Getting Proper with the Provinces

By Kyle Voong

Are you going on a trip to Korea? Planning to study abroad? Or maybe you’re just curious? No matter the reason, here’s a quick introduction to each of the nine provinces of South Korea!

South Korea is a sizeable country with over 30,000 square miles of land! In order to help identify the different areas of the particular peninsula, the country of South Korea is divided into nine different provinces, each with its unique characteristics. So whether you’re interested in Jejudo or Gangwondo, here’s a list of each of the nine provinces of South Korea, as well as a small summary of each province’s characteristics and attractions!

North Chungcheong

The North Chungcheong province is well known for its many mountains and lakes that decorate the area. With a relatively rural lifestyle dominating the North Chungcheong area, adventurous spirits will enjoy the various natural attractions that the land has to offer: the nearby Sobaeksan National park offers various mountain hiking paths to those that are interested, and the Gosu cave offers a more unique path for those who don’t mind closed spaces. Unlike the other provinces, North Chungcheong is the only landlocked province of South Korea!

South Chungcheong

Unlike its northern counterpart, the South Chungcheong province is actually very flat. However, this doesn’t get in the way of the various cultural and natural attractions that this province offers. Temples like Gwanchoksa Temple and Sudeoksa Temple offer an authentic example of traditional Korean architecture, and the various beaches and hot springs in the province attract both locals and tourists every year. Additionally, various events occur within the area every year, such as the Baekje Cultural Festival, the Yesan Maeheon Cultural Festival, and the Boryeong Mud Festival.

Gangwon

While the Gangwon province is well known for being the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this event would not have been possible without the many mountains that the Gangwon province bears. Most prominently, the Taebak mountains dominate the Gangwon province’s geography, leading to it attracting many thrill-seeking and sports-minded tourists each year! The Gangwon province also borders on the East Sea and has many seaside resorts on its coast as well.

North Gyeongsang

Best known for being the home of Gyeongju, the previous capital of the Silla Kingdom, as well as its heavy influence of Confucian philosophies, the North Gyeongsang province is perhaps one of the most culturally rich provinces of South Korea. The city of Gyeongju offers beautiful classic South Korean scenery for people to stroll through and admire, such as ornate temples and bridges. While various traditional-style scenery decorates the area, Daegu, the largest city in the province, offers a more modern, municipal city that contrasts from the other cities in North Gyeongsang. 

South Gyeongsang

One of South Gyeongsang’s most famous appeals is Busan and the delicious seafood that the city offers. The Busan Jagalchi fish market has some of the largest selections of seafood within South Korea, including raw fish, marinated crabs, dried seafood, fresh fish, and other products! This province also comes with its fair share of cultural attractions as well! The Jinju fortress offers a beautiful display of the structures of old South Korea, and it only becomes even more beautiful during the lantern festivals held at the location!

North Jeolla

With some of the most fertile land in South Korea, the North Jeolla province is highly regarded for its agricultural production. Not only is it well regarded for its fresh produce, but this fresh produce leads to many of the province’s dishes being highly regarded as well! Specifically, North Jeolla’s capital, Jeonju, is famous for both its delicious food and classic architecture: the city is not only the birthplace of bibimbap, but it’s also the home of the Jeonju Hanok Maeul, hundreds of traditional tile-roofed buildings that act as restaurants, museums, teahouses, and more!

South Jeolla

Bearing some of the warmest climates in South Korea, the South Jeolla province is home not only to a flourishing agriculture scene but also to around 2,000 islands off of the South Korean peninsula’s coast. However, only around a quarter of these islands are actually inhabited! The South Jeolla province is also well known for its output of fresh seafood as a result of its heavy contact with the Yellow Sea and Jeju Strait. However, South Jeolla is also home to Gwangju one of South Korea’s largest cities, with a modern setting and diverse cuisine selection, which contrasts with the agricultural province.

Jeju

Officially known as the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the province of Jeju is named after the largest island in the South Korean territory, which is the only land that this province encompasses. Jeju is commonly perceived as the go-to holiday destination for the many residents of South Korea, with beautiful beaches and amazing country scenery providing a more tropical escape unique to the island. Additionally, the cuisine of this province leans heavily towards seafood as a result of the close proximity to the sea! Hoe, raw sliced fish, is a common dish that can be found throughout the island!

Gyeonggi

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Questa è la vista mozzafiato che si può avere dalla G-tower di Songdo! Molti turisti non vengono a visitare questa città che non è ancora molto popolare, ma se volete una gita in giornata fuori Seoul, questa zona di Incheon è perfetta! Non solo c'è questo enorme parco, il Central Park, ma è anche a pochi kilometri dal mare~ Ci siete mai stati? #여행스타그램 #travelblog #travelblogger #planetphoto #traveldudes #modernoutdoors #passionpassport #exploretocreate #travelawesome #travelblogger #travelblog #landscapephotography #edramsworldwonders #wearetravelgirls #dametraveler #songdo #seoul #igshotz #travelandlife #incheon #worldplaces #sonya6300 #bestvacations #theworldshotz #travellershouts #인천 #korea #송도 #ig_korea

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The most populous province in South Korea, Gyeonggi is home to Seoul, the country’s capital. Gyeonggi can easily be seen as one of the most municipal provinces of South Korea, as it is one of South Korea’s most important industrial provinces and attracts many tourists each year as well! Those in the Gyeonggi province are sure to have an abundance of options when it comes to entertainment. Everland, South Korea’s largest theme park is located within Gyeonggi, as well as the Lotte World amusement park! Gyeonggi is also one of the provinces richest in contemporary topics, especially art!

Whether you enjoy the joy of the city, exhilarating hiking trails, or a calm and relaxing day at the beach, South Korea has a province that can cater to your interests! While it’s easy to think of South Korea as one big country, it’s important to note each province’s unique attractions and characteristics. If you’re planning to visit South Korea, it’s important to make sure you don’t miss something you’d want to enjoy!

Written by Kyle Voong

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