(Republic of Korea, 대한민국, Daehan Minguk)
South Korea Flag
(Photo Courtesy: John Young, Hong Kong)
- Location: East Asia
- Capital: Seoul
- Language(s): Korean
- Population: 49,765,677
- Total Area: 100,210 sq km
- Currency: South Korean Won
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Rice is used in making wines in South Korea.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 14.80 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Soju, tea, rice wines
The Republic of Korea (widely known as South Korea) is located in East Asia on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. The country has the following nations as neighbors: North Korea or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (on the Korean Peninsula), China and Japan. With North Korea, there is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the most heavily fortified border in the world. The country is often described as rocky and mountainous, and this is evident with the number of ranges such as the Sobaek Mountains and the T'aebaek Mountains. This is in addition to a number of islands like Ullung and Cheju, which are volcanic in nature. South Korea is an advanced country with some of the highest living standards in Asia. Its capital city is Seoul.
Most of the citizens settle in the urban centers and the most populous city is Seoul, which also contains many of the nation’s industries. Other large cities in the country are Busan, Incheon, Daegu and Daejeon. Like Japan, South Korea is one of the most homogenous nations with almost 100% of the people being ethnic Koreans. The number of foreign nationals is negligible and they are mainly from mainland China. Almost half of Koreans are classified as irreligious while others follow Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity. A similar trend is observed in North Korea where many citizens do not follow any faith. The most widely spoken language in the country is Korean while few speak Chinese and English.
Food in the Korean Peninsula is always attractive and delicious. The typical Korean meal is made from rice (bap), noodles, vegetables, spices and tofu. Chili peppers and garlic are widely used. There is a meal called kimchi and can be considered the national food. Kimchi is made using cabbage (that has been fermented) and spices, especially chili peppers. Although Korean food is very low in fat, the salt content is just too high although your palate will surely adjust with time.
While in South Korea, you are at liberty to gulp barrels of drinks, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Tea, milk, fruit punches and rice drinks happen to be the most popular non-alcoholic beverages in the country and are of various types. For the alcoholic drinks, there are hundreds of them and the most popular of these is called soju which is made from cereals. Apart from the soju, there are beers, rice wines and fruit wines. Hotels and restaurants also served European wines and liquors.
South Korea is not just all about food and drinks, there are many sites of attraction. One that I will never forget is the incredible Incheon International Airport, considered by many to be the very best airport in the world. There is no way you will see this airport and disagree with this assertion. There are also various palaces such as the Deoksugung Palace and Gyeongbok Palace. You will also do yourself a lot of good by checking out the amazing Bulguksa.
Some of the most popular forms of sports in the country are traditional and these include martial arts such as taekwando, judo and subak. Other popular sports in the country include football, baseball, ice hockey, athletics, speed skating and tennis.
- The Incheon International Airport in the country is often regarded as the best in the world.
- South Korea has arguably the best Internet penetration in the world.
- South Korean food is just too spicy!
- Of all the countries in Asia, South Korea is the very first to export supersonic jets.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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