The Korean Peninsula is located in North-East Asia. It is surrounded by the ocean on three sides, making it a unique geographical location. South Korea’s total land area is 100,033 square km, neighbouring Japan to the east, China to the west, and sharing a northern border with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is the heart of Korea’s culture and education as well as politics and economy. Seoul is home to many historical sites and places of traditional culture. The shopping and entertainment districts also draw a large number of tourists every year. The Hangang River, which runs through the center of the city, is a distinctive landscape of Seoul that offers a myriad of resting areas for citizens.
Apart from Seoul, there are 7 metropolitan cities and 9 other provinces which collectively form the country that spans over 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. The 7 metropolitan cities are Busan, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, Gwangju, Ulsan and including Sejong which is an autonomous metropolitan city. The remaining landmass that forms the majority part of South Korea is divided into 9 provinces.
The uniquely landlocked Chungcheongbuk-do boasts remarkable natural landscapes, including mountains, lakes and caves. Visitors can relax at a water park that uses mineral water drawn up from rock beds 750 meters below the ground or visit the UNESCO Memory of the World registered Jikji, the world’s oldest extant movable metal print book.
Chungcheongnam-do is mostly composed of plains and is a vital transportation hub connecting Seoul with the southern region by both rail and road. The famous Boryeong Mud Festival takes places on the beach every summer. Chungcheongnam-do also offers a variety of modern hot springs facilities.
Gangwon-do is blessed with beautiful mountains and clean beaches that offer some of the best sceneries and vacation spots throughout the year. The beaches are popular spots for watching the sunrise on New Year’s morning as well. Winter in Gangwon-do is heaven for winter sports enthusiasts, as the province gets a lot of snow. The 2018 Winter Olympics have been scheduled to take place in various cities in Gangwon-do, including Pyeongchang, Gangneung, and Jeongseon.
Gyeonggi-do is home to a large variety of tourist destinations, including cultural heritage sites, theme parks, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and nature conservation sites. Also, thanks to its position surrounding Seoul and Incheon, Gyeonggi-do offers easy access to some of the most remarkable features in the nation’s capital city as well as in the leading international gateway city.
Gyeongsangbuk-do has long been the religious home of Korea. The city of Gyeongju, the old capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-935 AD), is especially well known for Buddhist cultural heritage sites, as well as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. National and provincial parks, as well as coastal walking trails, offer scenic views of nature.
Located in the southeastern part of Korea, Gyeongsangnam-do is home to some of Korea’s major historical and cultural assets, including one of Korea’s greatest treasures, Tripitaka Koreana. This province is known for temples, cherry blossoms, green tea and literature.
Jeollabuk-do is bountiful in traditional cultural heritages and historical sites. It is the setting of the famous pansori “Chunhyangjeon”, and a city famous for its hanok village and bibimbap. Experience the traditional culture of wearing hanbok, eating Korean food, and using hanji paper.
Jeollanam-do is famous for seafood, Pansori, and Arirang. It is home to diverse tourist destinations, from one of the world’s best-preserved reed bays to green tea fields, and many designated Slow Cities. The F1 Korean Grand Prix also takes place here.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is a premier tourist destination, boasting mild weather and scenic beauties of beaches, waterfalls, cliffs and caves. Some of the top tourist sites include a national park with diverse flora and fauna, breathtaking views, and the world’s longest lava tube, registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
Source: Korean Tourism Organization