|Sorry the previous entry was rather rushed so here is a little more .
Korea seems a very polite society with a good sense of their history and in particular of the Japanese occupation from 1910-45. . Very modern buildings in the main which is understandable given that so much was destroyed during the war. According to our guide older people maintain resentment towards Japan but the young are not too concerned. She says the economy is bad and it can be hard to get a job, although I think she said unemployment is only about 3%
I have never seen so many high rise banks of apartments - rows upon rows of them especially in Soeul which has a population of around 12 million. Most people commute from out of the city for 1-1/12 hours. Good public transport system. Many young speak English but not many older people.
Some large and interesting palaces from when there were emperors and although destroyed by Japanese and/or fire now rebuilt. Temples now mostly in the mountains. Feng shei is important and between water and mountains is auspicious.
Our guide said that one way to distinguish between Koreans, Japanese and Chinese is that Chinese are very loud, Japanese very short and Koreans very colourful.
We spent lots of time in the coach travelling from place to place - very much a whistle stop tour. I was surprised how mountainous it is.
Folk dance opera very enjoyable - lots of drumming. Nice costumes. Story of a male secretary to the administrator who had an eye for women other than his wife and was taught a lesson in a funny way. Acrobatics, dancing, fantastic set , digitalised backdrops of waterfalls, rough seas, etc. very clever.
Had a trip to the demilitarised zone which was quite interesting. Despite many attempts to reunify over the years it still seems very distant. We could see into North Korea but not much detail..there is a no go military zone on both sides of I think 5 kms and 2 kms open zone. There is a village in the south zone were the residents have preferential tax and other treatment. At least 4 tunnels the north built trying to reach Soeul but all discovered and blocked.
70% is mountainous . Grow rice in the south, beef, potato, cabbage and corn in north.
Highest peak is 1900 m
Compulsory 2 year military call up or 2 years jail. Must complete before 30 years old
In North Korea it's 10 years for men and 7 years for women
Country is very clean