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"On a deep well-sheltered bay at the mouth of the Naktong River, facing the Japanese islands of Tsushima across the Korea Strait, Pusan was opened to the Japanese in 1876 and to general foreign trade in 1883. Under the Japanese occupation (1910–45) it developed into a modern port; ferry service connected the city with ShimonosekiJapan, and Pusan was the terminus of rail lines connecting Korea to China and Russia. The city became overpopulated with repatriates from overseas when Korea gained independence in 1945 and again with refugees during the Korean War (1950–53), when it was the temporary capital of the Republic of Korea."

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Gain More Background About the Country


"Koreans are also an ancient people: They are one of the few peoples in the world who can trace a continuous history and presence on the same territory going back thousands of years. Since Korea has had next to no ethnic minorities, Koreans have traditionally thought that they are a homogeneous and unique people – and that they always have been."

South Korea History Timeline

Fun Facts and Trivia:

South Korea is "the world’s 12th-largest trading nation. South Korea produces the LG TVs, Hyundai cars and Samsung phones we use every day. K-Pop stars are taking over the world one YouTube video at a time, and their films are receiving worldwide acclaim."

Customs and Culture:

"The Koreans are one ethnic family speaking one language. They share certain distinct physical characteristics which differentiate them from other Asian people including the Chinese and the Japanese, and have a strong cultural identity as one ethnic family."

Start Preparing for Your Trip

  Quick Facts: Entry & Exit, Safety & Security  

Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations, Hepatitis A, Typhoid

Visas: Not Required for US citizens for a stay up to 90 days

What to Pack"When packing toiletries, take special care to ensure you have enough deodorant for your trip. It can be difficult to find in Korea. Pack sunscreen if you will be visiting the beach or doing any other outdoor activities, as it also is in short supply in Korean stores. Women should take an ample supply of tampons or menstrual pads. The Korean selection of these items is somewhat limited."

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When You Arrive

Water Safety: Water is safe to drink

Currency: Korean Republic Won Exchange Rate

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Tourist Information Site: Plan Your Trip

Attractions. Travel. Transportation. Food. About.

Enjoy a Little South Korea from Home

Get Around
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Food and Recipes
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Also of interest:

What to do and see in Busan in 48 hours

To learn more, check out my blog posting:

Study Abroad: Semester at Sea - South Korea

Travel Guide
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