Insight Guides - South Korea | davidmonk4

Insight Guides - South Korea

Insight Guides have developed guides for various countries. Their guide to South Korea is detailed and informative, including high-quality photographs.


The Guide

According to the researchers who help with essay writing, the guide has been structured very well, with everything in a certain order. The first section is an introduction, covering a few things that are mentioned in future sections, in greater detail. In The Best of South Korea a few festivals, temples, museums and cultural events are mentioned, leading swiftly into The Shrimp Between Whales. This highlights Korea’s unenviable position trapped between three powerful countries; China, Russia and Japan, which are ultimately responsible for the divide within Korea. Finally in Geography the climate and land are covered, as well as wildlife and various plants, including the crops South Korea can produce.

The next section is History, covering the Early Kingdoms and Dynasties in a brief overview, moving into A Century of Conflict, beginning in 1850 where the major surrounding countries, with the addition of the West, fought over Korea. This includes the Korean War, and moves into Recovery and Prosperity, in which democracy is born. This section also discusses North Korea and the continuing difficulties.

Next is the Features section, which covers The Koreans as a people, highlighting their kindness along with their continuing tolerance of other cultures and past harm. Business Culture is discussed briefly before a longer section on Religion, including Buddhism, Confucianism and local religions as well as the more western Christianity. Sport and Leisure is fairly small, overshadowed by the vast Performing Arts section detailing dance, music and acting unique to the small continent. The Arts and Crafts also have a sizable section, as does Food and Drink. This section finishes on a little about Traditional Korean Architecture, still common despite numerous periods of occupation.

Places have a small introduction before leaping into a lengthy and highly detailed look at Seoul, which has a huge 24-page section to itself. This is the capital, and is also in a compromising position sitting so close to North Korea. Gyeonggi Province is the area directly surrounding Seoul, and features many smaller cities and sights, as well as its proximity to North Korea.

Gangwon Province is next to Gyeonggi, as can be seen from the many small maps detailing each province. This section also details its closeness to North Korea, as well as the colder northern weather, making skiing a hobby in some areas. Next are Chungcheong and Gyeongsang Provinces. Chungcheong Provinces are below Seoul and are famous for ginseng growing. Gyeongsangbuk Province is on the opposite coast to the Chungcheong Provinces, the many towns and attractions demanding a sizable section, and Gyeongsangnam Province, beside the Jeolla Provinces, is home to the old captial, and port city, Busan. The Jeolla Provinces are on the coast below the Chungcheong Provinces, and are famous for tea. Jeju-do is a small island just below South Korea, and is a popular place for holidays, honeymoons in particular.

After the largest and most detailed section of Places is a simple directory, which includes Transportation, Accommodations, Eating Out, Activities, A-Z, Language and Further Reading to give the reader potential ideas and details of the various things on offer throughout South Korea.

fThis guide is useful and insightful; there is a lot of information available in the final section to make a trip to South Korea both easy and enjoyable. The guide itself covers all the major places, and lists various festivals going on throughout the year, as well as the museums and temples. Though the guide doesn’t list the entrance prices, it does forewarn you if there is a fee for entering the various historical sites, and sometimes offers contact details for information services. The layout of the book is appealing and simple, with everything in a certain place, so the reader can skip through to the section of interest or skip a less desirable topic. Pictures are scattered throughout the book, some as small accompaniments to the articles while others are large one or two page images that highlight South Korea’s beauty and culture. Alongside the articles are small tips on the culture or points of interest, while slightly larger coloured boxes go into more detail about a particular element of the culture or history that links to the current article. Thinking of travelling, this was one of the guides I bought, and I wasn’t disappointed. Though it doesn’t go into great detail about particular areas; towns are skimmed over with only the most important aspects under focus, however as a loose guide it is effective. The further reading options in the back also offer an alternative for readers who desire a more detailed look at certain areas of Korean Culture.

Review

This guide is useful and insightful; there is a lot of information available in the final section to make a trip to South Korea both easy and enjoyable. The guide itself covers all the major places, and lists various festivals going on throughout the year, as well as the museums and temples. Though the guide doesn’t list the entrance prices, it does forewarn you if there is a fee for entering the various historical sites, and sometimes offers contact details for information services.

The layout of the book is appealing and simple, with everything in a certain place, so the reader can skip through to the section of interest or skip a less desirable topic. Pictures are scattered throughout the book, some as small accompaniments to the articles while others are large one or two page images that highlight South Korea’s beauty and culture. Alongside the articles are small tips on the culture or points of interest, while slightly larger coloured boxes go into more detail about a particular element of the culture or history that links to the current article.

Thinking of travelling, this was one of the guides I bought, and I wasn’t disappointed. Though it doesn’t go into great detail about particular areas; towns are skimmed over with only the most important aspects under focus, however as a loose guide it is effective. The further reading options in the back also offer an alternative for readers who desire a more detailed look at certain areas of Korean Culture.

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