Located in East Asia, South Korea is one of the strongest geopolitical forces in the region. The country is known for its immense focus on esports, Olympics, and now, the media industry. From its world-famous K-pop bands to its ecstatic cuisine, South Korea is a country rich in culture and values. But let’s dig deeper to find out some more interesting things about the country that brought Squid Game to us!
Here Are the Most Amazing Facts about South Korea
1. South Korea is One of the World’s Biggest Economies
South Korea is a small country with one of the biggest economies in the world. It is only about the size of the UK and has the 10th largest GDP in the world (according to the latest rankings). In Asia, it has the 4th largest economy. South Korea is also one of the largest exporters in the world with most of its exports being cars and phones, computers, and electronic circuits.
2. It Is a Heaven for Tech Savvy People and Gamers
If you are a tech junkie, you will be happy to know that South Korea could very well be your ideal place to live. The internet speed in South Korea is so fast that it became viral news a few years ago. It remained the country with the fastest internet connection speed in the world for over 12 years. It is also the world leader in internet usage. Over 92% of South Koreans are internet users.
South Korea also has one of the largest gaming industries in the world. Its market value is estimated to be around 15.6 trillion South Korean won and is estimated to reach 19 trillion won in 2022. Most of its focus is on esports. The country has even hosted the League of Legends Worlds championship.
3. It Has the Busiest Air Route in the World
South Korea has the most busiest flight paths in the world, which is a 280-mile route between Seoul to Jeju International. Jeju airport is used by more than 26 million travelers every year, which is even more than airports in the UK.
4. It Has One of the Most Beautiful Islands in the World
Jeju Island is one of the most underrated yet the most beautiful islands in the world. You may have never heard of it but it is also a popular tourist destination. In fact, the island was known to be called South Korea’s Hawaii. It is a UNESCO-listed site with scenic volcanoes, hiking trails, underground caves, and exotic beaches.
Halla Mountain is the highest peak in South Korea. There is also “Sunrise Peak”, both located on Jeju island and are amazingly spectacular. This island was named to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2017. This island is a self-governed land, which means that you won’t need a visa to visit Jeju island. You can visit without needing a visa.
However, this island also has a dark past. The South Korean government once massacred villages on the island to put down an uprising on the island. There are many mass graves in the island that are uncovered to this date. During this uprising, over 30,000 people died and 40,000 fled to Japan.
5. South Koreans Are Required to Take the Sooneung Exam
When taking admission in a university, South Korean students need to take an entrance exam called the Sooneung exam. Before this test starts, there is a tradition where all the family and friends of the applicant gather outside the high schools to wish luck and hand out candies.
6. South Korea has Futuristic Architecture
The capital of South Korea, Seoul, is home to some amazing and futuristic architecture. This includes the curvaceous and metallic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, designed by the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid.
It also houses the Lotte World Tower, which is the fifth tallest building in the world. Lotte World is a huge recreation center with one of the biggest indoor theme parks in the world, an artificial island, shopping malls, museum, an open-air amusement park, and more.
7. South Korea’s Film Industry Is Witnessing Steady Growth
South Korea has the most growing film industry today. Its films and shows have broken several records internationally. Its most recent show, Squid Game, became the most watched show on Netflix and broke all the previous records. Okja was also a South Korean film that received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and starred Jake Gyllenhaal.
8. South Korea has the Most Amazing Cuisine
Just like its film industry, South Korea is also famous for its cuisine. Kimchi is one of the most popular Korean dishes that can be found everywhere in the world in continental restaurants.
9. South Korea has a population of 51.8 Million People
As of 2021, South Korea has a population of 51.8 million people with the majority of them living in the country’s capital, Seoul. Seoul is located in the North-West of the country.
10. Majority of South Koreans Are Educated
South Korea has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Over 95% of the South Korean population can read and write.
11. Every Child Born in South Korea Is One Year Old
All children born in South Korea are said to be one year old when they are born. And whenever the next Lunar New Year comes, they turn two. There is also a special celebration held 100 years after a child is born.
12. The National Sport of South Korea is Taekwondo
Taekwondo was invented over 2000 years ago and is the national sport of the country.
13. South Koreans Regard Teachers as Very Prestigious
In fact, the profession of teaching is one of the most well-paid professions in South Korea. It is considered very prestigious. The public sector school teachers in South Korea earn about USD 2500 per month, whereas the private school and university teachers make even more.
14. South Korea’s History
South Korea was an independent kingdom for centuries. However, after 1905, Japan took over the country after it surrendered to the U.S. post World War II in 1945. After some time, the country gained independence but was separated into North Korea and South Korea.
15. South Korea has a Lot of Mountains
About 70% of the land in South Korea is covered by mountains and hills. It is a highly mountainous area with the Nam Mountain overlooking its capital, Seoul.
16. South Korea has a Beautiful Winter Resort City
Known as Pyeongchang, the city is a winter resort located in the North Eastern region of South Korea. It was also one of the sites during the Winter Olympics held in 2018. It has a popular winter holiday resort with all kinds of winter sports and accommodations available. You can travel to Pyeongchang through the Korean bullet train from Seoul.
17. The New Year Is Celebrated Twice in South Korea
South Koreans celebrate the new year twice a year. They celebrate the New Year on 1st January, with the rest of the world. Whereas they have another celebration in February each year to celebrate the Lunar New Year. People get very excited during the Lunar New Year celebrations that last for three days. People often give cash wrapped in red envelopes as a gift during these celebrations. They wear their traditional costume, hanbok, for all of their cultural festivals.
18. Korean Pop Music Is Insanely Famous
Korean pop music, also known as K-pop, has become insanely famous all over the world. It went viral after the YouTube hit, Gangnam Style by PSY was released in 2013. Gangnam here refers to South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
19. Korean Is the Official Language of South Korea
Korean is the official language of South Korea, but people also speak different Korean dialects in many regions. Children learn and speak Korean very fairly.
20. South Korea Is Home to Many Endangered Species
South Korea has a lot of endangered animal species living in the country, including the Siberian tiger, the golden eagle, the lynx, the Amur leopard, and the Siberian musk deer.
South Korea 4K. Interesting Facts about South Korea
South Korea is one of the most developed countries today. Let’s take a tour of Korea and see modern Korean cities. Seoul, Busan, Daegu and many more. Enjoy South Korea in 4k! #SouthKorea
Rich in culture, tourist spots, and technological innovations, South Korea is a country that should be on everyone’s bucket list! We hope these South Korea facts helped you learn a little more about this country than meets the eye.
Our favorite fact about South Korea definitely has to be its involvement in technological innovations. Who doesn’t love a futuristic country with high focus on innovations, right?
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.