South Korea

Surrounded by the economic and military giants of Japan, China and Russia, the South Korean peninsula has long been a ‘shrimp between whales’, as a Korean proverb describes it. Today, it is a significant shrimp. South Korea’s remarkable economic achievements are well known, yet this is also a land rich in cultural heritage and esoteric beauty that has somehow remained far removed from the Asian tourist trail. Since 1988, when the Olympic Games putSeoul (home of 10 million of South Korea’s 48 million population) on the international map, the country’s international profile has grown and since the 2002 World Cup, the international awareness looks set to continue. Despite this, the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ still remains an unexplored gem.

South Korea has its northern border with North Korea. It faces China to the west across the Yellow or West Sea and Japan to the east across the East Sea. South Korea is a little bit bigger than Portugal, and most of the country, particularly the east coast, is covered in mountains – the highest is Mount Hallasan onJeju-Do island.

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