The Korean peninsula stretches southward from the center of the Northeastern coast of Asia, encompassing a land area of approximately 220,000 Km² with some 3,400 islands dotting its coastline. Korea is currently the only nation in the world that is still divided into two different political entities. According to the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, as of July 2015, the total population of Korea is 51,448,183, ranking 26th globally by country. Out of the total population, roughly 20% live in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. Other large and economically advanced cities such as Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Ulsan have higher population densities than other cities in Korea.
Over their 5,000-year history, Koreans have achieved an indigenous culture, and their unique cultural properties can be found throughout the peninsula. Koreans have put a high value on learning, and have earned a reputation for diligence and dedication.
Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, refers to the series of letters that form syllables with which the Korean language is written. The most unique aspect of Hangeul is that it was intentionally created by the government as a written means of expressing the Korean language. History states that King Sejong, who was the 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty, sponsored and helped in the scientific creation of the alphabet with the help of a team of scholars, making it the most significant invention in Korean history.
Korean food is referred to in Korean as Hansik. While many other Asian ethnic foods such as Chinese or Japanese cuisine have become popular throughout the world, Korean food has yet to reach its peak. The Korean government is crusading for the globalization of Hansik in cooperation with companies, civic groups and the mass media. As the people of the world gain a better understanding of Korean food its flavors, and its roots, Korean food will undoubtedly become a global commodity like the foods of Korea's neighbors.
Hanok is the traditional architecture style of Korea. The word Hanok embraces all types of traditional architecture including thatched-roof, shingle-roofed and tile-roofed houses. However, these days, the term Hanok is generally understood to mean only the tile-roofed house. While the thatched-roof houses made of straw or shingle-roofed houses have nearly disappeared, the tile-roofed hanok can still be found throughout the country. There are many tile-roofed houses that are being maintained as cultural heritages, but many are also still private residences.
Hanbok is the traditional outfit of the Korean people. Koreans nowadays wear this outfit only on festive days or special anniversaries; however, it was worn daily until just 100 years ago. It is a kind of traditional formal dress, and most Koreans keep a Hanbok for these special times. Children wear Hanbok on their first birthday, and adults wear it for their wedding ceremony and on their 60th birthday. The Hanbok is also worn for funerals or religious services, and is still used as casual wear in villages or districts where the traditional ways of life are maintained such as Chunghak-dong on Mount Jiri.
Korea is a shopper’s paradise! You can find luxury brands, the latest fashion labels, cosmetics, souvenirs, and more in Korea. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has developed a new shopping and tourism brand called “1st Premium Shopping” to ensure international tourists a reliable and comfortable shopping experience.
Three Principles of “1st Premium Shopping”: Trustworthy, Pleasant, Convenient
Korean Pop Music, or K-pop as it is commonly known, is currently Asia’s hottest music industry. Fans all over the world have been captivated by K-pop stars' good looks, amazing dance moves, and catchy tunes. Current K-pop sensations include Psy, Rain, TVXQ, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation and the Wonder Girls.
Music programs are incredibly popular since the audience can see a number of their favorite singers perform all in one place. One big bonus is that, unlike concerts, tickets are free for those who apply online and are selected to attend the program in the lucky draw.
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