"Korea is the other half of my children" South Korea by Ekahau
South Korea Travel Guide: 6,439 reviews and 17,299 photos
This is a travel pages and photos done by my Korean Nieces and Nephews as they explore writing in English and tell you about what they think you should know as non Koreans visiting Koreans --enjoy
If you visit Korea, Seoul is the first city that you'll meet. It is a crowded and noisy city. 10 Million people, a quarter of national population live in Seoul. The reason that it's so crowded can be that Seoul has been the capital of Korea for 500 years. Traffic cannot be good with that number of people. It doesn't seem to be a pleasant visiting, right? But crowdedness makes me feel alive sometimes. When I'm tired of everyday life, I get energy in noisy and crowded markets, for instance, Namdamoon market. Also there are many old palaces that are beautiful in spring.
You can walk around Seoul at midnight. It's a secure city to some extent except drunken men on streets. We mainly take subway and bus for transportation which are packed in rush hours. Subway is well arranged so you can travel almost everywhere on subway. Bus must be hard for you. There's no bus map even in Korean and you'll never get the stop where you're supposed to get off.
Security, I think that many foreign travelers are curious about it. Yes, we are in a truce with North Korea, but we don't think a war breaks out easily because South Korea tends to use the possibility of a war for getting political power.
Traveling around Korea
Korea is a monoracial country and strongly exclusive of other races, especially of Asians. For instance, we don't have any recognized china town though they are spread over the world. There are few westerners also, so don't be annoyed at Koreans who must stare at you everywhere.
If you're a westerner, you're lucky in Korea. Through the influence of western culture, Koreans admire it unconsciously so they are kind to westerners. They know basic English and they're willing to help you. If you can't easily find someone who can speak English (it's hard in a rural district), try to find a student who usually wears a uniform because she/he learns English in schools for years.
It is the easiest way to take a bus for intercity trip. I suggest you to buy a time table book (we call it 'si-gak-pyo') when you're planning to go to small village by bus because there could be not many buses, like 2 times per a day. That book has all the information on buses, trains, ferries and planes. It's so useful except the fact that you can't read it - it's written in Korean only. Now, it's time to give you my biggest advice - " make Korean friends who would help you." You can have friends through email easily, like me. Tourism office doesn't have necessary information for going trip. There are not many English books about traveling, neither. Train, what a fascinating ride! You'd better reserve tickets before 2 weeks because they're easily sold out.
Let me tell you how I like Korea. We have spring from April to May and fall from September to October in my definition. Weather is beautiful in those days, but what's sad is that they are getting shorter.
I recommend you Jeju island for a spring visits. I've been to Jeju last April and it was gorgeous. Flowers perfumed entire island, I can't get it over. There are many beaches that have different features and along the beaches, there is a road where you would love to go on a bicycle (You can rent a bike there.)
Summer, it's humid and hot, average 30 centigrade. Famous beaches which you can find in a guide book are literally packed with people. I've never been those beaches in a season being afraid of that. Mountains are one of the most attractive spots in summer because it's cool up there. Korea has many beautiful mountains that have Buddhist temples. I wish you to hike at least one of them, you can't miss it.
My favorite season, fall. The Korean country becomes beautiful. There is no other word for it. Whether is perfect for looking around and the colors of mountains are various. There is the biggest festival in a year, called 'chu-sok' in September 15 by lunar calendar. You can have many chances to see Korean traditional events.
SKing In winter-- There are several good places that are packed in weekends, but in week days like Monday to Wednesday, it is nice, so far. Skiing is kind of expensive in Korea, but it took all of my stress away and white mountains around the ski resort was magnificent. I mean it's worth trying.Korea is not large but every spot is unique. I didn't travel a lot so far, but I will explore this beautiful country through my life. I also want to share my country with many people. If you want to know more about touring in Korea, or to visit Korea, please send a note to me. I'll answer you pleasantly. Thank you for reading my rough guide.
The Korean Flag is probably one of the most philosophical flags in the world. It beautifully summarises the whole of Original Philosophy that centers on the ideas of I Ching.(called Yeok in Korean)
Yeok is compiled by Confucius and now comes with two texts - Yeok Kyoung and Yeok Jeon,adn I Ching, as we know, is a translation of one of the original texts.(I forgot what it was) We believe that Yeok is ths only unifying factor of the whole of East-Asian thoughts. It could perhaps be misleading to sat the Yin/Yang diagram has religious origin, althiugh one could have later derived religious interpretations. It forms a basis of Laotsu's Dae Dao Zing(called Do Deok Kyoung in Korean) and at the same time, of the East Asian version of Buddism and of Confucianism. The Sim-hak, kind of ethical psychology of Korean Neo-Confucianism that formulated strictly within confines of a priori knowledge, heavily depends on the diagrammatic concepts of Yeok.(Tae Kuk Do Seol)
The name of the Korean Flag, Tae-Kuk-Ki,itself means the flag of "Great Extremes",normally known as yin and Yang in the Weat, the great two forces by whose interactions from every dynamic pheonomenon in the world. The two red and blue titled hemispheres are the Tae-kuk diagram,that are believed to be originated in Korea, that summarises the dynamics of the two extreme forces. The black sticks around the diagram are what Koreans call "Kwae" that signifies the probabilistic nature of the human world.(which now became a stndard view of quantum mechanics) All in all, the flag is simply like the Yeok texts, which are analogous to Platonic works of the East, crammed in just one sheet.
Origin - An Informal Introduction
We are indeed not so sure as to where it was exactly originated from. The oldest Yin/Yang diagram,which was inscribed on a stone piece, was found in Korea. It, however, certainly is true that you can find some deriviations of the diagram even in decorations on Chosun palaces, Buddhist temples, old Confucian schools, and some gorgeous old private houses. It was just imbedded in their culture but was not put on a flag as they never had anything like a national flag.
As the dawn of this strange century had demanded things to change, Koreans had to have their own flag, as some of their neighbors did, rather hastily. I forgot all the details now, you could find it with just a bit of labour in the library. So, in any case, it is pretty recent - perhaps at the end of the 19th century or the dawn of this century - that a Korean guy came up with a good-looking Korean flag. I am not quite sure of his name, but could be Park Young Hyo. At that time, the poor Korea was under influence of Japanese, Russians, Chinese, and all sorts of colonialists. And a Chinese delegate suggested adopting the whole of Asian philosophy stuffs - the sort of marks you can find from Confucian texts. (Esp. Neoconfucian) I guess the name of the guy was Wiean Sky or something.(I am not so sure of Mandarin pronounciation after all) But it is not known what he has exactly said and why he suggested that and why it sounded persuasive. But it is said the original suggestion was far from the current form of the flag.(All these originatin things are from a Chosun Ilbo Columnist's popular account on Korea at the end of Chosun Dynasty, so it could nat exactly near to the truth. Oh, I just remember his name, Lee Kyu Tae) It was accepted quite easily, I don't know why. The Korean who devised the flag carried the thing all the way during his trips, until he faces death before some spooky colonialist whose namr I do not remember. I don't know how it could be carried on. But the "Independence Army" people reproduced the thing and the Korean Temporary Government (literal translation) has also reproduced the thing and it becale the Korean flag ever since. Even North Koreans used the flag for the first several years.
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