Here are some interesting South Korea Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
South Korea is located in Eastern Asia and sits on the southern half of the Korean peninsula. The only land borders are with North Korea with which South Korea shares the Korean peninsula.
The Korean peninsula is surrounded by the West Sea/Yellow Sea, the South Sea/East China Sea and the East Sea/Sea of Japan.
South Korea has a coastline of about 2413 km/ 1500 miles in length. The capital city of South Korea is Seoul.
South Korea is roughly the size of England or Portugal and about ⅓ of the size of Germany. South Korea is slightly smaller than the US state of Pennsylvania or seven times smaller than Texas!
South Korea is a mountainous country, with about 70% of the land covered by hills and mountains. Nam-san or Nam mountain overlooks the capital city of Seoul.
Seoul is the largest city of the country with about 10 million inhabitants.
The highest mountain of South Korea is Halla-san, also called Mount Halla, with a height of 1950 m/ 6400 ft. Halla-san is a shield volcano and one of three volcanic mountains on the Korean peninsula. South Korea sits on the 'Ring of Fire' where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Halla-san is an active volcano, however, it has not erupted in many centuries. The mountain is located on the island of Jeju.
Jeju is the largest South Korean island and located to the south of the peninsula. It has a moderate climate and is a popular holiday destination. There are more than 3000 islands mainly off the southern and western coastlines of South Korea.
Nakdong River is the longest river in South Korea. It is 510 km /320 miles long. The river passes through the cities Busan and Daegu in the southeastern part of the country.
Chungju Lake is the largest lake in South Korea. This lake in central South Korea is not a natural lake as it has been created by flooding of the valleys after the construction the Chungju dam.
The biggest cities in South Korea are:
South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries and the educational standards are high. Below you see a photo of Incheon, which is the third populous city in South Korea. The city's international airport is the largest in South Korea and one of the busiest transport hubs in Asia.
South Korea experiences a temperate climate with cold winters and mild summers with often heavy rainfalls.
Seoul is the country's capital and largest city. It is situated by the Han River. A quarter of South Korea's population live in Seoul and the surrounding area. Myeong-dong, the main shopping district of the capital city, is a busy shopper's paradise with glittering lights and billboards. In the background you can see Korea's tallest building, the Lotte World Tower.
Bukchon Hanok Village, on the other hand, is the preserved old quarter and traditional Korean village you simply must see. Here you will also find Gyeongbokgung Palace. The former main royal palace was built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty.
Jeju island, or Jeju-do in Korean, is the country's largest island and one of the most popular Korean holiday destinations. With a mild climate and numerous possibilities to go hiking in the mountains, many come to visit the island, marvel at the rock cliffs and see the famous landmarks Halla-san or Sunrise Peak. Or one can enjoy lazing at the fabulous beaches, as there are lots of activities for the whole family.
Busan is a large port city in the southern part of the country. In South Korea's second biggest city, you can do your shopping and temple tours but also relax at some stunning beaches.
And there you will be close to fascinating mountains too! The national park surrounding Koreas second highest mountain Jiri-san is only about three hours from the city of Busan.
Another great place to marvel at nature is Seorak-san National Park for its breathtaking mountains with its snowcaps. There is also the huge Great Unification Buddha statue which weighs over 108 tons and is 14.6 metres /48 ft high.
Pyeongchang is a winter resort in the north eastern region of South Korea. The city hosted the Winter Olympics 2018.
The city is a popular winter holiday resort and has all kinds of sports activities to offer and accommodation options are varied and plentiful. Did you know that the Olympic mascot, a white Siberian tiger, was called Soohorang?
People who visit Seoul can travel to Pyeongchang via the Korean bullet train.
Most Koreans (81%) live in urban areas of the country. The lowlands around the capital city Seoul and Incheon are home to the majority the South Koreans.
The people in rural areas are still much poorer and many live a simple life.
Many Koreans practise Confucianism which is an old tradition in many Asian countries. Confucianists follow the teachings of Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius who told his pupils to lead a simple life, do good and respect each other.
Koreans celebrate the new year twice! The New Year celebration are on 1 January as most countries do and for Lunar New Year which is celebrated in February each year. 2021 was the year of the ox, 2022 was the year of the tiger and 2023 is the year of the rabbit. Read more facts about Chinese New Year here. The new lunar year starts in 2023 on Sunday 22 January.
Children always look forward to the Lunar New Year celebrations which are three days long. Over the new year children get gifts, often money wrapped in red envelopes or red packets, from family and friends. People in Korea will wear their traditional costumes, such as the hanbok, for national and regional cultural festivals.
Korean pop music, also called k-pop, has become famous worldwide especially after PSY's 'Gangnam Style' YouTube hit in 2013. Gangnam refers to the city of Seoul.
Although Korean (also called Hangul) is the official language, in many regions people speak Korean dialects. Children learn Korean and English in school and most people speak English fairly well. Some schools offer Chinese Mandarin classes as well.
The Korean alphabet has 24 letters and the language does not have any articles and does not follow a word order. The language is similar to Mandarin and Japanese in that that it is written and read from top to bottom and from left to right.
Korean is the language of both countries: South Korea and North Korea. Apart from using a slightly different accent and some dialects, the Koreans can understand and communicate with each other.
South Korea is one of the biggest economies in Asia and among the four 'Asian Tiger Countries' which also includes Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong.
The main trading partners are China, USA, Japan, Germany and Vietnam. Big Korean companies are Samsung, Hyundai, LG Electronics and Lotte Group.
Coal, graphite and lead are among the main natural resources of South Korea.
Apart from the famous Korean landmarks we have already mentioned above, the Gyeongbokgung palace, the Confucius statue and Jeju island, there are also these six Korean landmarks that you should know about as well.
Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in Korea. With 123 storeys and is the fifth highest building in the world.
The Sungnyemun city gate is part of the old Fortress wall of Seoul. This is South Korea's National Treasure No. 1. The Southern Gate is one of the eight gates of the old fortress wall and also referred to as Namdaemun.
Another national treasure, the huge Emille bell was cast in 771 AD to honour King Seongdeok. This bell is the largest bell in Korea and weighs almost 19 tons! It is displayed today in the National Museum of Gyeongju.
King Sejong the Great was another famous historic figure in Korean history. The fourth monarch of the Joseon dynasty ruled in the 15th century. The statue is one of the most iconic landmarks of Seoul and stands next to the Gyeongbokgung palace complex.
The water pavilion in the Palace gardens, called Gyeonghoeru in Korean, is a famous sight and landmark of the country.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza has a very futuristic design and was planned by famous architect Zaha Hadid. This is the cultural hub of Seoul's Fashion district and includes part of the fortress wall, various exhibition halls, the history museum and art galleries as well as sports facilities.
Many Korean dishes are rice, vegetable, soya and meat based.
Sesame seeds, chillis, kimchi and rice products are the most common ingredients in Korean dishes. Koreans mainly eat with spoons and metal chopsticks. The spoon is used for rice, stews and soups only. Here is some typical Korean dishes:
There are many endangered animal species living in South Korea. Among them are the Siberian tiger, the Amur leopard, the golden eagle, the lynx and the Siberian musk deer.
Below you see animal statues at Heading Yonggungsa temple in Busan. These animals depict the twelve Zodiac signs.
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Picture credits in main text on South Korea Facts: shutterstock.com; image of Dongdaemon by Trabantos/shutterstock