South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name “Korea” is derived from Goryeo, a dynasty which ruled in the Middle Ages. Its neighbours are China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone with a predominantly mountainous terrain. It covers a total area of 99,392 square kilometresand has a population of 50 million. The capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of 9,794,304.
Winter comes early to northern korea, usually beginning in October when the intense arctic cold of the Siberian High begins to move into northern Korea. The northern rivers begin to freeze over as severe cold waves sweep south across the Manchurian Plain, bringing frigid, dry air into Korea. For most of korea the real cold comes later, around January. Although precipitation in December is slight, cyclonic storms can drag enough snowfall onshore to cover the ground across most of North Korea.
Winter in Korea can last up to six months in the northern part of the peninsula, but generally lasts only three months in central and southern Korea. Temperatures average below freezing during the months of December, January, and February, except for the southern coastal areas.
January is the coldest month in Korea. The average Jnuary temperature in Chongjin, near the Chongjin Reservair, is just -8°C (16°F). Jaunuary in Seoul averages a chilly, -5°C (21 F). at Sinuiju, near the mouth of the Yalu River, and at Taegu in southern Koreaa the average temperature is only -5°C (23°F. the port cityb of Pusan fares little better, with January temperatures averaging only -1°C (30°F). considering these are only average temperatures based on the past 17 to 20 years, temperatures can, and have been much colder. The lowest temperature recarded at Chongjin in the past 20 years was a bone-chilling -21°C (-7°F).
The winter in Seoul is controlled by the large Siberian high pressure system (the Asiatic high), which results in predominantly cold, dry north-westerly winds. About every 4 to 5 days a low-pressure trough will move through South Korea, bringing with it cloudiness and light precipitation. The amount of precipitation locally depends mostly on the elevation of the station and the length of time that the air has been over the Yellow Sea. Maximum snowfall occurs over the northwest coast, which is the most exposed to the northwesterly flow, and in the mountain areas. Normally less than 10 percent of the annual precipitation falls during the winter. Frequently the weather is cloudless, clear, and dry, except for the southwestern region of the peninsula. The mean January temperature in Seoul is -4.4 °C (24 °F). January is the coldest month in Seoul.
Shopping area in Korea:
There are many shopping streets in Korea:
It is a first rate shopping and entertainment area, Myong-dong is noted for its eating, drinking, and entertainment establishments frequented by people of all ages. It is located in downtown Seoul, there are four major department stores staffed by clerks who can speak either English or Japanese. Major fashion designers also have boutiques here and foreign brand name products and shoe stores can be found in abundance.
Namdaemun Market is named after Namdaemun Gate (currently called Sungnyemun), is the Korea’s first national treasure. The gate and the market are only a short-distance from Myong-dong and are easily accessible from the major hotels. Namdaemun Market is popular among both local residents and visitors for its bargains in anything-from clothes to foodstuffs. Its crowded streets are lined with tiny shops that sell virtually everything imaginable.
The largest and most colorful market in Korea, Tongdaemun Market bustles with bargain shoppers. The huge public market offers a variety of bargains in everything. It also has the largest silk selection in Korea.
Insa-dong is a narrow street lined with antique stores, art galleries and secondhand bookstores. Dubbed “Mary’s Alley” by foreign residents of Seoul, Insa-dong is the most reliable place in the city to purchase antiques and reproductions, especially on the different types of Choson Dynasty chests. There are also bargains on calligraphy, paintings, and a wide variety of implements and articles from Korea’s past. Traditional teahouses and art galleries are also concentrated in this area.
Chang-anp’yon Antique Market
Chang-anp’yong Antique Market has an enormous variety of items ranging from old to new artifacts. All are sold at reasonable prices. Popular items include paintings, calligraphy, old chests, stone and ceramic artifacts.
Hwanghak-dong Flea Market
Second-hand articles such as grindstones, stoves, televisions, video recorders, compact discs, clothing, and shoes are sold in the Hwanghak-dong Flea Market.
It’aewon is a popular spot for bargain shoppers and entertainment seekers. It is largely responsible for Seoul’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise. The area’s main street runs for more than a mile long and is lined with boutiques and stores. They sell items such as tailor and ready-made suits, leather and eel skin goods, shoes, brassware, and jewelry. Numerous antique shops, as well as shops specializing in Korean art and calligraphy are also located in It’aewon.
One of the most famous shopping streets in Seoul, Shinch’on is located between two of the most prestigious universities in Korea. The streets are filled with youths wearing the latest fashions. Radical and conservative styles coexist side-by-side. Visitors will be able to enjoy the numerous shops, coffee lounges, restaurants, and nightclubs while mingling with Korea’s new generation.
Yongsan Electronics Market
Yongsan Electronics Market is the largest electronics market in Asia. Specializing in electric and electronic goods, the market has approximately 5,000 stores housed in 22 buildings. These shops sell virtually every kind of electrical product at 30% lower than other markets. With the advancement of computers, Yongsan Electronics Market has gained popularity as a great new shopping area in Seoul.