Bureau and Corporate Funded Body
Situated at the heart of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul has always been an important strategic point in terms of defense and economy through the centuries, from one kingdom to the next. The three kingdoms of Baekje, Gogyuryeo, and Silla (BCE 57 – CE 688) all fought over the area that is now Korea’s capital. Indeed, whichever kingdom claimed Seoul became the dominant power. The Joseon Dynasty (1396 – 1910) declared Seoul its capital, a role that Seoul still plays to this day.
The Korean Peninsula lies in the center of Northeast Asia. The coordinates of its capital Seoul are 37.34° N, 126.59° E, a spot slightly nearer to the Yellow Sea. Seoul is within 3 hours’ flying time from 43 cities with a population of over one million people. Korea’s location between China and Japan has been the nation’s geographical advantage.
Like the rest of Korea, Seoul has four distinct seasons, which means the landscape changes considerably throughout the year. This unique climate is deeply imbedded within Korea’s cultural fabric.
Seoul’s average temperature is 12.2〫C. Spring begins around March, when the entire
city bursts into flower. Many Seoulitesenjoy strolling around Yeouidoor other green spaces
throughout the city
that are filled with a dizzying display of cherry
blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, and magnolias. This is the season when
the temperature drops sharply after nightfall.
Those planning to visit Seoul at this time must remember to pack suitable clothing. A
mask and a pair of sunglasses will keep you from inhaling the yellow dust
that is carried over from China during springtime. The atmosphere can be extremely dry, so take extra care if you have sensitive skin or a sore throat.
Seoul’s long, hot, and humid summer is only interrupted by sporadic monsoon rains in June and July. If you find Seoul somewhat quiet during this period, that’s because many Koreans go on holiday at this time of year. You will also find people gathered around the water fountain in front of Gwanghwamun Square or under a bridge along the Hangang (River). Banpodaegyo (Bridge) is a popular spot that offers a fantastic view of the city.
Seoul’s pleasant autumn season lasts from September to November. Seoul is filled with bright autumnal colors at this time of year. It is the season of harvest, which is celebrated by showing thanks to the ancestral deities and spirits. It is also the season in which the people prepare for the imminent winter. The Hi! Seoul Festival, one of Seoul’s most notable events, take place in autumn. Changgyeonggung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace are open until later hours during this period. It’s worth visiting the city at night to see the hundreds of lanterns hanging above the streets during the Lantern Festival.
Due to the strong influence from the north, winter is extremely cold in Seoul. This is when squares all over Seoul open skating rinks. The days become markedly shorter, and you will see Seoulites busily going about their business wrapped up against the cold under myriad flashy neon lights.
The Hangang (River) flows horizontally across Seoul, dividing the city into two sections lying north and south of the river.
There are 25 autonomous districts and 424 administrative ‘dong‘ units in Seoul. The city covers 0.28% of the entire peninsula (or 0.61% of the South Korea territory) and is 30.30km long and 36.78km wide.
Seoul has a population of 10,437,737 people.
2013 (Statistic, http://stat.seoul.go.kr/index.jsp )