have gone to the cities, especially Seoul, to seek a job, pursue higher studies or simply live a city life.

south-koreaLush and spiky mountaintops of Gayasan National Park

Some Facts

  • The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a four-kilometer-wide landmine littered zone that divides the Korean Peninsula. It is sharing borders with the Republic of China and about 20 kilometers near Vladivostok, Russia.
  • North Korea (or the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”) has around 23 million people, most of whom are living in an area half the size of Great Britain.
  • South Korea (“Republic of Korea”) has a population of around 50 million – more than 10 million are living in Seoul, the nation’s capital city. However, at present, South Korea is facing a crisis of keeping its population as couples do not want to raise more children for some reasons.
  • Both the North and South Koreas are dominated by ethnic Korean people making the two Koreas as the most ethnically homogeneous nations in the world. However, this has started to change as many South Koreans are marrying foreigners.
  • Before the North and South split, both countries were traditionally Buddhist religion believers, although they have Confucianism and Shamanism tradition and practices. The North has followed Juche, a localized style of communism, while South Korea has adopted various denominations of Christianity religion.
  • South Korea was ruled over by 116 monarchs before the Japanese imperial army invaded the nation in 1910. It had the Silla, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Joseon dynasties ruled by those monarchs which date back to 57 BC.
  • It was thought that both the North and the South have almost comparable economies until the mid-1970s.

At present, South Korea is one of the top economies and exporting countries of modern technologies, including electronics, cars, spare parts, computers, etc.
South Korea is now becoming a top or hub of cosmetic surgery and medical services, including hospitals.

Aside from the adult travelers, South Korea captures the attention and hearts of the younger generation of other Asian countries with its popular K-Pop and Korean Soap Operas being exported and dubbed into local languages.

If you want to know more about the country, take advantage of what it offers by taking cheap flights from anywhere in the world. A country with four distinct seasons, you will undoubtedly enjoy any time of the year your travel activities, comfortable stay at various accessible, fantastic and hospitable accommodations, among great places here.

However, don’t make a mistake of seeing and experiencing everything once and for all in one visit! You may either stay longer or return to experience more.

Please, note that this is only a very brief introduction about Korea and so feel free to browse more pages here.
Thank you for reading this page!

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