South Korea, officially known as Republic of Korea (ROK) is a peninsula in South East Asia. The country pulsates with a high tech economy and holds the first spot among the world's most innovative countries as per the Bloomberg Innovation Index. Not many people know that it has the world's fastest Internet speed as also the highest smartphone ownership. It ranks first even in ICT Development, e-Government and 4G LTE coverage.
Yet the country has much to offer the avid traveller, from its charming hilly countryside interspersed with cherry trees, emerald paddy fields and ancient Buddhist temples, to its innumerable green tropical islands and scenic coastal fishing villages. South Korea also boasts 20 national parks and other nature places. You can enjoy treks to its craggy mountain tops and come winter you have a choice of smooth ski slopes.
Spanning an area of 100,032 square kilometres the country is cradled by the Yellow Sea on the west, the Sea of Japan to the east, while to the south lie the Korea Strait and East China Sea.
South Korea can broadly be divided into four geographic regions. The eastern region marked by high mountain ranges and narrow coastal plains; the western region distinguished by its broad coastal plains, river basins, and rolling hills; while the southwest region showcases mountains and valleys, the southeast region is dominated by the broad basin of the Nakdong River.
About three thousand islands, usually uninhabited, lie off the western and southern coasts. Among these Jeju-do is the country's largest island (at 1850 sq km), and also houses Hallasan, an extinct volcano, at 6,398 feet above sea level - which is South Korea's highest point. There are some islands towards the east and south of the country too.
South Korea despite its chaotic history is today at the forefront of world economy and technology - and stands as an amazing example of what a country and its people can achieve. It has also largely retained its traditions and customs that make for its highly distinctive culture - making it a strong attraction for tourists to this land of miraculous people.
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