Visitors will discover its rich natural beauty combined with a unique cultural and historical heritage. After a rapid modernization in recent decades, Koreans still maintain their traditional values such as hospitality and the time- honored Confucian respect for the elderly.
Traveling in Korea is enjoyable all year round thanks to its distinct four seasons and the beautiful changes of nature. In spring (March to May), mountains and fields are in bloom with cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, magnolias and lilacs. In summer (June to early September), luxuriant forests, bright green fields and the cobalt blue sea draw people outdoors. In autumn (September to November), cool temperatures and a clear sky make it the most pleasant time of the year in Korea. The mountains all over the country are covered in red and yellow blazing autumn foliage. In winter (December to February), mountain slopes become the place for skiing and snow festivals. Winter in Korea is another delightful season of great amusement.
More than 400 local festivals throughout the year represent colorful facets of the Korean culture. Events that have great appeal to tourists include the Icheon-Gwangju-Yeoju Ceramic Exposition and the sea-splitting Jindo Yeongdeungje Festival. Korea takes pride in many world-renowned cultural assets which UNESCO has designated on its World Cultural Heritage List. They are Changdeokgung royal palace, Hwaseong fortress, Seokguram stone buddha grotto, Bulguksa temple, the Tripitaka Korean wood block printing plates at Haeinsa temple, Jongmyo shrine in Seoul, the Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa dolmen sites, and the Gyeongju remains of Silla Dynasty. More information about Korea, Click
Korean food contains less meat than most traditional Western or Chinese cuisine, and features a wide variety of fermented foods, assorted vegetable dishes, and rice. It is very nutritious and is becoming more and more popular around the world for its health benefits. Traditionally, Korean table settings are comprised of a number of side dishes. Family and friends gather around the table and share between themselves, sampling every dish. Only boiled rice and guk (soup) are two items that are not shared. These customs represent the true character of Koreans as being people who prefer to do everything together. (Major Korean Food: Kimchi, Bibimbap, Galbi, Bulgogi, Hanjeongsik)
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 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.
|How are you?||안녕하세요?||Annyeong-haseyo?|
|I am sorry.||미안합니다.||Mian-hamnida.|
|I enjoyed the meal.||잘 먹었습니다.||Jal mwogeot-sseumnida.|
|Please give me some more of this.||이것 더 주세요.||Igeot deo juseyo.|
|The check, please.||계산서 주세요.||Gyesanseo juseyo.|
|Do you take credit cards?||카드로 계산할 수 있습니까?||Kadeuro gyesan halsu isseumnikka?|
|How much is it?||얼마입니까?||Eolma-imnikka?|
|It is ________won.||__________원 입니다.||___________won imnida.|
|Where is the restroom?||화장실 어디입니까?||Hwajangsil oedi-imnikka|
|Goodbye.||안녕히 계세요.||Annyeonghi gyeseyo.|