The Republic of Korea (DPR) is also known the world over as South Korea, and if you’ve never been there before you’ll definitely be pleasantly surprised with the modern and cosmopolitan larger cities and the stark beauty of the mountainous countryside.
The country is home to about 50 million people and is relatively small as it’s tucked away between Japan, and China, while the neighbor to the north is North Korea.
The largest and most popular city is the capital of Seoul. But many people prefer to wander around the countryside and visit the small villages to get a taste of the South Korean way of life.
The nation is basically divided into separate unofficial regions where the history and dialect differ from region to region.
The country’s history can be traced back to before 2000 BC., and the Korean Peninsula was separated as South Korea and North Korea after the Second World War. Since then, the economy of South Korea has grown dramatically and its citizens enjoy a high standard of living. Many people may not realize that the country has the 15th strongest economy in the world.
Visiting Seoul, a city of about 10 million, is a must for any visitor that wants to see just how modern and technologically advanced the country is. Seoul will fascinate travelers with its modern skyscrapers, abundance of diverse restaurants, architecture, and monuments etc. There’s plenty to see and do here.
If you’d like to explore the South Korean countryside, it’s quite easy to do as the nation has a highly- advanced transportation network. This consists of high-speed railways, excellent roads, and a variety of ferry and bus routes.
You can also fly if you like as there are many airports and heliports that allow you to criss-cross the country by air. Some of these are in other major cities such as Busan, Incheon, Gwangju, Daegu, and Daejeon.
These cities also offer a lot to travelers as they offer an interesting look into history, culture, and cuisine, of South Korea. They all feature an abundance of elements of the culture such as traditional theatre and arts.
While South Koreans aren’t generally known as being highly religious there are still plenty of historical palaces and temples to explore.
If you’re interested in traditional Korean architecture, you may want to check out Hahoe Folk Village, Yangdong Village of Gyeongju, and Korean Folk Village.
South Korean food typically varies from region to region, but there are some staples such as rice, noodles, vegetables, meats, soups, and fish. There are also many side dishes and the food is often seasoned with soybean paste, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, salt, hot pepper sauce, and soy sauce.
South Koreans love their sports and you’ll find the martial arts, soccer, and baseball, are quite popular. The country will be hosting its first Formula One race in 2010 and IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2011.
This is an ideal land to visit for people who like to combine city life and the countryside. You can easily find restaurants and lodging to suit all budgets. Just remember South Korea has pretty cold winters, so dress appropriately if visiting then.
Photo Credit: xoxoryan