The Korean Peninsula is located in North-East Asia. It is bordered by the Amnok River (Yalu River) to the northwest, separating Korea from China, and the Duman River (Tumen River) to the northeast which separates Korea from both China and Russia. The country itself is flanked by the Yellow Sea to its west and the East Sea to the east. There are several notable islands that surround the peninsula including Jeju-do, Ulleung-do and Dok-do (Liancourt Rocks).
The Korean peninsula is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea's total land area is 100,140 sq km, and it has a population of 48.7 million people (2009).
Because of its unique geographical location, Korea is a very valuable piece of land and an international hub of Asia.
Mountains cover 70% of Korea's land mass, making it one of the most mountainous regions in the world. The lifting and folding of Korea’s granite and limestone base create a breathtaking landscape of scenic hills and valleys. The mountain range that stretches along the length of the east coast falls steeply into the East Sea, while along the southern and western coasts, the mountains descend gradually to the coastal plains that produce the bulk of Korea’s agricultural crops, especially rice.
The Korean flag (태극기) is called "Taegeukgi" in Korean. Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Oriental philosophy. The circle in the center of the Korean flag is divided into two equal parts. The upper red section represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang. Conversely, the lower blue section represents the responsive cosmic forces of the yin. The two forces together embody the concepts of continual movement, balance and harmony that characterize the sphere of infinity. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner.
Generally, a double room in a super deluxe hotel costs approximately 200,000-400,000 won (use of extra services and facilities not included); in a deluxe hotel 150,000-250,000 won, a first class hotel 100,000-150,000, second class 50,000-100,000 won, third class 30,000-100,000 won. The prices of hotels vary depending on season and location.
Hotels above deluxe class usually have a fitness center, sauna, a business center, restaurants and cafes. Hotels add a 10% VAT and 10% service charge. The 10% VAT (hotel tax) that was lifted during special tourism periods, such as Visit Korea 2001 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, is now back in effect as of January 1, 2005.
|Taekwondo is a martial art form and sport that that uses the hands and feet for attack and defense. The focus of Taekwondo is on training and disciplining the mind along with the body. For those learning the martial art it plays four different roles.|
First, Taekwondo as an Exercise
Taekwondo is a good exercise for children who are still growing as well as a good way for grown-ups to increase their physical endurance. Taekwondo's movements require extensive use of the joints, which increases the limberness of one's body. Since there is kicking, jabbing and shouting involved, it's also a great way to relieve stress and get a good workout.
Taekwondo learners attack the opponent with their bare hands and feet. What sets this apart from other martial arts forms are the powerful and various leg movements involved, and which have enabled it to become a worldwide martial art. Taekwondo's attack is aggressive, but at the same time the focus is more on the defense aspect. This can act positively for those wanting to learn Taekwondo as a way of self defense for practical purposes, even in modern times.
Taekwondo is an official competitive category in major world sporting events such as the Olympics, Panam Games, Asian Games, All American Games, and South American Games. Competitive Taekwondo involves safety gear and set attacks and defenses as to limit the amount of damage possible. This way, competitive martial artists can enjoy the thrill of competing with less risk.
Taekwondo trains the body, but does as much to develop the mind as well. The objective of learning Taekwondo is to foster growth in both areas in order to become a more mature human being. Taekwondo learners receive repeated etiquette lessons along with the attack and defense skills to build and strengthen their character.