Once known as the “Land of the Morning Calm,” Korea has faced its share of adversity from the colonial Japanese occupation to the divisive Korean War. In spite of these hurdles, the country has overcome them to establish itself as a major player in the global economy and culture today.
Located between China and Japan, Korea is a peninsula roughly the size of England. Surrounded by water on all three sides, Korea boasts 22 national parks in coastal areas and mountainous regions and even on a volcanic island. Walking trails wind through unique geography like unusual rock formations, scenic landscapes, lush forests and historic sites.
Korea’s history stretches back more than 5,000 years, including 500 years of pre-modern history during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Today, the economically advanced country is part of the modern global market, where past meets present and even future, with ancient palaces and austere temples amid towering skyscrapers and digital billboards.
With four distinct seasons and beautiful natural landscapes, Korea is a nature-lover’s dream. In particular, luscious flower fields bloom in spring, and gorgeous foliage can be seen in autumn. Mountains cover 70% of the country, and there is coastline on three sides. Off the southern coast are several small islands.