South Korea is a small country in east Asia, lying on the southern half of the Korean peninsula. With a total area of 100000 sq km, it extends roughly 500km from north to south and 300km from east to west. Its climate is temperate but the terrain is mostly mountaineous and not arable. Plains constitute only 30% of the total surface. South Korea has a population of 48 million inhabitants, making it the third most densely populated country in the world. The Korean peninsula has been settled since the lower Paleolithic period. Its recorded history starts in 2333 BC with the Gojoseon civilisation. In 668 AD the three Korean kingdoms were unified by the Silla kingdom, later followed by the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. In 1910 Korea was annexed by Japan. It only became independent again after WW II, but was divided into two countries, a communist north and a western-oriented south. Since then South Korea has grown into a major economic power. Currently South Korea is a parliamentary republic.

Seoul photo gallery  - 180 pictures of Seoul
Gyeongju photo gallery  - 118 pictures of Gyeongju
Busan photo gallery  - 57 pictures of Busan
180 photos of the capital of South Korea with Buddhist temples, palaces and other highlights
118 photos of Gyeongju, a major tourist centre and historical site in Korea
57 photos of Busan, the second largest city and a major commercial centre in Korea
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  • South Korea 2005 (Pusan, Gyeongju, Seoul): In early October 2005 I spent five days travelling across South Korea, entering the country in Pusan (Busan) and leaving it from the Incheon airport (Seoul). It was a short trip which I did mainly to get a first impression of the country. South Korea is not your typical tourist destination and in fact I met very few western travellers. Korea is a country tough to travel through as very few people in Korea speak English (not even the young people who learn it at school). Also, on the streets everything is written in Korean characters so ... read more
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