South Korea, Asia - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to South Korea

South Korea

Capital: Seoul

Currency: South Korean Won (₩, KRW)

Dialling Code: +82

Driving Side: Right

Language(s): English, Korean

Population: 50,801,405 (2016)

Time Zone: UTC +9

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), ‎is a homogeneous country occupying the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia, with North Korea to the North. To the southeast, Japan is a short ferry ride away while China sits ‎across the sea to the west.

After the ‎disastrous Korean War which split the peninsula into two - North Korea and South Korea; the twin frontiers of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separates both countries. It is important to know that no peace treaty has been signed by both parties which means they both ‎remain technically at war with each other.

Although they share a common culture, ‎South Korea has gone on to become a flourishing destination and an economic powerhouse. Much cannot be said of ‎North Korea as it is currently one of the ‎least accessible countries in the world and the society is closely controlled by the government.

Balancing a trend of modern and traditional attractions, South Korea is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, but also has one of the world's lowest birth rates (1.21 children per woman). The official language is Korean and the citizens are known as Koreans.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Visit UNESCO designated sites, learn Taekwondo in a royal palace, or take a tour to the DMZ. There are an endless number of unique things to see and do in Korea.

Gyeongbokgung

Located in the heart of Seoul, the Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty and represented their sovereignty. The palace also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea.

It is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces (the others being Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace).

Seoraksan National Park (Gangwon)

South Korea's most popular national park, the natural beauty of Seoraksan consists of towering rock pinnacles, dense alpine forests, wildflowers at every turn and wonderfully remote temples to Buddhist gods.

Manjang cavern (Jeju)

One of the world's largest lava tubes and part of an even larger cave system, Manjanggul offers unique glimpses of geologic wonders. Highlights include the tube itself and various features, such as a massive lava column.

King Munmu's Underwater Tomb (Gyeongju)

This revered underwater tomb lies just off the east coast. Come here for peeks at modern shamanist rituals, delectable seafood and the tomb of a king said to have returned as a fearsome dragon.

Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)

The world's most heavily fortified border almost seems part of an absurdist play, but there's no denying the barbed wire or the grim skirmishes that gave occurred here. The Third Tunnel of Aggression is a must-see.

Cheonghwadae – The Blue House

Cheongwadae is the official residence of the president of South Korea. We recommend reserving in advance and going with an official tour

Climate

South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are usually long, cold and dry. Summers are very short, hot, and humid. Spring and autumn are pleasant but also short in duration. Seoul's mean temperature in January is -5 degrees Celsius to - 2.5° Celsius (23°- 27, 5° Fahrenheit) and in July the mean temperature is about 22.5° C to 25° C (71°- 75° Fahrenheit).

The country generally has enough rainfall, rarely it does less than 75 centimeters of rain fall in any given year; for the most part, rainfall is over 100 centimeters. Amounts of precipitation can however vary from year to year. Serious droughts occur about once every eight years. About two-thirds of the annual precipitation occurs between June and September. 

Electricity

South Korean electrical outlets accept appliances with a voltage rating of 220V at 60Hz. If your appliance has this rating that includes 220V (Such as 100-240V that most laptop chargers now accept), you will be able to use the appliance with only a plug adapter. If it falls below or above this rating, you will need to purchase a transformer or a voltage adapter before leaving your country.

Health

South Korea has a universal healthcare system. The hospitals have readily available advanced medical equipment and facilities readily available. Life expectancy has been rising rapidly in South Korea; the average number is currently at 81.37 years.

Language

Koreans (both South and North) speak Korean and it is also one of the two official languages in China's Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. About 80 million people speak Korean worldwide.

Money

The official currency of South Korea is the South Korean Won (₩, KRW). Coins come in denominations of ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500 while bank notes are in the denominations of ₩1, 000, ₩5, 000, ₩10, 000 and ₩50, 000. The ₩1 and ₩5 coins also exist but are very rare in circulation.

The largest bill in circulation is the ₩50, 000 note although they are very uncommon in ATMs. Credit cards are generally acceptable while ATMs are very common, but most Korean ATMs don't accept foreign cards.

Time

Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)

Tipping

Tipping in Korea is not too common and some residents feel offended when tipped. The trend seems to have been changing as the country is exposed to more and more western cultures.

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