Geographical Location of Korea
||Korea lies adjacent to China and Japan.
The northern border of Korea is formed by the Amnokgang (Yalu) and Dumangang (Tumen) rivers, which separate it from Manchuria.
A 16-kilometer segment of the Dumangang to the east also serves as a natural border with Russia.
The west coast of the Korean Peninsula is bounded by the Korean Bay to the north and the West Sea to the south; the east coast faces the East Sea. Two hundred kilometers separate the peninsula from eastern China.
The shortest distance between Korean and Chinese coasts is 200 kilometers and from the southeastern tip of the
peninsula, the nearest point on the Japanese coast is also about 200 kilometers away. Because of its unique
geographical location, Chinese culture filtered into Japan through Korea; a common cultural sphere of Buddhism and
Confucianism was thus established between the three countries.
|The Korean Peninsula extends about 1,000 kilometers southward from the
northeast Asian continental landmass. Roughly 300 kilometers in width,
climate variations are more pronounced along the south-north axis.
Differences in plant vegetation can be seen between the colder north and
the warmer south. The peninsula and all of its associated islands lie
between 33 06'40"N and 43 00'39"N parallels and 124 11'00"E and
131 52'08"E meridians. The latitudinal location of Korea is similar to that
of the Iberian Peninsula and Greece. The entire peninsula corresponds
approximately to the north-south span of the state of California. Koreans
have developed and use a unique alphabet called Hangeul. It is considered
to be one of the most efficient alphabets in the world and has garnered
unanimous praise from language experts for its scientific design and excellence.
|Visitors will discover its rich natural beauty combined with a unique cultural and historical heritage. After a rapid modernization in recent decades, Koreans still maintain their traditional values such as hospitality and the time- honored Confucian respect for the elderly.
Traveling in Korea is enjoyable all year round thanks to its distinct four seasons and the beautiful changes of nature.
In spring (March to May), mountains and fields are in bloom with cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, magnolias and
lilacs. In summer (June to early September), luxuriant forests, bright green fields and the cobalt blue sea draw people
outdoors. In autumn (September to November), cool temperatures and a clear sky make it the most pleasant time of
the year in Korea. The mountains all over the country are covered in red and yellow blazing autumn foliage. In winter
(December to February), mountain slopes become the place for skiing and snow festivals. Winter in Korea is another
delightful season of great amusement.
More than 400 local festivals throughout the year represent colorful facets of the Korean culture. Events that have great
appeal to tourists include the Icheon-Gwangju-Yeoju Ceramic Exposition and the sea-splitting Jindo Yeongdeungje
Festival. Korea takes pride in many world-renowned cultural assets which UNESCO has designated on its World
Cultural Heritage List. They are Changdeokgung royal palace, Hwaseong fortress, Seokguram stone buddha grotto,
Bulguksa temple, the Tripitaka Koreana wood block printing plates at Haeinsa temple, Jongmyo shrine in Seoul, the
Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa dolmen sites, and the Gyeongju remains of Silla Dynasty.
|Korean, like many other Asian people, is descendants of Mongolian
Tungus stock. However, they differ from their neighbors, the Japanese
and Chinese, in that they are a homogeneous ethnic group with their
own language, culture, and customs. Korean people are characterized
by their generosity, warmth and kindness.
Korean food contains less meat than most traditional Western or Chinese cuisine, and features a wide variety of fermented foods, assorted vegetable dishes, and rice. It is very nutritious and is becoming more and more popular around the world for its health benefits. Traditionally, Korean table settings are comprised of a number of side dishes. Family and friends gather around the table and share between themselves, sampling every dish. Only boiled rice and guk (soup) are two items that are not shared. These customs represent the true character of Koreans as being people who prefer to do everything together.
(Major Korean Food: Kimchi, Bibimbap, Galbi, Bulgogi, Hanjeongsik)
Hangeul was invented by King Sejong in 1446 with assistance from some scholars to give the people an alphabet that was easy to read and write. Throughout the world, there are some 3,000 spoken languages but roughly only 100 alphabets . Among these, only hangeul was systematically invented without influence from any other language.
Hangeul is a very scientific alphabet and is designated by UNESCO as an important part of the Memory of the World Heritage. As a result of the Korean Wave and Korea 's economic prosperity, desire to learn hangeul and the Korean language is exploding.