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Korea

Korea

Korea is a historical state in Northeast Asia, since 1945 divided into 2 distinct sovereign states: North and South Korea

1. North Korea

North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang is both the nation’s capital as well as its largest city.

A. Places Of Interest

I. Pyongyang

Pyongyang

Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, of which it is the largest city.

Located on the Taedong River about 110 kilometres upstream from its mouth on the West Korea Sea and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388.

The city was split from the South Pyongan province in 1946.

It is administered as a directly governed city on the same level as provincial governments, as opposed to a special city as Seoul is in South Korea.

II. Kaesong

Kaesong

Kaesong is a city in North Hwanghae Province in the southern part of North Korea, a former Directly-Governed City, and the capital of Korea during the Taebong and subsequent Goryeo kingdoms.

The city is near the Kaesong Industrial Region close to the border with South Korea and contains the remains of the Manwoldae palace.

Called Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Goryeo, the city prospered as a trade centre that produced Korean ginseng. Kaesong now functions as the DPRK’s light industry centre.

It was also known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, Kaijo, during the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945.

Due to the city’s proximity to the border with South Korea, Kaesong hosts cross-border economic exchanges between the 2 countries as well as the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Region.

As of 2009 the city had a population of 192,578

III. Ryanggang Province

Ryanggang

Even though it is based in North Korea, it is bordered by China on the north,

North Hamgyong on the east, South Hamgyong on the south, and Chagang on the west.

Ryanggang was formed in 1954, when it was separated from South Hamgyong.

The provincial capital is Hyesan. In South Korean usage,

Ryanggang is spelled and pronounced as Yanggang.

2. South Korea

South Korea

South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea.

It is equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.

I. Seoul

Seoul

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets.

Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.

Other highlights include the National Museum of Korea and War Memorial of Korea, dedicated to the country’s history and art, plus Lotte World, a massive amusement park located next to supertall skyscraper Lotte World Tower.

Neighborhoods range from the ritzy shopping district of Gangnam and trendy, nightlife-centric Hongdae to expat-oriented Itaewon and villagelike Insa-dong, full of Korean barbecue joints, tearooms and noodle shops.

Dividing them is the Han River, lined with parks and promenades.

Just outside town, N Seoul Tower, atop Namsan Mountain, offers panoramic views, while 836m Bukhan Mountain is a popular hiking spot.

2. Jeju

Jeju

Jeju is the capital of Jeju Province in South Korea and the largest city on Jejudo.

The city is served by Jeju International Airport. Located on an island off the Korean Peninsula, Jeju has mild, warm weather during much of the year.

The city is a well-known resort, with prestigious hotels and public casino facilities.

In 2011, 9.9 million passengers flew between the two cities of Seoul and Jeju, making the Gimpo–

Jeju route the world’s busiest passenger air route. Jeju welcomes over ten million visitors from mainland Korea, Japan and China every year.

3. Incheon

Incheon

Incheon, a South Korean city bordering the capital of Seoul, has long been a transportation hub.

The ultramodern, massive Incheon International Airport, with railway connections to Seoul, features a casino, spa and golf course.

Yeonan Pier, close to the popular Incheon Fish Market, is the starting point for many boat tours.

Incheon is also known for its beach-lined islands, including Yeongjong and Muui-dong.

On Ganghwa-do Island, close to the heavily militarized border with North Korea, rest the Buddhist Jeondeungsa Temple and prehistoric rock tombs.

Wolmido Island is a former military base now frequented for its beaches, waterfront promenade, amusement rides and Wolmi Traditional Park, offering hiking paths and reproductions of palace gardens.

In hilltop Jayu Park, a statue of U.S. General MacArthur commemorates the Battle of Incheon, a turning point in the Korean War. Farther inland, Jung-gu (Chinatown) is considered the birthplace of the popular Chinese-Korean noodle dish jajangmyeon.

4. Daegu

Daegu

Formerly spelled as Taegu

Officially known as the Daegu Metropolitan City, is a city in South Korea, the fourth largest after Seoul, Busan and Incheon, and the third largest metropolitan area in the nation with over 2.5 million residents.

Daegu is the principal city of the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province.

The 2 areas combined are often referred to as Daegu-Gyeongbuk, with a total population of over 5 million.

Daegu is located in south-eastern Korea about 80 kilometres from the seacoast, near the Geumho River and its mainstream, Nakdong River in Gyeongsang-do.

The Daegu basin, where the city lies, is the central plain of the Yeongnam region.

In ancient times, there was a proto-country named Jinhan, to which the current Daegu area belonged.

Later Daegu was part of the Silla Kingdom which unified the Korean Peninsula.

During the Joseon Dynasty period, the city was the capital of Gyeongsang-do which was one of the traditional 8 provinces of the country.

Daegu was an economic motor of Korea during the 1960s–1980s period and was especially known for its electronics industry.

5. Busan

Busan

Busan, a large port city in South Korea, is known for its beaches, mountains and temples.

Busy Haeundae Beach features the Sea Life Aquarium, plus a Folk Square with traditional games such as tug-of-war, while Gwangalli Beach has many bars and views of modern Diamond Bridge.

Beomeosa Temple, a Buddhist shrine founded in 678 A.D., is at the base of Geumjeong Mountain, which has hiking trails.

Another famed temple, 14th-century Haedong Yonggungsa, overlooks the ocean from a crest of rocks.

Hurshimchung Hot Springs offers over 40 spring-fed soaking pools.

Other notable destinations include Jagalchi Market, a large, open-air seafood market where visitors can eat raw fish straight from the stands, and Busan Asiad Main Stadium, which hosted events during the 2002 Asian Games and World Cup.

In the Nam District, the UN Memorial Cemetery commemorates the Korean War. Street food stalls serve local delicacies such as dwaeji gukbap (pork and rice soup) and dongnae pajeon (pancakes with seafood, scallions and beef).

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