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South Korea Hotel

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South Korea

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK) and often referred to as Korea, is a country in East Asia, occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. Also known as the "Land of the Morning Calm", it is neighbored by China to the west and Japan to the east, and borders North Korea to the north. Its capital is Seoul, the second largest metropolitan city in the world and a major global city. South Korea lies in a temperate climate region with a predominantly mountainous terrain. Its territory covers a total area of 100,032 square kilometers and has a population of almost 50 million, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world. South Korea is a presidential republic consisting of 16 administrative divisions. Archaeological findings indicate that the Korean Peninsula was occupied by humans as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Korea first began with the founding of Gojoseon kingdom in 2333 BCE by Dangun. Following the unification of the Three Korean Kingdoms under Silla in 668 AD, Korea went through the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty as one nation until the end of the Korean Empire in 1910. After liberation and division, South Korea was established in 1948 as a democracy. Following the Korean War, the South Korean economy grew significantly, transforming the country into a major global economy. South Korea is a developed country with a high standard of living. It has the fourth largest economy in Asia and the 15th largest in the world. It is also the second largest advanced economy in Asia, classified by the IMF and CIA. South Korea is one of the world's top ten exporters, and is a leader in technologically advanced goods such as electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics, headed by Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. South Korea is a member of the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. It is also a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit, and a major non-NATO ally of the United States. More recently, South Korean culture has gained international interest, a trend known as the Korean wave. How to capture the essence of this fascinating, complex nation? Social relations may be grounded in ancient Confucianism but South Korea is most decidedly a forward-thinking country thanks to its hurry-hurry approach to everything, an insatiable appetite for technological advancement and an indomitable can-do attitude. No one knows where the country is headed, but it's fast-forward all the way. That's what makes South Korea so exciting and at times unnerving; it's a country of endless possibilities. Seoul is where this is felt most keenly. There's an infectious energy here and it's easy to get caught up in the Korean joie de vivre, as well as the city's non-stop attractions. Less modern but no less appealing is the ancient city of Gyeongju, where temples, pagodas and royal tombs are a source of much fascination. Further south, the bustling port town of Busan is a little rough around the edges but rewards those travellers willing to persevere. Few international travellers explore the countryside, which is a tragedy and a blessing. Serene temples, picturesque mountains, lush rice paddies, unspoiled fishing villages and endless hiking opportunities are so far off the beaten track, it's unlikely you'll meet any Westerners (or even English speakers) on the road less travelled. Voyage to the remote, unspoilt islands of Dadohae Haesang National Park, or head to the charming backwater of Buyeo for its historic Baekje relics and lively covered market. For a somewhat less rural (and considerably more surreal) experience, there is Panmunjom & the DMZ Tour - the closest you can get to North Korea from its southern neighbour without being shot.