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General Information

The fifth largest city in the world, the Seoul metropolis has a population of about 11 million and is the center for economy, finance, the arts and culture.  Seoul is known to be one of the safest places to travel in with its low crime rate.  
There is a blend of old and new in Seoul with the modern high-rises and trendy shops mixed in with ancient temples and palaces.  Shopping is not a problem with the many department stores and street shops located around the city.  People are very sociable and kind to visitors in Seoul.  You will always see people in groups laughing and walking along the streets.    
Although English is taught in school, most Koreans have problems with pronunciation.  Since they can read English very well, it's a good idea to write down questions.  
The public transportation in Seoul is excellent and will take you to almost any place you need to go whether it's by taxi, bus, or subway.  Traffic congestion is a big problem in Seoul, so the quickest way of getting around Seoul is generally by subway.  
The Han River flows through the center of Seoul.  Encircling the city are rocky mountains which makes Seoul blend nature and modernization beautifully.  The center of Seoul has a mountain called Namsan, which has a tower on top that enables one to see almost all of the city on a clear day. 
  Temperatures in Seoul are clearly defined by the four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.  Autumn is the best time to visit Seoul since the temperatures are mild and the sky is clear.  Seoul has four palaces from the Chosun Dynasty.  The Chosun Dynasty determined that Seoul was to be the capital of the Korean Peninsula in 1394.  It remained the capital of the entire peninsula throughout the Chosun Dynasty up to the Korean War.   During the Korean War, Seoul was almost totally destroyed.  From 1960-1970, there was a tremendous effort to rebuild the city.  Rapid economic growth was evident and by 1988, Seoul was home to the Olympics which brought to the world's attention that it was one of the major cities in Asia.

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