Getting there: Fly into Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) or take ferries from Russia, Japan or China. There are no overland routes.
Capital city: Seoul.
Population: 50.492 million.
Religion: A mix of Buddhism, Christianity and shamanism.
Currency: South Korean won (KRW).
Climate: A temperate climate with four seasons. Winter is normally long, cold and dry. Summer is short, hot and humid with rain sometimes for days at a time. Spring is cherry blossom time but also brings yellow-dust storms emanating from the the deserts of Mongolia and China. Autumn is pleasant and dry.
Transport: The public transport system is excellent and inexpensive. Domestic flights, the train network and express buses connect the major cities. There are intercity buses that connect the smaller towns. Local bus services are available in most towns and a few major cities have commuter rail. Taxis are plentiful, safe and cheap. Car-ferries allow travel to outlying islands as well.
Best time to travel: Autumn (mid-September to November), when temperatures are mild and the landscape explodes into gorgeous autumn foliage.
What to wear: Koreans are very fashion conscious and invest a lot in appearance — dress to impress.