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South Korea is located in East Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, flanked by the Yellow Sea and the East Sea. The country is one of the most mountainous regions in the world.


The slopes of Korea’s granite and limestone base create a stunning landscape of scenic hills and valleys. Because of successful reforestation programs and the declining use of firewood, most of South Korea’s hills are now amply covered with foliage. At the southern and western coasts the mountains descend gradually to coastal plains.


According to legend, the mythical figure Dan-gun founded Gojoseon, the first Korean Kingdom, in 2333 BC. During the Joseon dynasty, Korea’s dominant philosophy was a strict form of Confucianism. People were separated into a rigid hierarchy, with the king at the top. While the Joseon dynasty ceased to exist in 1910, its legacy lives on in Korean culture: education and hard work are valued above all else, and some people still struggle for equal treatment.


Substantial Chinese influences are evident in traditional Korean culture. However, fundamental differences remain and Korea has managed to build a distinct cultural identity. Koreans are very proud of their heritage and their resistance to outside domination.


As early as the 1960s, the Korean economy has relentlessly shown signs of exponential growth. As such, the country currently is one of the most modern in the world.


Though Asian tourists have been flocking to Korea since the Korean Wave, it is still largely off the radar of most Western tourists.

What To See & Do


    • Royal court cuisine dinner
    • Yangdong, a village dating back to the Josean Dynasty
    • Hiking on Jeju island
    • Pansori performance
    • Shopping in Seoul
    • Changdeokgung Palace
    • Busan, Korea’s colourful second largest city


When To Go


Part of the East Asian monsoonal region, South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are usually long, cold, and dry, whereas summers are hot, and humid. A short rainy season starts in June and ends in July. Spring and autumn are pleasant but short in duration.


The ideal time to visit Korea is during the autumn months, September-November, with warm, sunny weather, blue skies and spectacular fall foliage.


Winter is cold and dry and a good time to visit for winter sports and hot-spring hopping. However, January and February can be extremely cold with the minimum temperature dropping to −20 °C in the northernmost part of the country, due to Siberian winds from the north.


Spring, in April and May, is also a great time of year to be in Korea. Temperatures are comfortable and precipitation is low. However, spring is also the time when yellow dust blows over from neighbouring China.


Summer can be uncomfortably hot and humid, with temperatures exceeding 30 °C in most parts of the country. Rainfall is concentrated in the summer months of June through September. The southern coast is subject to late summer typhoons that bring strong winds and heavy rains.


In Seoul, the average January temperature range is −7 °C to 1 °C, and the average August temperature range is 22 °C to 30 °C.