Friday, 13 March 2015


Today,as I write to you about Korea,it must have set many of you wondering on how and why have I chosen to write about Korea as a tourist destination and why did it not occur to me to write about so many others countries and continents of the world like Europe, Australia, America, Middle-East etc. 

Ahoy!There's a good news here...I am among the 20 participants chosen pan-India for the Phase-I of the prestigious event of the WOW Korea Supporter 2015! Isn't that a wonderful news to share? Thus in Phase-I of this event,I have to make my way into the hearts of the people, readers and judges as I endeavor to fill you in with nuggets of information about a fascinating country we know as Korea.

Now, before I get discussing on the tourist destination and events taking place in Korea right now,let's take the first step towards it by doing some fact-finding about this enchanting country...
1.South Korea is just 1/4th the size of Japan,almost 1/3rd the size of Germany, 20% the size of California,41% the size of United Kingdom and yet it is the fourth largest economy in Asia,the thirteenth largest economy in the world and the fourteenth highest G.D.P. in the world.And this news shouldn't come to you as a surprise when I say that South Korea is also the eight largest exporter of the world! Yes you read that right!!

2. South Korean males are constitutionally required to serve in the military for a period of two years.By the way, South Korea has an extensive military that includes Air force,Army and Marines.

3.The people of Korea follow the Confucianism way of living. Thus they lay emphasis on family values and interpersonal relationships where the eldest member in the family also considered the wisest makes all major decisions.

4.After the Korean war,the governments invested heavily in the education sector. Thus it is the first country in the world to introduce high-speed fiber optic broadband internet access to every primary and secondary school.Optimizing this technology to their advantage,they have also developed the first Digital Textbooks in the world that will be freely distributed world-wide.And it's not surprising that as of 2002,South Korea has a 97.9% literacy rate.(Source:Wiki)And these results have translated into an astounding progress in the sectors of industry and technology with Korean tech giants like LG and Samsung,Korean car manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia ruling the global markets. 

5.Many a times,whenever we have visited a restaurant we have made it a customary practice to tip the waiter for a good service.But according to an account of a person I read recently, in Korea it is quite the contrary.In Korea if you tip the waiter or the owner of a restaurant,they are more likely to chase you down the street with your change rather than think that you left it behind for them as a token of your appreciation.Thus tipping is not required! Perhaps it's just that smile and kind words that work their way into the hearts of Koreans! :)

6. Whenever you are traveling around Korea using the local transportation,here's something you must know.The taxis in Korea are color coded where each color denotes the type of services you wish to avail.For example,a gray and white cab offer you the basic comforts while a black colored cab is a luxurious car.

7.Many people in Korea live in high-rise,high-tech apartments which have robots do all the house-hold work.So don't be surprised if you enter one such home!And wait...there's more! The heating of the room can be controlled by just a call on the mobile phone! Howzzat??!

8. The national pastime of Koreans is Taekwondo but during the last one decade, *Starcraft and Starcraft II has become a craze!Thousands of people flock themselves into a gaming LAN center (also known as PC bang) which is the size of a football field to play Starcraft and StarcraftII ! (*StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment) 

9.Drinking in Public is one-hundred percent legal. Soju is South Korea's rice wine which tastes good and is pretty strong with at least 20% alcohol content. It's traditionally served in small shot glasses where on the shout of 'Gumbay!'  it is the custom to drink the whole glass in one go!And once your glass is empty, your host will give you a refill where it's impolite on your part to refuse! 

10. South Korea boasts of some of the biggest shopping malls in the world where some of the malls are even bigger than a European town!

So, here were 10 interesting facts about Korea! Now, await my next series of posts on Korea as I unravel this beautiful country! 

By the way-here's an event which I came across happening in Auckland,New Zealand that's happening tomorrow. Those of  you living there may check it out - 

Experience the best of Korean culture with: music concert,Korean traditional wrestling,lucky draw,tea ceremony, Korean alphabet (Hangeul) Calligraphy,children's craft, international food court.

WhenSaturday 14 March, 10am-5pm

WhereNorth Shore Events Centre, Wairau Valley, North Shore



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