Sightseeing in South Korea
Tourism and Culture
Different Forms of Tourism
Korea has a history long of 5,000 years. As a result, historical sites and remains are very various despite Japanese policy to destroy Korean culture during the colonization (1905-1945) and the Korean war (1950-1953). Most famous tour spots in Korea are located in Seoul (Royal palaces, gates and walls, shrines), Gyeongju (old capital of Shilla kingdom), Kanghwa (temples and fortresses), Suwon (fortress) and Buyo (old capital of Paekche kingdom).
- Korean museums made a lot of progresses in the past years. National Museum and War memorial in Seoul are the most interesting with the Folk Museum, also in Seoul. At the Gyeongju National Museum you can admire some of the masterpieces of Shilla's period.
- Mountains, islands and Jeju's volcanoes are the natural treasures of Korea. The most beautiful places are protected by Government there are 20 national parks.
- By tradition, Korea is a Buddhist country, however since end of XIXth century Christians' community is more and more important (Catholics and Protestants) and reaching around 25 % of the population. Neverthelss and according to a tourist point of view, Buddhist temples are more interesting than Churches, first are old and located in natural areas, seconds are very modern and situated in urban areas.
- Korean people enjoy hot springs and spas. Facilities are very modern and safe.
- Korea offers a large range of beaches. Most famous are on the south coast (around or inside Busan city) or on the East Coast (Beaches located on the North-Eastern coasts are only opened during summer time, remain of the year, they are closed by Army). Korea also proposes various islands like the famous and wonderful sub-tropical island of Jeju, classified by UNESCO. In South Jeolla provinces you can enjoy a very large archipelago.
- Winter Sports
- With cold and snowy winter, and various mountains, Korea is a good place for winter sports. Facilities are modern and safe.
- Outdoor Activities
- The best outdoor activities to practice in Korea are golf (more than 2 millions Korean are golfers) and inking. Korean mountains are beautiful, even more in Autumn. Waking, Diving, Bicycle touring, Bungee Jump, Golf, Extreme Sports.
- Korea offers the entire possible shopping alternatives, from very large shopping mall to traditional market. In department stores prices are higher than in Europe but it is possible to negotiate prices in markets. Seoul has some of the largest markets in the World (Namdeamum and Dongdeamum), immense like a town's district.
|Top Highlights of the Capital City|
|Namsangol Hanok Village|
|N Seoul Tower|
|Bukhansan National Park|
Individual and Civic Freedoms
- Political Freedom
- Widespread. Despite the overall health of the South Korean political system, bribery, influence peddling, and extortion by officials have not been eradicated from political, business, and everyday life.
- Civil Liberty
- Freedom of the Press
- Widespread. Newspapers are privately owned and report fairly aggressively on governmental policies and alleged official and corporate wrongdoing.
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2009 report : 69/175
Evolution: 22 places down compared to 2008
- For Further Information, Consult Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009, Reporters Without Borders
- Free Access to the Internet
- Freedom of Assembly
- Rule of Law
- Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights
- Relatively widespread.
- Women's Condition
- Women in South Korea possess de jure equality, but there is de facto discrimination in employment opportunities and salary.
- For Further Information
Country report of Freedom House
Human rights report, US Department of State
- Degree of Freedom
- Widespread.The constitution in South Korea provides for freedom of religion, and the government does not enforce any state religion.
Population with religion: 53.1%
Buddhism 43.0%, Christianity 34.5%, Catholic 20.6%, Others 1.9%.
- Role of Religion in Society
- Religions play an important role in contemporary social life (Ceremonies like marriage and various festivals) and sometimes they lead the social movement on several issues (like North Korea's human right, Anticorruption in politics or Economy, Help the poor or the old, etc.).
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