Gangwon-do, South Korea

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Gangwon-do is a province of South Korea, with its capital at Chuncheon. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Gangwon and its North Korean neighbour Kangwon formed a single province.

Gangwon, South Korea
Busan, South Korea

Gangwon-do is bounded on the west by Gyeonggi-do province, on the south by the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do.To the north lies the province's North Korean counterpart, Kangwon province. The province's landscape is dominated by the Taebaek Mountains (Taebaek Sanmaek) which almost reach the sea. As a consequence the coast is steep.

Gangwon, South Korea

The area of Gangwon-do is 20,569 km², of which four fifths are woodland. Edible alpine plants and mushrooms are harvested in these forests. The province is renowned for its agricultural produce, in particular potatoes and fish (cuttlefish and pollock). Mineral resources of the province include iron, coal, fluorite, limestone and tungsten. There are hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants.

Gangwon, South Korea
Busan, South Korea

The main cities in the province are Chuncheon (the provincial capital), Gangneung, Sokcho, Wonju, and Donghae. Seoraksan (mountain; 1,708 m) and Mt. Odae (1,563 m) with its ski run, attract a large number of national tourists. Both are located in national parks in the Taebaek Mountains. South Korea's largest limestone cave, Hwanseongul, receives over one million visitors a year.

Gangwon, South Korea

Gangwon-do and its North Korean counterpart Kangwon are together referred to as the Gwandong region. The region west of the Taebaek Mountains is called Yeongseo, while the region east of the mountains is called Yeongdong. The term "Yeongdong" is frequently used in reference to transportation services from Seoul, the national capital. Thus, one might catch a bus or train on the "Yeongdong Line," or drive to Gangneung on the Yeongdong Expressway.

Gangwon, South Korea
Busan, South Korea

In the winter when plenty of snow falls, the Gangwon-do mountains transform into a skiing paradise that is sure to excite the most rabid aficionado.

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