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South Korea or officially known as the Republic of Korea. It is a country in East Asia, constituting the Southern part of the Korean Peninsula. South Korea is also lying to the East of the Asian Mainland. The name Korea is derived from the great powers in East Asia during its time, Goguryeo. Gwanggaeto the Great rule most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. Residents of South Korea is estimated to be 51.4 million distributed all over 100,363 km square. The capital and largest city in South Korea in Seoul. It has a population of 10 million. According to Korea’s foundation mythology, the history of Korea begins with the founding of Joseon in 2333 BC by Dangun. Joseon expanded until it controlled the Northern Korean Peninsula and parts of Manchuria. In 108 BC, the Han Dynasty defeated Wiman Joseon and installed four commanderies in the Northern Korean Peninsula.
South Korea is a developed country with a high-income economy. It’s also has a very high Human Development Index which ranked 22nd in the world. South Korea is also considered as a regional power and become the 11th largest economy by nominal GDP in the world and 12th largest by PPP as of 2010. South Korea is also a global leader in the industrial and technologies sectors by being the 5th largest exporter in the world and 8th largest importer. South Korea is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, the United Nations, Uniting for Consensus, G20, WTO, OECD and founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit.
Many countries do not need a visa to visit South Korea. This is also applied to Singapore citizens. Singapore citizens do not need a visa to stay and visit South Korea. Visa exemption or visa-free access applies to Singapore. You are allowed to stay for up to 90 days. However, your passports must be valid for at least six months on the date of entry. South Korea does not allow visa extension or issue visas with the length of stay of more than 90 days. So, it is not possible to stay longer than 90 days without leaving the country. An alternative to it, you can leave the country and re-entering the country for a further stay of 90 days. You will be given another 90 days every time you enter South Korea.
As for language in South Korea, Korean is the official language of South Korea. It is classified by most linguists as a language isolate. Korean is not related to any Chinese languages even though it incorporates some words that are originated from Chinese. Additionally, Korean spoken in South Korea uses a significant number of loan words from English and other European languages. The Korean writing system is called Hangul. It is created by King Sejong in 1446 to provide a convenient alternative to the Classical Chinese Hanja characters that were difficult to learn and did not fit the Korean language very well. South Korea still uses some of the Chinese Hanja characters in limited areas such as print media and legal documentation. The Korean language in South Korea has a standard dialect known as Seoul which named after the capital city. Almost all of the South Korean students today learn English throughout their education with some optionally choosing Japanese or Mandarin as well.
South Korea has a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate. It is affected by the East Asian monsoon. Precipitation is heavier in summer during a short rainy season called jangma in Korean which begins the end of June through the end of July. Winters in South Korea can be extremely cold in the inland region of the country with the minimum temperature dropping below −20 °C. In Seoul, the average temperature in January range from −7 °C to 1 °C. The average temperature in August is from 22 °C to 30 °C. South Korea has four seasons inclusive of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring usually lasts from late March to early May. Summer is from mid of May to early September. Autumn is from mid-September to early November while winter is from mid-November to mid-March.
Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables, fish and meats. Traditional Korean meals usually come with some side dishes that called banchan. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish. It is one of the most popular dishes in Korea.
There are several airports that available in South Korea. The busiest airport in South Korea is the Incheon International Airport. The second busiest airport in South Korea is the Jeju International Airport while Gimpo International Airport is the third busiest airport in South Korea. Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport are located in Seoul while Jeju International Airport is located on Jeju Island.
If you are from Singapore and would like to go to Seoul, you can take a flight at Changi Airport. Several airlines provide flight from Singapore to Seoul. You can choose to board with any flights available such as Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines. All of the airlines provide a direct flight from Changi Airport to Incheon International Airport. The cheapest airfare offered by Asiana Airlines with SGD 645 for a return ticket. However, it depends on the date and time you want to travel. The flight will take about 6 hours and 10 minutes.
If you want to go to other parts of South Korea such as Busan, you can do so because there are many airlines providing flights from Singapore to Busan. If you are from Singapore, you can take a flight from Changi Airport to Gimhae International Airport in Busan. Several airlines provide flights from Singapore to Busan such as Korean Air, AirAsia X and China Southern. However, there are no direct flights available from Singapore to Busan. You need to transit at another airport at least once. The cheapest airfare is offered by China Southern which is SGD 662. The flight will take about 8 to 10 hours including transit time.
You can visit N Seoul Tower while you are in Seoul. It is one of the most popular attractions among tourists. The N Seoul Tower or officially known as the YTN Seoul Tower is located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. It is commonly known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower. It is a communication and observation. The N Seoul Tower become the second highest point in Seoul. If you are in Seoul, you do not want to miss the chance to visit this tower as it is located right in the heart of the city. There is no fee to enter the grounds. However, there is a fee to go up to the observatory or riding the cable car.
Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village in Seoul. It is rich with history, and it is located on top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of lots of alleys. The village is well preserved. It traditionally became the residential quarters of high-ranking government officials and nobility during the Joseon Dynasty. It is located North of Cheonggye Stream and Jongno. Hence, it was named as Bukchon which means North village.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It was built in 1395 and located in Northern Seoul. Gyeongbokgung Palace becomes the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon Dynasty, households as well as the government of Joseon. It is one of the main attractions in Seoul among tourists. Be sure to visit this Gyeongbokgung Palace while you are in Seoul. There are also guard changing ceremony held every day that you can watch during your visit.
While you are in Busan, you can visit this Gamcheon Cultural Village. It is a nice place to visit. This cultural village portrayed a village with colourful houses, painted murals, shops and cafes. You can visit here while you are in Busan. The view is very magnificent.
While you are in Seoul, Lotte Hotel Seoul is one of the best hotels that you can get. It is only a 2-minute walk from the Euljiro 1-ga subway station. This hotel is also located 15 minutes from Dongdaemun Market by subway. They provide a wide variety of services and amenities for their guests.
Commodore Hotel Busan is one the best accommodation for you while you are in Busan. This elegant hotel provides you with bright and conservative rooms. This hotel is also located 9 minutes’ bus ride from Busan Tower and 37-minutes’ bus ride from Gwangalli Beach.