traditionally known as the "Land of the Morning Calm," is today
a modern, bustling hub of East Asia. It is a peninsula jutting off
of China, and Japan is only two hours away. Despite this close physical
proximity to the neighboring countries, Korea has a distinctive
culture of its own, which has developed during its 5,000 years of
history. The 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan attracted attention from
the international community because it was the first to be held
in Asia and to be staged by two countries.
Seoul, the capital of the
Republic of Korea, is one of the ten largest cities
in the world with a population of over 11 million people
living on about 628 square kilometers. The city nestles
between two mountain ranges. The Han River flows west
to the Yellow Sea and divides the city into two parts.
A distinctive characteristic of Seoul is the remarkable
ways of yesterday and today blended and its balance
to preserve all that is the best in Korea's unique 5,000-year
culture. Today, Seoul is the center of the nation's
government, education, business, finance, entertainment,
art, industry and administration.
About Jeju Island
Jeju-do or Jeju Island is one
of the nine provinces of Korea and it is only an hour's flight
south of Seoul. There are direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya,
Fukuoka, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
As a result of its isolated
location and romantic tropical image, Jeju-do has become a favorite
retreat with honeymooners and tourists. The island has a mild marine
climate. It has four distinct seasons and an average yearly temperature
The island is 73 km wide and 41 km long with a total
area of 1,845 km2. Jeju Island, the largest island in Korea, came
into existence 700 to 1,200 thousand years ago when lava spewed
from a sub-sea volcano and surfaced above the waters. Then 100 to
300 thousand years ago another volcanic eruption that formed Mt.
Halla, which is South Korea's highest peak.
The island offers
visitors a wide range of activities: hiking on Mt. Halla, catching
sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, viewing majestic waterfalls,
riding horses, or just lying around on the sandy beaches.