Gangwon Province (South Korea)
- For the province in North Korea that bears the same name but different romanisation, see Kangwon Province (North Korea).
|• Revised Romanization||Gangwon-do|
(Yeongseo: western Gangwon; Yeongdong: eastern Gangwon)
|Subdivisions||7 cities; 11 counties|
|• Governor||Choi Moon-soon|
|• Total||20,569 km2 (7,942 sq mi)|
|Population (October, 2014)|
|• Density||75.4/km2 (195/sq mi)|
|• Flower||Royal Azalea|
|• Tree||Korean Pine|
|• Bird||Red-crowned Crane|
Gangwon-do was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed in 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneung (강릉; 江陵) and the provincial capital Wonju (원주; 原州).
In 1896, Korea was redivided into thirteen provinces, and the two districts were merged to re-form Gangwon-do Province. Although Wonju rejoined Gangwon-do province, the provincial capital was moved to Chuncheon, where it remains today.
In 1945, Gangwon-do (along with the rest of Korea) was divided by the 38th parallel north in 1945 into U.S. American and Soviet zones of occupation in the south and north respectively, which led to Wonsan joining the province's northern half in 1946 to serve as its administrative center. In 1948, the southern half of the province became part of the new Republic of Korea. As a result of the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, the boundary between the South and North Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line. The province's boundaries have remained the same since 1953.
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, Kangwŏn 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.
The area of Gangwon-do is 20,569 km2 (7,941.74 sq mi), 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.
Cities and parks
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-do and its North Korean counterpart Kangwŏn 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.
Climate of Gangwon-do is influenced by the latitude. In summer, the higher temperature and wetter humidity can appear. But in winter, weather will be changed coldly and drily because of cold continental high pressure.
Climate of Gangwon-do can have many difference between Yeongseo and Yeongdong. Yeongdong's average temperature is higher than Yeongseo's, and Yeongseo's average amount of precipitation is fewer than Yeongdong's. Violent winds are common in winter and spring, So Gangwon-do's average wind speed is faster than other province. Sometimes huge amounts of snow can fall, especially in Yeongdong.
According to the census of 2005, of the people of Gangwon 23% follow Buddhism and 24.7% follow Christianity (15.6% Protestantism and 9.1% Catholicism). 52.3% of the population is mostly not religious or follow Muism and other indigenous religions.
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- 인구 및 세대 (in Korean). Gangwon Province. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "So Ji-sub to Promote Tourism in Gangwon Province". Chosun Ilbo. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Natural Environment". Gangwon Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- 2005 Census - Religion Results
- Lee, Cin Woo (16 March 2012). "Beyond Seoul: 19 reasons to explore Korea". CNN Go. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
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