South Korea Facts
- Official Country Name: 대한민국, Republic of Korea
- Location: Southern Part of the Korean Peninsula
- Capital: Seoul
- Area Code: 00 82
- Time Zone: UTC+9
- Population: 51,635,256
- Area (km²): 100,000
- Languages: Korean
- Major Tourism Cities/Places: Seoul, Busan, Gyeonggi, Incheno, Jeju Island, Seoul Tower, Gyeongbok Palace
- Recommended tour: 5 Days Seoul Exploring Tour
South Korea is a republican country located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia, and its capital is Seoul. South Korea is surrounded by the sea on three sides. It borders the Southwest Sea in Southwest, the Korean Strait in the southeast, the East China Sea in the east, and the 38th Line (North Korea Demilitarized Zone) in the north. The Democratic People's Republic is adjacent, with a total area of about 100,000 square kilometers and a population of 51.28 million.
South Korea is one of the members of the Group of 20 and OECD, the founding country of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and East Asia Summit, and it is also one of the four Asian dragons. Since the 1960s, the Korean government has implemented an "export-led" economic strategy, which has promoted the rapid development of the Korean economy and created the "Han River Miracle"
In South Korea, every traveler can find his own city, modern Seoul, Enthusiastic Busan or peaceful Jeju Island.
The Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan in 1910 and regained its independence on August 15, 1945. In August and September 1948, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were established in the South and North of the Korean Peninsula according to the 38th Parallel. The Korean War broke out in 1950, and the two Koreas ended the Korean War on July 27, 1953 in accordance with the Korean Armistice Agreement. Since the 1960s, the South Korean government has implemented an "Export-Oriented" economic development strategy, creating a period of rapid economic growth known as the "Miracle of the Han River" and becoming one of the "Four Asian Tigers".
The Korean government consists of three powers: executive, legislative and judicial. Since the 1960s, South Korea has successfully developed a free and democratic system. In 1987, South Korea held the first fair and open presidential election and became one of the third group of democratized countries in East Asia. "Government Data Collection" and "World Facts" published by the US Central Intelligence Agency listed South Korea as a democratic country.
The official languages of Korea are Korean and Korean sign language. Including the entire Korean Peninsula, about 75.6 million people worldwide speak Korean. As Korea continues to improve its political and economic status in the international community, the number of people learning Korean is also increasing. Korean is currently taught in universities and high schools in many countries. In the United States, Japan, Australia and other countries, the Korean language can be used as a foreign language in college entrance examinations.
The vocabulary of Korean can be divided into three types: intrinsic words, Chinese characters words and foreign words. Inherent words are the inherent vocabulary of the Korean nation that has been handed down from ancient times, and are the core part of Korean vocabulary. The vast majority of Korean everyday words are inherent words. The vast majority of Chinese characters come from Chinese. The pronunciation of Chinese characters follows the pronunciation rules of Korean characters. Most of the words have the same meaning as Chinese, but there are some differences. Chinese characters account for more than half of Korean vocabulary. Loan words are words borrowed from other countries outside of China, mostly in English.
South Korea has a temperate continental humid and subtropical humid climate. It has four distinct seasons, and the spring and autumn are shorter; the summer is hot and humid; the winter is cold and dry. In summer, the temperature in most parts of Korea will exceed 30 ℃. Winter temperatures are cold, and the lowest temperature in inland areas can reach -20 ℃. The average temperature of Seoul in January ranges from -7 ℃ to 1 ℃. The average temperature range of Seoul in August is 22 ℃ to 30 ℃. Winter temperatures in the southern coastal areas will be higher, while the temperature in the inland mountains is very low.
The average annual precipitation in South Korea is about 1500 mm, which gradually decreases from south to north. Affected by the southeast monsoon, summer rains are abundant and concentrated, and there is a "plum rain" from the end of June to the end of July. The rainfall from June to August is 70% of the whole year. Typhoons often occur in southern coastal areas in late summer.
Most areas of South Korea are in the middle temperate zone, and the vegetation is dominated by Korean pine and broad-leaved deciduous plants. The southern coast of South Korea and Jeju Island are warm and temperate. The vegetation is broad-leaved evergreen vegetation.
South Korea started to build highways in 1967, and the Gyeongin and Gyeongbu Expressways connecting Seoul, Incheon and Busan put South Korea into the "Highway Era." After several decades of construction, South Korea has now built a "one-day life circle" of the national highway network. Korean nationals can reach any city in South Korea within a day via the highway. At present, Korea has 32 highways with a total length of 4044 kilometers and 51 national highways with a total length of 13,432 kilometers.
In 2004, the opening of the Gyeongbu high-speed line began the era of high-speed railway in South Korea. After Japan, France, Germany and Spain, South Korea became the fifth country in the world to have a high-speed railway. The South Korean High-Speed Railway (KTX) is the operator of South Korean high-speed railway systems. South Korea's high-speed rail is set at 350 kilometers per hour, and the actual operating speed can reach up to 300 kilometers per hour. It takes only 2 hours and 40 minutes from Seoul to Busan by South Korean High-Speed Rail. South Korea's high-speed rail turns the "one-day life circle" formed by highways into a "half-day life circle", that is, it can reach major parts of South Korea within half a day.
Korean Air is Korea's largest, one of Asia's largest airlines, and one of the founding members of the "SkyTeam" aviation alliance, which is founded in 1962. South Korea's second airline is Asiana Airlines, which was established in 1988 to provide domestic and international flights. South Korean airlines operate a total of 297 international routes. Other South Korean airlines such as Jeju Air and Busan Airlines mainly provide domestic Korean routes, and the prices are slightly lower.
♦ South Korea Currency
원 (won) is the official currency of South Korea. The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Bank of Korea. The international organization for standardization has designated its standard code name KRW.
Central Bank: Bank of Korea
Banknotes: ₩1000, ₩5000, ₩10000, ₩50000
Coins: ₩10, ₩50, ₩100, ₩500
♦ Exchange Rate
The exchange rate between KRW and other currencies are as :
1 USD= 1,228 KRW, 1 EUR= 1,348 KRW, 1 GBP= 1,500 KRW, 1 JPY= 11.33 KRW,
1 AUD=749 KRW, 1 CNY= 173.1 KRW
Tipping is not mandatory in South Korea, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated. Please keep in mind that it is NOT polite to tip anyone with coins.
Restaurants and Bars
Some high-end restaurants will add 10% service charge and 7% tax into your bill. In this case, you do not need to tip extra.
Hotel Staff, Tour Guides
Bellhops, porters, service people and others who carry things for you should also be tipped. 1000 won or 1000 won per bag is recommended. 1000 to 2000 won tip in an envelope left in the room for your housekeeper is appreciated. If you book a private tour in South Korea, 10 percent of the tour price is often recommended to tip your tour guide.
South Korea is rich in tourism resources, distributed in more than 2,300 natural, historical and cultural landscapes across the country. Korean tourist attractions can be roughly divided into six regions, Seoul and surrounding areas, central, southeast, southwest, northeast and Jeju Island. Sometimes the coastal areas of Jeollanam-do and Gyeongsangnam-do are also listed as the southern coast.
♦ Best time to travel in South Korea
South Korea has a temperate climate, and it is one of the greatest pleasures to enjoy the changing landscapes of the four seasons. Autumn is the best season to visit South Korea.
It is spring in South Korea from March to May. At this time, the weather is getting warmer and various flowers are racing to open.
From June to September is summertime, when is the rainy season in South Korea. The weather is hot and humid. Most Koreans choose to go to the high mountains or coastal areas for vacation, such as Busan.
From September to November is autumn time in South Korea, and this is the best time to visit South Korea. The weather is cool and it's not the rainy season, you can see the maple leaves turning red.
♦ Best places to visit in South Korea
Seoul is a cosmopolitan city with a long history and coexistence. The four palaces of the Joseon Dynasty (Gyeongbok Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace) remain in the city center. Among them, Changdeokgung is a world cultural heritage established by UNESCO. The backyard of Changdeokgung Palace is a typical Korean classical garden.
The coastline of Gyeonggi-do twists and turns along the beach, forming numerous harbors, headlands, and islands. Yeongjong Island is a tourist destination. Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon City, the capital of Gyeonggi-do, is a castle in the Kingdom of Korea. It was listed as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1997.
Busan Metropolitan city is the second-largest city and the largest seaport in South Korea. Busan has 6 beach baths, including Haeundae Beach and Gwanganri Beach. Haeundae's Busan Aquarium is the largest aquarium in South Korea.
Jeju Island is South Korea's largest island and a famous tourist resort. It is one of the new seven natural wonders in the world and has the reputation of "Little Hawaii". Jeju Island has a unique beautiful scenery of the island, and its coast has a peculiar volcanic columnar joint coast. In addition, there are famous Zhengfang Waterfall, Tiandiyuan Waterfall, Tiandiyuan Waterfall, Yaoquan Temple, Chengshan Sunrise Peak, Longtou Rock and other attractions.