South Korea is located in East Asia towards the south part of Korean Peninsula. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and it is also the largest city of the country. The neighboring countries of South Korea are China, Japan and North Korea. According to the archaeological finding, the history of Korean Peninsula starts from lower Paleolithic period. In 668 AD, the ‘Three Kingdoms of Korea’ unified under Silla. Korea was ruled by Joseon Dynasty and Goryeo Dynasty as one country. In 1910, Korean Empire ended after Japan annexed Korea.
The country was separated in to South Korea and North Korea after the occupation and liberation by US and Soviet forces after World War II. In 1948, South Korea established itself as a democracy and the country had gone through military rules, martial law and political turmoil until Sixth Republic was founded in 1987. Like other democracies, the government of South Korea is also divided in to executive, legislative and judicial powers. The executive power and legislative power are operating at national level but some local functions are also carried out by the executive branch. The judiciary operates at local and national levels.
The economy of South Korea is market economy and the country ranks 14th in nominal GDP and in terms of purchasing power parity; the country stands 12th in the world. South Korea is the only developed country that is included in among the Next Eleven countries. The economy of the country is mainly depends up on trade. South Korea has high density of population and most of the people are living in urban areas. The population of the country is 48,475,000 and it is one among the most ethnically homogenous societies of the world. Over 99% of the population is of Korean ethnicity. Most of the Koreans do not have any religious preference. Among the religious people, majority are Christians or Buddhists. Other religion is Islam and some religious movements are Cheondoism, Wonbuddhism and Jeungism.
Tourism is a major industry in South Korea and about 6.4 million tourists are visiting the country. Most of the tourists are coming from China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Seoul is the major tourist attraction as the capital is a bustling commercial center and rich in heritage. Most of the tourist spots in Seoul are listed as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The five royal palaces in Seoul and National Museum of Korea are worth seeing. In South Korea, tourists can find several national parks with marked trails and camping spots. Hiking through these national parks will be an enjoyable experience.
Suwon Korean Fold Village is worth visiting to watch the functioning of rural community and the superb reconstruction of past. Tourists can observe the craftsman doing their trades and traditional entertainment and fold dances are performed daily in the village. Jeju-do Island is a popular destination of honeymooners and the famous tourist spots here are statues, hiking to Halla-sen which is a volcano and lava-tube cave of 7km long. Go for a three hour boat journey from Busan to Yeosu to enjoy the sceneries of the country. Other attractions are 15th century village in Yangdong, Namdaemun Night Market and Island of Ulung-do.