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Information about Seoul

Seoul - officially Seoul Special City is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. The Seoul Capital Area, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, is the world's second largest metropolitan area with over 25.6 million people. The city is home to over half of South Koreans along with its 632,000 international residents.

Situated on the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back more than 2,000 years when it was founded in 18 BCE by Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It continued as the capital of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty. The Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by mountains, the tallest being Mt. Bukhan, the world's most visited national park per square foot. Modern landmarks include the iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Lotte World, the world's second largest indoor theme park, and Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, the world's longest bridge fountain. The birthplace of K-pop and the Korean Wave, Seoul was voted the world's most wanted travel destination by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists for three consecutive years in 20092011 with over 12 million international visitors in 2013, making it East Asia's most visited city and the world's 7th biggest earner in tourism.

Today, Seoul is considered a leading and rising global city, resulting from an economic boom called the Miracle on the Han River which transformed it from the ashes of the Korean War to the world's 4th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$774 billion in 2012 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. A world leading technology hub centered around Gangnam and Digital Media City, Seoul boasts the world's sixth largest number of Fortune Global 500 multinationals such as Samsung, the world's largest technology company, as well as LG and Hyundai-Kia. In 2012, the city's GDP per capita (PPP) of $36,321 was comparable to that of Britain and France. Ranked sixth in the Global Power City Index and seventh in the Global Financial Centres Index, the metropolis exerts a major influence in global affairs as one of the five leading hosts of global conferences.




Economy

Seoul is the business and financial hub of South Korea. Although it accounts for only 0.6 percent of the nation's land area, it generated 21 percent of the country's GDP in 2006.In 2008 the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index ranked Seoul No.9. The Global Financial Centres Index in 2012 listed Seoul as the 6th financially most competitive city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Seoul 15th in the list of "Overall 2025 City Competitiveness" regarding future competitiveness of cities.

Manufacturing
Seoul is the business and financial hub of South Korea. Although it accounts for only 0.6 percent of the nation's land area, it generated 21 percent of the country's GDP in 2006. In 2008 the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index ranked Seoul No.9. The Global Financial Centres Index in 2012 listed Seoul as the 6th financially most competitive city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Seoul 15th in the list of "Overall 2025 City Competitiveness" regarding future competitiveness of cities.

Finance
A large concentration of international companies are headquartered in Seoul. The Korea Exchange Bank is also headquartered in the city. Most bank headquarters and the Korea Exchange are located in Yeouido (Yeoui island), which is often called "Korea's Wall Street" and has been serving as the financial center of the city since the 1980s.

Shopping
The largest wholesale and retail market in South Korea, the Dongdaemun Market, is located in Seoul. Myeongdong is a shopping and entertainment area in downtown Seoul with mid- to high-end stores, fashion boutiques and international brand outlets. The nearby Namdaemun Market, named after the Namdaemun Gate, is the oldest continually running market in Seoul. Sinchon is a shopping area that caters mainly to a younger and university student crowd.



Cultural
Insadong is the cultural art market of Seoul, where traditional and modern Korean artworks, such as paintings, sculptures and calligraphy are sold. Hwanghak-dong Flea Market and Janganpyeong Antique Market also offer antique products. Some shops for local designers have opened in Samcheong-dong, where numerous small art galleries are located. Itaewon caters mainly to foreign tourists and American soldiers based in the city.The Gangnam district is one of the most affluent areas in Seoul and is noted for the fashionable and upscale Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong areas and the COEX Mall. Wholesale markets include Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market and Garak Market. The Yongsan Electronics Market is the largest electronics market in Asia.Times Square is one of Seoul's largest shopping malls featuring the CGV Starium, the world's largest permanent 35 mm cinema screen.



Transportation

Seoul features one of the world's most advanced transportation infrastructures that is constantly under expansion. Its system dates back to the era of the Korean Empire, when the first streetcar lines were laid and a railroad linking Seoul and Incheon was completed. Seoul's most important streetcar line ran along Jongno until it was replaced by Line 1 of the subway system in the early 1970s. Other notable streets in downtown Seoul include Euljiro, Teheranno, Sejongno, Chungmuro, Yulgongno, and Toegyero. There are nine major subway lines stretching for more than 250 km (155 mi), with one additional line planned. As of 2010, 25% of the population has a commute time of an hour or more.

Bus
Seoul's bus system is operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with four primary bus configurations available servicing most of the city. Seoul has many large intercity/express bus terminals. These buses connect Seoul with cities throughout South Korea. The Seoul Express Bus Terminal, Central City Terminal and Seoul Nambu Terminal are located in the district of Seocho District. In addition, East Seoul Bus Terminal in Gwangjin District and Sangbong Terminal in Jungnang District operate in the east of the city. To reduce air pollution in the metropolitan area, the municipal government is planning to convert over seven thousand of Seoul's diesel engine buses to natural gas by 2010.

Subway
Seoul has a comprehensive subway network that interconnects every district of the city and the surrounding areas. With more than 8 million passengers per day, Seoul has the busiest subway system in the world. The Seoul Metropolitan Subway has 19 total lines which serve Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi province, western Gangwon province, and northern Chungnam province. In addition, in order to cope with the various modes of transport, Seoul's metropolitan government employs several mathematicians to coordinate the subway, bus, and traffic schedules into one timetable. The various lines are run by Korail, Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, NeoTrans Co. Ltd., AREX, and Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation.

Train
Seoul is connected to every major city in Korea by rail. Seoul is also linked to most major Korean cities by the KTX high-speed train, which has a normal operation speed of more than 300 km/h (186 mph). Major railroad stations include:
-Seoul Station, Yongsan District: Gyeongbu line (KTX/Saemaul/Mugunghwa-ho), Gyeongui line (Saemaul/Commuter)
-Yongsan Station, Yongsan District: Honam line (KTX/Saemaul/Mugunghwa), Jeolla/Janghang lines (Saemaul/Mugunghwa)
-Yeongdeungpo Station, Yeongdeungpo District: Gyeongbu/Honam/Janghang lines (Saemaul/Mugunghwa)
-Cheongnyangni Station, Dongdaemun District: Gyeongchun/Jungang/Yeongdong/Taebaek lines (Mugunghwa)



Cultural
Insadong is the cultural art market of Seoul, where traditional and modern Korean artworks, such as paintings, sculptures and calligraphy are sold. Hwanghak-dong Flea Market and Janganpyeong Antique Market also offer antique products. Some shops for local designers have opened in Samcheong-dong, where numerous small art galleries are located. Itaewon caters mainly to foreign tourists and American soldiers based in the city.The Gangnam district is one of the most affluent areas in Seoul and is noted for the fashionable and upscale Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong areas and the COEX Mall. Wholesale markets include Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market and Garak Market. The Yongsan Electronics Market is the largest electronics market in Asia.Times Square is one of Seoul's largest shopping malls featuring the CGV Starium, the world's largest permanent 35 mm cinema screen.

Districts

Seoul is divided into 25 gu (구; 區) (district). The gu vary greatly in area (from 10 to 47 km2) and population (from fewer than 140,000 to 630,000). Songpa has the most people, while Seocho has the largest area. The government of each gu handles many of the functions that are handled by city governments in other jurisdictions. Each gu is divided into "dong" (동; 洞) or neighbourhoods. Some gu have only a few dong while others like Jongno District have a very large number of distinct neighborhoods. Gu of Seoul consist of 423 administrative dongs (행정동) in total. Dong are also sub-divided into 13,787 tong (통; 統), which are further divided into 102,796 ban in total.

    Dobong District (도봉구; 道峰區)
Dongdaemun District (동대문구; 東大門區)
Dongjak District (동작구; 銅雀區)
Eunpyeong District (은평구; 恩平區)
Gangbuk District (강북구; 江北區)
Gangdong District (강동구; 江東區)
Gangnam District (강남구; 江南區)
Gangseo District (강서구; 江西區)
Geumcheon District (금천구; 衿川區)
Guro District (구로구; 九老區)
Gwanak District (관악구; 冠岳區)
Gwangjin District (광진구; 廣津區)
Jongno District (종로구; 鍾路區)
Jung District (중구; 中區)
Jungnang District (중랑구; 中浪區)
Mapo District (마포구; 麻浦區)
Nowon District (노원구; 蘆原區)
Seocho District (서초구; 瑞草區)
Seodaemun District (서대문구; 西大門區)
Seongbuk District (성북구; 城北區)
Seongdong District (성동구; 城東區)
Songpa District (송파구; 松坡區)
Yangcheon District (양천구; 陽川區)
Yeongdeungpo District (영등포구; 永登浦區)
Yongsan District (용산구; 龍山區)
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July 22, 2014, at 03:11 AM
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