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COLORFUL SCENERIES OF THE WORLD

KOREA

The National Flag of KoreaThe Korean flag (태극기) is called "Taegeukgi" in Korean. Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Oriental philosophy.

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VISITKOREA - KTOTURKEY





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NATIONAL SYMBOLS



The National Flag of KoreaThe Korean flag (태극기) is called "Taegeukgi" in Korean. Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Oriental philosophy. The circle in the center of the Korean flag is divided into two equal parts. The upper red section represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang. Conversely, the lower blue section represents the responsive cosmic forces of the yin. The two forces together embody the concepts of continual movement, balance and harmony that characterize the sphere of infinity. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner. Each trigram symbolizes one of the four universal elements: heaven (), earth (), fire (), and water ().




The National Flower of KoreaThe national flower of Korea is the mugunghwa (무궁화), rose of sharon. Every year from July to October, a profusion of mugunghwa blossoms graces the entire country. Unlike most flowers, the mugunghwa is remarkably tenacious and able to withstand both blight and insects. The flower's symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, meaning immortality. This word accurately reflects the enduring nature of Korean culture, and the determination and perseverance of the Korean people.







Korea's national anthem is "Aegukga," which means "Love the Country." In 1896, the Dongnip Sinmun (Independence News) published various versions of lyrics for this song. It is not known exactly what music they were sung to in the early days. Records show that a Western-style military band was formed during the time of the Dae-han Empire (1897-1910) and that the "Dae-han Empire Aegukga" was composed in 1902 and played at important national functions.

The original words of Aegukga appeared in written form around 1907 to inculcate allegiance to the nation and foster the spirit of independence as the country faced threats of foreign annexation. Over the years, the lyrics went through several versions until they were adopted as the national anthem in the present form in 1948.

Before the birth of the Republic in 1948, the words were often sung to the tune of the Scottish folk song, Auld Lang Syne. Maestro Ahn Eak-tay (1905-1965), then living in Spain, felt that it was inappropriate to sing this patriotic song to the tune of another country's folk song. So, he composed new music to go with the lyrics in 1935, and the Korean Provisional Government in exile adopted it as the national anthem. While Koreans outside the country sang the anthem to the new tune, those at home continued to use Auld Lang Syne until Korea was liberated in 1945.

In 1948 the government of the Republic of Korea officially adopted the new version as the national anthem and began to use it at all schools and official functions.


Gyeongbokgung Palace
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HISTORY OF KOREA

Korea's history dates back to 2333 B.C. This section follows the history of Korea from the prehistoric age to the modern era.



Archaeological findings have indicated that the first settlements on the Korean Peninsula occurred 700,000 years ago.






According to legend, the mythical figure Dan-gun founded Gojoseon, the first Korean Kingdom, in 2333 B.C. Subsequently, several tribes moved from the southern part of Manchuria to the Korean Peninsula.





The Three Kingdoms Period refers to the period from the early 4th to mid-7th centuries A.D. marked by the struggle of three rival kingdoms (Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla) over territory spanning the Korean peninsula and part of Northeastern Asia.




GOGURYEO
An ancient state of the Korean peninsula, Goguryeo occupied the largest territory among the Three Kingdoms. Founded in 37 B.C., Goguryeo prospered on a vast area encompassing the northern part of the Korean peninsula and south-central Manchuria. The kingdom expanded its territory in fierce battles against Chinese kingdoms, but fell to an alliance of Silla and Tang forces in 668 A.D.

SILLA
Silla originated in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula. The kingdom lasted for 992 years, from 57 B.C. to 935 A.D. It conquered Baekje and Goguryeo, one after the other, by joining forces with the Tang Empire of China. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms, the Tang Empire was no longer seen as an ally, but an invader. Silla joined forces with the people of Goguryeo and Baekje to drive out Tang forces, and founded the first unified state in the history of Korea in the territory south of the Daedonggang River and Wonsanman.

BAEKJE
Baekje (18 B.C. - 660 A.D.) was founded by King Onjo, the son of the king of Goguryeo, in the southwestern part of the Korean peninsula. The kingdom witnessed the flowering of the elegant and delicate Baekje culture, which in particular influenced Japanese culture. In 660 A.D., Baekje was defeated by the coalition troops of Silla and Tang of China.

THE UNIFIED SILLA KINGDOM AND BALHAEThe Unified Silla (676-935)

The Unified Silla Kingdom promoted the development of culture and arts, and the popularity of Buddhism reached its peak during this period. The Unified Silla Kingdom declined because of contention for supremacy among the noble classes, and was annexed by Goryeo in 935.

BALHAE (698-926)

The Balhae Kingdom began to emerge just as the Goguryeo Kingdom was on the verge of collapsing. Goguryeo General Dae Joyeong founded Balhae along with his army of displaced peoples. At one point, Balhae became so powerful that it was able to acquire territories in northern and eastern parts of China. At those times, the Tang Dynasty of China referred to Balhae as 'the strong country by the sea in the east.' The significance of the Balhae Kingdom is greatly inherited from Goguryeo, and included territories previously held by Goguryeo.

THE GORYEO DYNASTY (918 - 1392)

The Goryeo Dynasty was established in 918. Buddhism became the state religion during this time and greatly influenced politics and culture. Famous items produced during this time include Goryeo celadon and the Tripitaka Koreana. The world's first movable metal type was developed in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty. Jikjisimgyeong, a Buddhist scripture printed using the metal type, is at least 78 years older than the first Gutenberg Bible. The Goryeo Dynasty's strength decreased gradually in the latter half of the 14th century.

THE JOSEON DYNASTY (1392 - 1910)

The Joseon Dynasty was formed at the end of the 14th century. Confucianism became the state ideology and exerted a massive influence over the whole of society. Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, was invented in 1443 during the reign of King Sejong. The dynasty's power declined as a result of foreign invasions, beginning with the Japanese invasion of 1592.



THE JAPANESE COLONIAL PERIOD (1910 - 1945)

In 1876, the Joseon Dynasty was forced to adopt an open-door policy regarding Japan. The Japanese annexation of Korea concluded in 1910, and Korean people had to suffer under Japanese colonial rule until the surrender of Japan in 1945, which ended World War II.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KOREAN GOVERNMENT (1945-1948)

Korea was liberated from Japanese oppression on August 15, 1945, but it soon faced the tragic division of North and South along the 38th Parallel. Both regions were placed under temporary military rule by the U.S. and Soviet armies. On May 10, 1948, with the help of the United Nations, South Korea elected Dr. Rhee Syngman as its first president. On August 15th of the same year, an official declaration announced the birth of the South Korean government. In the north, North Korea formed the Provisional People�s Committee for North Korea, led by Kim Il-sung, in February 1946. On September 9, 1948, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was officially founded.

THE KOREAN WAR (1950-1953)

In the early hours of June 25, 1950, North Korea attempted a forcible unification of North and South Korea by crossing the 38th Parallel and invading South Korea. Military help from over 16 nations under the leadership of UN General Douglas MacArthur helped defend South Korea against the threat of communism. China and the Soviet Union lent their military might to North Korea. The war continued over the next three years until coming to an end on July 27, 1953, with a peace agreement signed at Panmunjeom, located in the DMZ. Not only did the war ravage the peninsula, it also heightened hostile feelings between the North and South, making reunification a difficult task.


Gyeongbokgung Palace

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR (1954-present)

Beginning in 1954, the Rhee Syngman government focused on an anti-communist approach. In 1960, the government's power collapsed under the students anti-government movement, the 4.19 Revolution.

In 1963, Park Chung-hee was elected president and ruled with a controversial iron fist for the next 17 years. President Park Chung-hee's 'Saemaeul Undong' (New Community Movement, an effort to modernize Korea that began in 1970) brought about much progress in South Korea, and the systematic approach to economic development also yielded increased exports and positive returns. But with the democratic movement in progress and the citizens becoming wary of such extended rule, Park Chung-hee's life ended in a 1979 assassination. In 1980, Chun Doo-hwan came to power and continued to lead the nation with an authoritarian slant, as had been the case with former rulers. His rule came to an end in 1987, after massive protests demanding democracy broke out across the country.

In 1988, the Roh Tae-woo government started off the year on a good note by successfully hosting the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His government went on to join the UN in 1991. The Kim Young-sam government, which began in 1993, implemented a new system in which people were required to use their real names when making financial transactions, a much needed reform at the time.

In 1998, Kim Dae-jung was elected president. He threw his efforts into overcoming the IMF financial catastrophe that hit Asia in 1997, and also hosted the 17th FIFA World Cup in 2002. President Kim Dae-jung was also the winner of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine Policy regarding North Korea.

The Roh Moo-hyun Administration, which came into office in 2003, aspired to be a participatory government where public engagement played a key role. Key outcomes of the Roh Administration included a human resources policy targeting young and open-minded people, the liquidation of authoritarianism, and growth of the civil society. The second round summit talks between South and North Korea also took place under his administration.

President Lee Myung-bak took office in 2008 as the 17th president. His administration pursued change and pragmatism, and actively undertook the privatization of public corporations and passage of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The administration successfully hosted the G20 Seoul Summit, the Nuclear Security Summit, and other major events.

In North Korea, Kim Jong-il died in December 2011 after 17 years in power. His son Kim Jong-un took power.

Since the signing of a South-North joint communique regarding the reunification of the Korean Peninsula on July 4, 1972, South and North Korea have continued their efforts towards a peaceful coexistence and reunification, including North Korea's opening of Geumgang Mountain to South Korean tourists in 1998, and the two rounds of South-North summit meetings in 2000 and 2007, respectively.



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MAP OF KOREA

The Korean Peninsula is located in North-East Asia. It is bordered by the Amnok River (Yalu River) to the northwest, separating Korea from China, and the Duman River (Tumen River) to the northeast which separates Korea from both China and Russia. The country itself is flanked by the Yellow Sea to its west and the East Sea to the east. There are several notable islands that surround the peninsula including Jejudo, Ulleungdo and Dokdo.



The Korean peninsula is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea's total land area is 100,033 sq km, and it has a population of 49.8 million people (2011).

Because of its unique geographical location, Korea is a very valuable piece of land and an international hub of Asia.






Mountains cover 70% of Korea's land mass, making it one of the most mountainous regions in the world. The lifting and folding of Korea's granite and limestone base create a breathtaking landscape of scenic hills and valleys. The mountain range that stretches along the length of the east coast falls steeply into the East Sea, while along the southern and western coasts, the mountains descend gradually to the coastal plains that produce the bulk of Korea's agricultural crops, especially rice.


Uponeup wetland
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KOREA POPULATION

As of 2009, the population of the Republic of Korea stood at 48,747,000. In terms of density, there are roughly 490 people per square kilometer. Conversely, the population of North Korea was 24,300,000 in 2009. Once considered to be a serious social problem, historically, the threat of rapid population growth posed serious social repercussions on developing countries.

Yet such fears of swelling growth hardly raise much cause for alarm on the peninsula. With the advent of successful family planning campaigns and changing attitudes, there are signs that the population growth has curbed remarkably in recent years. The number of people aged 65 and older numbered 5.19 million in 2009, roughly 11 percent of the entire population.





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PEOPLE

Koreans are primarily from one ethnic family and speak one language. Sharing distinct physical characteristics, they are believed to be descendants of several Mongol tribes that migrated onto the Korean Peninsula from Central Asia.

In the seventh century, the various states of the peninsula were unified for the first time under the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935). The resulting homogeneity has remained largely preserved to this day, enabling Koreans to maintain a firm solidarity with one another.

As of the end of 2011, South Korea's total population was estimated at 49,779,000. The population of North Korea is estimated to be around 24,051,218 (2010).

Korea saw its population grow by an annual rate of 3 percent during the 1960s, but growth slowed to 2 percent over the next decade. In 2005, the rate stood at 0.44 percent and is expected to further decline to 0.01 percent by 2020.

A notable trend in Korea's demographics is that it is growing older with each passing year. Statistics show that 7.2 percent of the total population of Korea was 65 years or older in 2009; by 2010, this same demographic group made up 11.3% of the population.



In the 1960s, Korea's population distribution formed a pyramid, with a high birth rate and relatively short life expectancy. However, age-group distribution is now shaped more like a bell because of the low birth rate and extended life expectancy. It is projected that by the year 2020 youths (15 and younger) will make up a decreasing portion of the total population, while senior citizens (65 and older) will account for some 15.7 percent of the total population.

The nation's rapid industrialization and urbanization in the 1960s and 1970s was accompanied by continuing migration of rural residents to the cities, particularly Seoul, resulting in heavily populated metropolitan areas. However, in recent years, an increasing number of Seoulites have begun moving to suburban areas.



corée du sud paysage
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LANGUAGE



Hangeul (한글), Korea's official alphabet, was first invented by King Sejong during the Joseon Dynasty. Originally called Hunminjeongeum (훈민정음), the language was conceived in 1443, and further promulgated by the King in 1446. At the time of its inception, the language consisted of 17 consonants and 11 vowels however, since then, 3 of the originally established consonants and 1 vowel have fallen into disuse bringing the total number of characters to 24. Syllables are formed by the selective combination of vowels and consonants to create words.

The official name for the Korean language was changed to 'Hangeul' in 1910. Hunminjeongeum Proclamation Day was called 'Gagya Proclamation Day' up until 1926, and it wasn't until 1928 that it was changed to its current title, 'Hangeul Proclamation Day'.

The chart below represents the 24 Hangeul characters together with their romanized equivalents. 'The Hunminjeongeum,' a historical document which provides instructions to educate people on the use of Hangeul, is registered with UNESCO. UNESCO awards a 'King Sejong Literacy Prize,' every year in memory of the inventor of Hangeul.



Hangeul written in syllabic units made up of two, three, or four letters.




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WHERE TO GO


Introduction to Jungmun Resort


Located in the city of Seogwipo on Jeju island, Jungmun resort is blessed with beautiful natural scenery and warm weather.

With numerous entertainment facilities, this high-class tourism resort is popular with domestic and foreign travellers throughout all the four seasons. There are numerous sight-seeing destinations within easy reach of the resort, and it is only thirty minutes from Jeju airport.  With the stunning Mt. Hallasan to the north and the deep blue sea to the south, visitors to Jungmun resort will find it difficult to leave.

Jungmun resort is the most famous resort in Jeju Island, and it's top quality facilities rank it among the world's best tourism complexes.
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CITY TOURS



Seoul, the capital of Korea, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Korea. Packed with countless sights to see and places to visit' from traditional royal palaces to trendy shopping districts 'Seoul is a city with so much to offer that you might not know where to start. To get the most out of your stay, visit some of Seoul's most famous attractions by taking a trip aboard the Seoul City Tour.

As you ride around the city on the Seoul City Tour bus, an onboard multilingual audio guide will give you a detailed description of each point of interest, making sure that you don't miss a thing!

City Circulation Course → View Itinerary



* This itinerary covers the Seoul downtown area, including the National Museum of Korea, Namsangol Hanok Village, Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market, and Insa-dong.

-Hours: 09:00 ~ 21:00 (Last shuttle departs at 7pm from Gwanghwamun)
-Bus Intervals: Shuttle departs every 30 minutes
-(Peak season: 4th week of July - August 15th / buses depart every 20 minutes)
-Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours

Cheonggyecheon / Palace Course → View Itinerary



* This itinerary includes royal palaces such as Deoksugung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, as well as Cheonggye Plaza.

Departure Times
Peak Season (Dec-Feb, Apr-May, Jul-Aug, Oct):
09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
Off-season (Mar, Jun, Sep, Nov):
10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
Travel Time: Approximately 1.5 hours

Night Course



1-Story Bus → View Itinerary
2-Story Bus → View Itinerary


* Bus stops at bridges in Seoul (Seogangdaegyo, the Gangbyeon Expressway, and Seongsudaegyo) that are famous for nighttime views.

- Hours: Departs at 20:00
- Bus Intervals: N/A (only one tour a day)
- Travel Time: ~1.5 hours

Seoul City Tour Bus Travel Information

Departure Point: Bus stop in front of Exit #6 of Gwanghwamun Station (Subway Line 5)

Ticket Price:



* Passengers holding a one-day pass can hop on and off buses at anytime throughout the day (night course excluded).

Ticket Purchase: Tickets can be purchased onboard the bus (cash only).
Credit card purchases can be made only at the Gwanghwamun ticket booth.

Discount Information: * Seoul City Pass Holders: Unlimited free rides on the downtown route of Seoul City Tour Bus; 20% off rides on the evening route
* Seoul City Pass Plus or T-Money Card Holders: 5% off Seoul City Tour Bus fare (all routes)
* KR Pass Holders (foreign nationals only): 15% off 1-story bus fare

Languages: Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese

No Buses on Mondays (except for on national holidays)
* During peak season (the fourth week of July - August 15th), buses will remain in operation throughout the entire week (Mondays included).

Information:
Tourist Information Center: +82-2-777-6090 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
1330 tt call center: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
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Seoul - Busan - Daegu - Daejeon - Ulsan - Incheon - Gyeongju - Samcheok - Mokpo - Suncheon - Yeosu - Suwon - Yongin - Chuncheon
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In Korea there's plenty to do: visiting famous tourist attractions, eating Korean foods and going shopping.

However, VisitKorea recommends that you do something unique during your trip and experience Korean traditional culture at firsthand. There are a variety of activities available for travelers, such as making traditional handicrafts, Korean cooking classes, ceramic making, and programs to help you experience the culture of Korea's royal palaces. If you are interested in sports you could try learning Taekwondo, Korea's famous national martial art.

Medical tours are available where you can relax and sample some of Korea's traditional treatments, or you can learn what it was like to live in a traditional Korean house in a hanok stay program.

VisitKorea introduces seven activities and tours to help you fully experience the culture of Korea.



Traditional Craft -Making Programs - Korean Cooking Classes - Hanok Stay Program - Taekwondo Experiential Program - Oriential Medicine Tours - Ceramic-Making Program - Royal Palace Experience Program
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Everyone across the globe is united by one common dream: the dream of living a healthy and balanced life. As cities and countries worldwide continue to evolve and industrialize at a sometimes alarming rate, people are increasingly seeking a quiet retreat from their busy, hectic lives. This desire to find refuge in nature has resulted in the creation of various types of spas, which are now (somewhat ironically) among some of Korea's major travel destinations. So kick back and relax and continue reading for more on spas in Korea' hotel spas, resort spas, day spas, and medical spas. You're sure to find the perfect type of spa for you!









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Korea is a hot springs paradise! There are a wide variety of hot spring facilities throughout the country - from urban spas (saunas and jjimjilbangs) in convenient city locations and healthy hot springs (for rejuvenating your mind and body) to open-air hot springs (overlooking majestic sunrises and sunsets) and water amusement parks (with a variety of fun water rides). Hot springs are located near almost every major tourist attraction, adding another unique and enjoyable element to your stay in Korea!



Healthy Hot Springs - Traditional Hot Springs - Open-Air Hot Springs - Jjimjilbangs - Water Parks

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Exploring Korea's Slow Cities
"An Analogue Journey in a Highly Digital Nation"

The Slow City movement (or Cittaslow movement) originated in Greve, a small town in the Chianti region of Northern Italy, and it received a sensational response from urban dwellers hungry for an escape from their daily chase around the clock. The word 'slow' here actually means more than simply the opposite of the 'fast.' It implies a connection to nature, a respect for the environment, taking the time to appreciate things like the change of seasons, taking life a little easier, and making time for genuine soul-searching.



Exploring Korea's Slow Cities- 'An Analogue Journey in a Highly Digital Nation' The meaning of a slow life is also conveyed in the manifesto of Cittaslow, the international network of Slow Cities. It explains that a slow life also means freely strolling around, listening, doing nothing or even daydreaming, contentedly waiting, soul-searching and pursuing 'an analogue way of life'. Above all it means rejecting the faster, fiercely competitive lifestyle of the modern digitalized world.

A city needs to possess certain characteristics in order to be designated a Slow City. Even if a city's pace of life is slow, this is not enough. For example, Slow Cities should have no more than 50,000 residents, should have local specialties that are made in the old way, without using machinery, and the city's traditional heritage should be well-preserved. The town should have no fast food stores or large discount stores, and genuine local dishes should be available. As of Spring 2009, only 111 cities in 16 countries had made the grade, indicating the difficulty in becoming a Slow City. Since 2007, eight places in Korea have been designated Slow Cities. These are Jeungdo district in the Sinan region, Cheongsando district in the Wando region, the Jangheung region of Jeollanam-do province, the Hadong region of Gyeongsangnam-do province, Changpyeong district in the Damyang region, Yesan region of Chuncheongnam-do province, Joan-myeon in Namyangju-si City, and Jeonju Hanok Village. A Slow City is one of the best places to discover the genuine flavors of Korea's traditional culture. Read on to find out more about the treasures waiting for you in Korea's Slow Cities.

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ACCOMMODATION IN KOREA

From Top-class hotel resorts, affordable guesthouses, and KTO's recommended �Goodstay� motels to traditional Hanok lodging.

Come and experience the comforts of Korea!

Youth Hostel

Currently there are 52 hostels in Korea nationwide. Hostels are located in famous cities and regions - from tourist sites and downtown areas to places that are difficult to reach. It is a good idea to make a reservation beforehand. Generally, hostels are very large and offer facilities comparable to deluxe hotels. Thus, the price varies considerably from 10,000 won (for a single room) to 160,000 won (for a family room). Persons possessing a Hostelling International Card can receive discounts of up to 20-30%. Hostelling International Cards are available at various Youth Hostels Association offices around the world. In Korea, you can get one from the Korea Youth Hostels Association Office for 20,000 won (15,000 won if under 25 years old).

- Korea Youth Hostels Association

Address: Jeokseon Hyundai Building Rm.409, Jeokseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82-2-725-3031
Fax: +82-725-3113
Directions: The building is at Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line No.3) exit 6.

Holders of the Hostelling International Card can receive many benefits such as favorable exchange rates at Chohung Bank, and a 10-20% discount at Everland, Lotte World, Seoul Land, Mt. Chiaksan Dreamland, Kumho Car Rental, Han River Cruises, Namsan Seoul Tower, Movie Theaters, etc.

* For information on other hostels contact the Youth Hostels Association
Homepage: www.kyha.or.kr/english/
Phone: +82-2-725-3031
Fax: +82-2-725-3113
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Hotels are classified into five categories: super deluxe (five-star), deluxe (five-star), first class (four-star), second class (three-star), third class (two-star).

Generally, a double room in a super deluxe hotel costs approximately 200,000-400,000 won (use of extra services and facilities not included); in a deluxe hotel 150,000-250,000 won, a first class hotel 100,000-150,000, second class 50,000-100,000 won, third class 30,000-100,000 won. The prices of hotels vary depending on season and location.

Hotels above deluxe class usually have a fitness center, sauna, a business center, restaurants and cafes. Hotels add a 10% VAT and 10% service charge. The 10% VAT (hotel tax) that was lifted during special tourism periods, such as Visit Korea 2001 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, is now back in effect as of January 1, 2005.

List of Hotels in Korea
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Temple Stay is a cultural experience program designed to enhance the public's understanding of Korean Buddhism. Therefore, it is open to everyone regardless of religious belief.

A typical temple stay program entails an overnight stay at a Buddhist temple, and participation in such Buddhist rituals as yebul (ceremonial service), chamseon (Zen meditation), and barugongyang (monastic meal). Other activities may include dado (tea ceremony) with monks, outdoor meditation, lotus lantern and prayer bead crafts, painting, folk games, hiking, etc.

Main Activities
Yebul: Ceremonial Service
Yebul is held three times a day: morning, midday, and evening. It also features 108 prostrations.
Chamseon: Zen Meditation
There are two types of chamseon: jwaseon (seated meditation), and haengseon (walking meditation).
Barugongyang: Monastic Meal
Barugongyang is a monastic ritual of eating that requires complete silence and no wasting of food.
Dado: Tea Ceremony
Boiling and serving good tea is one of the oldest customs in Korea.

Etiquette

Temples are a site of historic preservation as well as personal meditation. So, it is very important to keep quiet and gentle.

In general, visitors to temples must refrain from:

- Speaking loudly, shouting, running, singing, or playing music;
- Physical contact between men and women;
- Eating and drinking in undesignated areas or while walking;
- Chewing gum;
- Drinking alcohol;
- Eating meat or fish;
- Smoking;
- Stealing; and
- Taking photos inside Buddha Hall or other buildings without permission.

For detailed information on temple etiquette, please visit the Temple Stay Information Center website.

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Condominiums are apartment-style lodgings which provide convenience and comfort because of their private cooking facilities and seminar rooms, swimming pools, recreational facilities and nearby restaurants and supermarkets. They are usually located near ski resorts, famous mountains, parks, and beaches; they are also very large in scale. Although condominiums are exclusively rented to members during peak seasons, they can be rented to non-members during off-peak times. The cost differs significantly according to facilities, but it typically costs around 30,000 to 100,000 won per night. However, there are luxury condominiums that can cost upwards of 200,000 per night.

List of Condominium

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RELIGION & BELIEFS



Buddhism first made its way into Korea in the 2nd year (A.D. 372) of the reign of King Sosurim of the Goguryeo Kingdom. After its introduction, Buddhism exerted a powerful influence in the Baekje Kingdom and Silla Kingdom. The Bulguksa Temple and the Seokguram Grotto, which are designated as World Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO, are Buddhist creations from the Silla Kingdom that are said to reflect the importance of Buddhism at this time.

Buddhism has exercised a far-reaching influence on Korean culture throughout its long history. Korea's invaluable Buddhist heritage abides in the nation's buildings, sculptures, paintings and handicrafts.





Protestantism came to Korea after the signing of the Korean-American Treaty in 1882. Since Christianity challenged the basic values of Joseon society, its believers were subject to persecution in the early years, but as Christians took an increasingly active role in the anti-colonial struggle against the Japanese and churches promoted more educational opportunities, Christianity gained more acceptance. Today Korean churches evangelize abroad, and approximately twenty five percent of the Korean population is Christian. Catholicism first came to Korea as a western academic theory. Korean tributary missions to the imperial court of China took an interest in Jesuit missionary books and brought them back to Korea for further study. In 1784, the first Korean was baptized in Beijing and returned to Korea to set up a house of worship. Despite considerable persecution by the government, numerous people joined the Catholic Church. Presently, over two million people in Korea belong to the Catholic church.







Confucianism was a common philosophy in ancient Korea that brought about profound changes and exerted considerable influence on the Korean people. It has become an indispensable component of the Korean moral system, way of life, and national law. Confucianism, which was the major philosophy of the Joseon Dynasty, eventually gave rise to Silhak, or practical learning. Confucianism has deeply permeated the consciousness of Korean people and can be seen today in many forms, including two ceremonies that continue today: Jongmyo Jerye, the royal ancestral service at Jongmyo Shrine, and Seokjeon Daeje, the worship rites at the Seonggyungwan in honor of Confucius, his disciples, and other celebrated Chinese and Korean Confucian scholars.




Various shamanistic practices are deeply ensconced in Korean life. Modern shamanism still remains very similar to folk beliefs from ancient times, as it has remained relatively uninfluenced by Buddhist tradition. It is closely related to the rituals of primitive cults and communal rites for the gods of heaven. Even today, Shamanism in Korea is a practice that seeks to solve human problems through a meeting between humans and the spirits. This fundamental principle can be seen in the various types of shamanistic rites which are still widely practiced today.


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NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar, even though there are a few holidays that are based on the lunar calendar. During the official holidays, offices and banks are closed but palaces, museums, most restaurants, department stores, and amusement facilities are open.



Seollal and Chuseok are the most important traditional holidays for Koreans, so millions of people visit their hometowns to celebrate with their families during these times. On Seollal, Koreans hold a memorial service for their ancestors and perform sebae, a formal bow of respect to their elders as a New Year's greeting.















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"Photos by Korea Tourism Organization"

“ For further information about tourism opportunities in Korea, please visit www.visitkorea.or.kr


Tags: KOREA, KOREA
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