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  • Map of South Korea | South Korea Regions | Rough Guides | Rough Guides
    start planning your trip This intriguing country offers a plethora of things to see and do Sip traditional brews at a tranquil tea room in Insadong and sample delicious dishes at a Korean barbecue restaurant or gogi jip Trek through spectacular national parks such as Naejangsan whose maples explode with colour during the autumn months or wander the buzzing 24 hour Dongdaemun Market in Seoul the city the never sleeps

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/maps/asia/south-korea/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Places to Visit in South Korea | Where to go in South Korea | Rough Guides
    peninsula the two Koreas are now separated by the spiky twin frontiers of the Demilitarized Zone North Korea has armed itself to the teeth since 1953 stagnated in its pursuit of a local brand of Communism and become one of the least accessible countries in the world Unbelievably many foreigners seem to expect something similar of South Korea which shows just how well kept a secret this fascinating place really is beyond the glittering city of Seoul gimchi dog meat and taekwondo little is known about the country in the outside world and in actual fact one of those four has largely gone the way of the dodo anyway After the war the South gradually embraced democracy and has since gone on to become a powerful and dynamic economy Its cities bursting with places to visit are a pulsating feast of eye searing neon feverish activity and round the clock business Here you can shop till you drop at markets that never close feast on eye wateringly spicy food get giddy on a bottle or two of soju then sweat out the day s exertions at a night time sauna However set foot outside the urban centres and your mere presence will cause quite a stir in the remote rural areas life continues much as it did before the Economic Miracle of the 1970s and pockets of islands exist where no foreigner has ever set foot And for all its newfound prosperity the South remains a land steeped in tradition Before being abruptly choked off by the Japanese occupation in 1910 an unbroken line of more than one hundred kings existed for almost two thousand years their grassy burial mounds have yielded thousands of golden relics and even the capital Seoul has a number of palaces dating back to the

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  • Explore Destinations | Travel Guides | Rough Guides
    Nepal Myanmar Burma Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Vietnam See all destinations South Korea Overview Introduction Fact file Where to go When to go Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink The media Festivals Sports and outdoor activities Culture and etiquette Travel essentials Inspiration Things not to miss Features Gallery Explore Seoul Gyeonggi and Gangwon Gyeongsang Jeolla Chungcheong Jeju Island Shop Ebooks Travel Insurance Hostels Explore

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  • Sri Lanka Facts | About Sri Lanka | Rough Guides
    file Show Related Guides Hide Related Guides The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka View Guide The Rough Guide to Laos View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City View Guide The Rough Guide to First Time Around The World View Guide Hokkaido Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Southwest China View Guide The Rough Guide to Bangkok View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Vietnam Hanoi View Guide The Rough Guide to Thailand s Beaches Islands View Guide Kyoto and Nara Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide Sri Lanka Fact file Lying a few degrees north of the Equator Sri Lanka is slightly smaller than Ireland and a little larger than the US state of West Virginia Sri Lanka achieved independence from Britain in 1948 and did away with its colonial name Ceylon in 1972 The country has had a functioning democracy since independence and in 1960 elected the world s first female prime minister Sri Lanka s population of 21 million is a mosaic of different ethnic and religious groups the two largest being the mainly Buddhist Sinhalese 73 percent and the predominantly Hindu Tamils 17 percent there are also considerable numbers of Christians and Muslims Sinhala Tamil and English are all officially recognized languages Sri Lankans enjoy a healthy life expectancy of 75 years and a literacy rate of 91 percent though they have also set some less enviable records in recent years including achieving the world s highest suicide rate and the highest death rate from snakebite The country s main export is clothing followed by tea rubber coconuts and precious gems are also important Revenues from tourism are vital to the national economy while remittances from the hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans working overseas mainly in the Gulf are also significant

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  • Where to go in Sri Lanka | Rough Guides
    airport just outside Colombo the island s capital and far and away its largest city a sprawling metropolis whose contrasting districts offer an absorbing introduction to Sri Lanka s myriad cultures and multi layered history Many visitors head straight for one of the west coast s beaches whose innumerable resort hotels still power the country s tourist industry Destinations include the package holiday resorts of Negombo and Beruwala the more stylish Bentota and the old hippy hangout of Hikkaduwa More unspoilt countryside can be found north of Colombo at the Kalpitiya peninsula and in the vast Wilpattu National Park nearby home to leopards elephants and sloth bears Beyond Hikkaduwa the south coast is significantly less developed Gateway to the region is the marvellous old Dutch city of Galle Sri Lanka s finest colonial town beyond which lie a string of fine beaches including the ever expanding village of Unawatuna and the quieter stretches of coast at Weligama Mirissa and Tangalla as well as the lively provincial capital of Matara boasting further Dutch remains East of here Tissamaharama serves as a convenient base for the outstanding Yala and Bundala national parks and for the fascinating temple town of Kataragama Inland from Colombo rise the verdant highlands of the hill country enveloped in the tea plantations first introduced by the British which still play a vital role in the island s economy The symbolic heart of the region is Kandy Sri Lanka s second city and the cultural capital of the Sinhalese its colourful traditions embodied by the famous Temple of the Tooth and the magnificent Esala Perahera Sri Lanka s most colourful festival South of here close to the highest point of the island lies the old British town of Nuwara Eliya centre of the country s tea industry and a convenient base for visits to the spectacular Horton Plains National Park A string of towns and villages Ella Haputale and Bandarawela along the southern edge of the hill country offer an appealing mixture of magnificent views wonderful walks and olde worlde British colonial charm Close to the hill country s southwestern edge the soaring summit of Adam s Peak is another of the island s major pilgrimage sites while the gem mining centre of Ratnapura to the south serves as the best starting point for visits to the elephant rich Uda Walawe National Park and the rare tropical rainforest of Sinharaja North of Kandy the hill country tumbles down into the arid plains of the northern dry zone This area known as the Cultural Triangle was the location of Sri Lanka s first great civilization and its extraordinary scatter of ruined palaces temples and dagobas still give a compelling sense of this glorious past Foremost amongst these are the fascinating ruined cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the marvellous cave temples of Dambulla the hilltop shrines and dagobas of Mihintale and the extraordinary rock citadel of Sigiriya Gateway to the east is the characterful if war torn city of Trincomalee The

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  • Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka | Rough Guides
    Guide The Rough Guide to India View Guide Rough Guide Audio Phrasebook and Dictionary Japanese View Guide The Yangzi Basin Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide Sri Lanka When to go Sri Lanka s climate is rather complicated for such a small country due to the fact that the island is affected by two separate monsoons though this also means that there is usually good weather somewhere on the island at most times of the year When thinking about the best time to visit Sri Lanka however it s worth bearing in mind that the basic pattern described below can vary significantly from year to year and that global warming has disrupted these already complex weather patterns The basic rainfall pattern is as follows The main southwest yala monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts and hill country from April May to September wettest from April to June The less severe northeast maha monsoon hits the east coast from November to March wettest from November to December there s also a inter monsoonal period of unsettled weather preceding the Maha monsoon in October and November during which heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can occur anywhere across the island In practical terms this means that the best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March while the best weather on the east coast is from April May to September Sri Lanka s position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year round Coastal and lowland areas enjoy average daytime temperatures of around 26 30 C often climbing up well into the 30 Cs during the hottest part of the day Temperatures decrease with altitude reducing to a temperate 18 22 C in Kandy and a pleasantly mild 14 17

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  • Getting there | About Sri Lanka | Rough Guides
    to Heathrow and pick up an onward connection there or fly via one of the various Gulf cities that have direct connections with Colombo the one stop route from Dublin to Colombo via Dubai with Emirates is the fastest Another possibility is to fly via one of the various European cities that have direct connections with Colombo these currently include Paris Frankfurt Rome and Milan all served by SriLankan Airlines Scheduled fares from London to Colombo start at around 500 return year round The cheapest tickets are usually offered by Qatar Airways Jet Airways and SriLankan Airlines Flights from the US and Canada It s a long journey from North America to Sri Lanka and chances are you ll want to break your flight somewhere or include the island as part of a longer visit to the region The journey from North America to Sri Lanka takes at least 24 hours and necessitates at least one change of plane and probably more like two or three From the east coast there are various routes via Europe One possibility is to fly to London and then pick up one of the onward connections described above Alternatively you could fly to Paris Frankfurt Rome or Milan all of which have nonstop connections to Colombo with various airlines There are also various routes via Europe and the Middle East with Gulf Air Emirates Etihad and Qatar Airways Travelling from the west coast the most direct routes go via east and Southeast Asia flying via Hong Kong Kuala Lumpur Singapore Bangkok or Tokyo all of which have nonstop connections on to Colombo Cathay Pacific w cathaypacific com for example flies from numerous US cities plus Vancouver and Toronto to Hong Kong and on to Colombo via Bangkok or Singapore Fares to Colombo start from around 1100 from New York and Toronto from around 1400 from Los Angeles or about Can 1600 from Vancouver Flights from Australia and New Zealand Flying from Australia to Sri Lanka is straightforward although you ll have to change planes at least once the most direct routings to Colombo are via Singapore Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok There are also a few one stop options from New Zealand via Singapore Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur The most regular services are with Qantas w qantas com who operate flights to Singapore from Sydney Melbourne Adelaide Perth and Brisbane and to Bangkok and Mumbai from Sydney from where there are direct connections to Colombo Fares from Sydney to Colombo with most carriers generally start at around A 1200 and from Auckland at around NZ 2000 although there are also currently cheaper deals available with low cost carrier Air Asia w airasia com who fly via Kuala Lumpur Flights from the rest of Asia Sri Lanka isn t normally considered part of the overland Asian trail although the island is well connected with other countries in South and Southeast Asia There are regular nonstop flights with SriLankan Airlines to various places in India including Delhi

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  • Getting around | About Sri Lanka | Rough Guides
    your wits about you especially if you re weighed down with heavy luggage and be prepared to move fast when the bus pulls in or risk seeing it simply pull off again without you By train Sri Lanka s train network built by the British during the nineteenth century and little changed since offers a characterful way of getting around the island and for many visitors a trip aboard one of these chuntering old relics especially on the marvellously scenic hill country line is a highlight of a trip to Sri Lanka Travel by rail is however generally slower than by bus and the charm of the experience often involves a fair dose of frustration delays are the norm and progress can be incredibly laborious and can seem even more tedious if you end up standing up in an overcrowded carriage Nonetheless Sri Lankan trains are worth experiencing if only once The train network The network comprises three principal lines the coast line which runs along the west coast from Puttalam in the north heading south via Negombo Colombo Kalutara Bentota Beruwala Aluthgama Ambalangoda Hikkaduwa and Galle to Weligama and Matara with an extension as far as Kataragama currently under construction The hill country line runs from Colombo to Kandy then on to Hatton for Adam s Peak Nanu Oya for Nuwara Eliya Haputale Bandarawela Ella and Badulla The northern line runs from Colombo through Kurunegala to Anuradhapura and Vavuniya before terminating at Omantai Two additional branches run off this line the first to Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa the second to Trincomalee Types of train Trains comprise three classes Most services consist exclusively of second and third class carriages There s not actually a huge amount of difference between the two second class seats are slightly more padded and comfortable and there are fans in the carriages but the main bonus is that the carriages tend to be very slightly less overcrowded First class covers three different types of seating which are only available on selected trains These are seats on inter city trains and in the observation car on hill country trains seats in the air conditioned carriage on trains to Anuradhapura and Batticaloa and sleeping berths on overnight services The smallness of the island means that unlike in neighbouring India there are only a few overnight trains These comprise first class sleeping berths and second and third class sleeperettes fold down seats plus ordinary seats Fares and booking Despite recent price increases fares are still extremely cheap A ticket from Colombo to Kandy in second class for instance is currently Rs 190 while even an overnight first class air conditioned sleeping berth from Colombo to Batticaloa costs just Rs 900 Advance bookings are only available for first class seats and sleeper berths and for second class sleeperettes and seats on inter city express services between Colombo and Kandy Reservations can be made up to ten days in advance at the Berths Booking Office Mon Sat 8 30am 3 30pm Sun 8 30am noon at Fort Railway Station in Colombo You can also make reservations at other stations though they ll have to contact Colombo so try to reserve as far ahead of the date of travel as possible Tickets for all other types of seat can only be bought on the day of travel Timetables can be checked online at w railway gov lk w gic gov lk although these may not be completely up to date and are also sometimes posted at w best6daytourinsrilanka com or w bluehaventours com By air If time is of the essence SriLankan Airlines air taxi service w srilankan com airtaxi offers convenient high speed connections between Colombo and many other places around the country All these flights use Twin Otter water planes carrying up to fifteen passengers which are able to land on convenient lakes and lagoons giving access to destinations without a fixed runway Scheduled flights currently run between Colombo and Trincomalee Ampara Arugam Bay Tissamaharama Hambantota Dikwella Koggala Bentota Kandy Nuwara Eliya and Dambulla with more destinations in the north and east planned There are also thirty minute scenic flights from Colombo Kandy and Dambulla The only other scheduled domestic air services in Sri Lanka at present are Expo Air s flights to Jaffna If money s no object and you re really in a hurry you can charter a helicopter or private plane through Deccan Aviation w simplifly com By car As Sri Lankans say in order to drive around the island you ll need three things good horn good brakes good luck Although roads are generally in quite good condition the myriad hazards they present crowds of pedestrians erratic cyclists crazed bus drivers and suicidal dogs to name just a few plus the very idiosyncratic set of road rules followed by Sri Lankan drivers makes driving a challenge in many parts of the island Self driving If you re determined to drive yourself you ll need to bring an international driving licence and then acquire an additional permit to drive in Sri Lanka These can be obtained from the Automobile Association of Ceylon t 011 242 1528 3rd floor 40 Sir Macan Markar Mawatha just off Galle Face Green in Colombo a few metres from the Ramada hotel They cost Rs 1500 are valid for up to twelve months and are issued on the spot It s also worth equipping yourself with a good map or atlas such as the Arjuna s Road Atlas In terms of driving rules it s worth remembering that in Sri Lanka might is right drivers of larger vehicles buses especially will expect you to get out of the way if they re travelling faster than you In addition many drivers overtake freely on blind corners or in other dangerous places Expect to confront other vehicles driving at speed on the wrong side of the road on a fairly regular basis Reliable car hire companies include Malkey w malkey lk and Quickshaws w

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