ABOUT KOREA
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ABOUT KOREA

For Romanians, South Korea is one of Asia’s best examples of ingenuity, perseverance and organization, a country with a fascinating millennial history who knew how to preserve its national specificity, even after its long Chinese and Japanese influence.
World War II transformed Korea into a poor country, predominantly rural, as Romania was until the first half of the 19th century. The North of the country entered the communist dictatorship and the South managed to maintain its independence. In only a few decades, South Korea became a world economic power with high standards of living and architectural monuments that impress the whole world. The extraordinary combination of millennial historic monuments, ultra-modern modern buildings and diverse natural landscapes make South Korea an annual tourist destination visited by millions of people. The distance between Romania and South Korea is approximately 8.000 km, the flight between the two friendly countries lasting 10 hours. Romanian citizens do not need a visa to enter South Korea if they travel for tourist purposes that do not exceed 90 calendar days. The “Quiet Morning Country” borders north with North Korea and is surrounded by the Japan Sea to the east, the Yellow Sea to the west, and the Strait of Korea separates it from Japan.
Also, South Korea (Republic of Korea) sovereign state of East Asia occupies the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The capital and largest city of the country is Seoul, a modern, cosmopolitan city with a strong economy, and is considered the second largest metropolis in the world. Tourists are fascinated by hundreds of years old Buddhist temples, traditional restaurants and old buildings, skyscrapers and huge ultra-modern buildings. The city seems to never sleep, with agitation both night and day. The most visited attraction in Seoul is the Deoksugung Palace, the old royal residence of the Korean royal family, along with the ancient Gyeongju and Buyeo capitals that hold old monuments and vestiges of the country’s past.
Almost everything in South Korea is centred around Seoul, stretched over the hills around the Han River, the capital of the country for over 600 years and with a population of over 10 million. The phenomenal economic development of the 1970s has turned the city into one of the world’s technological hubs, and many of the royal palaces are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Along with the city’s panorama, the visitor can enjoy an amazing wealth of natural landscapes and cultural attractions. Tourists are attracted to Hallasan and Seoraksan National Parks, Gyeongju Buddhist Temples, relaxing on the beaches of Busan or Jeju Island, skiing on the slopes of Gangwon-do, or by green rice fields.
Jeju Island is also quite popular, being an area with spectacular scenery, volcanic peaks and a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Cheonjiyeon Waterfall or Mount Hallasan should not be missed.

The Baekdudaegan Mountains or the major cities of South Korea, Busan, Incheon or Daegu are other major tourist attractions of this country. Among the destinations that attract South Koreans and tourists from all over the world are: Hwaseong Castle and Fortress, Ilchulbong Vulcan Crater, Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoraksan National Park, Boseong Tea Plantations, Gwangan Bridge, Temple Bulguksa, Manjangg Lane Tunnel, Haeinsa Temple.

Korean culture and arts have been heavily influenced by China. Buddhism dominated Korean life from the 7th century until the 12th century, influencing the arts as well. There are many Buddhists, monasteries, holy tombs, palaces and artworks that make tourism bloom in South Korea. The Koryo dynasty has greatly helped the artistic world by leaving heritage valuable architectural works of art, and folklore stories, music, poetry and theatre are part of the Buddhist and Confucian tradition.

But South Korea would not be as phenomenal without its remarkable dishes that are as varied as the country itself. Kimchi is the symbol of Korean cuisine, considered to be the healthiest traditional food thanks to its high fibre content and vitamin C. Next to Kimchi, among the tasty Korean preparations doenjang (soybean fermented paste) and Namul (mountain herbs). All Korean dishes are served at the same time as the traditional number of dishes that are at the table ranging from 3 in the poorer families to 12 for royal family members. The preparations are based on consumption of rice, vegetables, noodles, tofu, fish, algae and chicken, porka and beef. Seasoning the food is made with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onion and sesame oil, sugar and rice vinegar. Also, the Koreans adopted China and Japan’s principle of five sweet, sour, spicy, salty and bitter tastes. This is why Romanians appreciate places like the Seoul Restaurant in Bucharest, where they can enjoy the traditional Korean cuisine, cooked with a lot of passion.

South Korea is a destination that offers surprises regardless to the season you choose to visit. Here’s what specials have every season of the year:

Spring has the same duration as in Romania and perfect temperatures for walks in the nature. Cherry, forsythia, azalea, magnolias and lilac flowers can be observed all around for about 3 months.

In South Korea, the most beautiful festivals take place in spring. The Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival is held in late March among the most plum trees in Korea.

In April, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival or the Cherry Flower Festival is a period where you can walk through a blooming cherry tunnel to enjoy the colours and smell of cherries.

June is the beginning of the summer and will continue until the end of August, with a temperature between 20 – 26 degrees Celsius. There are many outdoor festivals in the summer, the best known internationally being the Boryeong Mud Festival. As the name suggests, during his time there are lots of mud (battles, baths, massages). Of course, in the evening the party moves to the beach, where fireworks and quality music are awaiting you.

Another reason to visit Korea summer is Busan Sea Festival, which stretches on 6 beaches, which have different themes and activities. For an interactive vacation, we recommend you try to go through all the beaches and activities prepared.

The most popular dishes in the summer are: chicken soup cooled in ginseng juice, mini-pancakes and rice cake, and barley oysters in omijja punch, prepared from chili green, jangajji or myeongnanjeot.

Autumn, famous for the orange and other stunning colours offered, it is embellished by the clear blue sky. It is the harvest season and that’s why it is advisable to visit the traditional villages where the customs of the ancestors have been preserved.

The most important holiday for Koreans is Chuseok, when family members returns home to be close to the loved ones. In Autumn eat gaeseong mu-jjim, bambap, Susam-naengchae and yukgaejang.

In winter, the attractions of Korea are the mountainous regions of Gangwon-do, the place covered by a snow carpet, offering a superb view. If you visit Korea in the winter, you have to attend is Gimjang, the most important event of the season, when Gimjang Kimchi is prepared, a dish that must be carefully cooked to resist the entire winter.

Enjoy your favourite seasons in South Korea, but do not forget to immortalize the special moments and dreams that this gorgeous country has to offer.