South Korea Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

South Korea's weather is temperate but can be extreme -- the summer can be as hot as 45 C with humidity in the high 70s. Nights in November can drop suddenly and be sub-zero with Siberian winds. It's best to bring layers or (even better) take advantage of the great shopping malls and buy clothes that suit the season while you're there. It is important to note too that weather in Seoul (in the north) can be quite different from that of Busan or Jeju.

Best time to visit

Moderate climate with four seasons, making any season a fine time to visit as long as you wear appropriate clothing. The hottest part of the year is during the rainy season between July and August, and the coldest is December to February. Occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods. Spring and autumn are mild and mainly dry and are generally considered the best times to visit.

Required clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens are worn during summer, with light- to mediumweights in spring and autumn. Medium- to heavyweights are advised during the winter.

Geography

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is a peninsula that shares borders to the north with the demilitarised zone (separating it from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), to the east with the Sea of Japan (East Sea), to the south with the Korea Strait (separating it from Japan), and to the west with the Yellow Sea. There are many islands and bays in the Korea Strait, including the largest, the volcanic island of Jeju-do, which lies off the southwest coast and is also home to South Korea's highest mountain, Mount Halla, at 1,950m (6,397ft). Most of the country consists of hills and mountains with the 30% of flat plain home to the majority of the population and cultivation. Most rivers rise in the mountains to the east, flowing west and south to the Yellow Sea. The Naktong River flows into the Korea Strait near the southern port of Busan, Korea's second largest city after Seoul. The eastern coast is rocky and steep with mountains rising from the sea.

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