Climate

Climate

Since the Gangwon-do region belongs to a monsoon climate zone, it is cold and largely dry during the winter times as influenced by the continental climate, while it is hot and humid with lots of rain during the summer as influenced by the oceanic climate. During the dry and clear climate spells of the spring and fall seasons, many forest fires, small and large, occur in the mountainous areas covered with thick forests. The provincial and National Park authorities have been preventative measures to reduce the number of fires, with some success.

Furthermore, as Gangwon-do is diversified in its geological conditions, the climate conditions are particularly peculiar according to where the regions are located, considering the Taebaek Mountain Range which divides it nto the Inland Zone, the Seaside Zone and Mountainous Zone.
The Yeongseo inland regions vary greatly in average temperature due to being affected by the continental climate which alternates between severe cold and intense heat. The seaside regions in Yeongdong, however, enjoy relatively moderate temperatures, as the temperature differences throughout the year do not fluctuate so much, which can be attributed to the warm oceanic climate.

In the highlands of mountainous regions, the temperatures continue to be relatively low, resulting in pleasant cool temperatures during the summertime, but in the winter the severe cold and high quantity of snow are typical, making these areas suitable for various winter sports including skiing. In particular, in February 1999, the Winter Asian Games were held in various places in throughout the province scattered over Pyeongchang-gun County (including the famous Yongpyeong [Dragon Valley] Resort), Gangneung and Chuncheon Cities. During this time many tourists came to visit the highlands for wintertime sightseeing, including the magical winter scenery.

Gangwon-do Flag

Gangwon-do Flag
Symbolizing Gangwon’s active and abundant development Each color signifies one of Gangwon’s various elements (embodying the image of the province and the harmony of its residents) - The Blue ellipse represents the earth, the home of a comfortable mind
- Green represents the clean, beautiful natural environment
- Yellow stands for everlasting historical and cultural environment, signifying the harmony of nature and culture through the stabilizing shape of a square
- The White leaf shows the residents’ promise to meet challenges

Gangwon-do Character / Ban-B

Ban-B
Ban-B is the animal-symbol of Gangwon-do. In the shape of a friendly and faithful image representing an Asiatic black bear, it means "a bear flying to the future, the world and national re-unification."

Gangwon-do Flower: Royal Azalea

Royal Azalea
Our official flower is the Royal Azalea (Rhododendron Schlippenba-chii Max.) Reddish-pink Royal Azalea flowers symbolize the pleasures of love. They cover most of the mountains and hills in Gangwon-do in May, adding even more beauty to our majestic natural landscape.

Gangwon-do Tree: Korean Pine

Korean Pine
Our official tree is the Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis S. et Z.). As the best natural growing tree within the province, it is an ever-green tree that can grow well in cool areas. Many of these pine trees are planted by foresters for their nuts and lumber, both of which are very useful and profitable.

Gangwon-do Bird: Red-crowned Crane

Red-crowned Crane
Our official bird is the Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis). This beautiful crane is one of ten traditional symbols of Longevity, and is also thought to manifest the dignified virtues of Confucian scholars and Buddhist monks. Their minds seem to be proud in loneliness, and thus in correspondence with the pure and clean character of Gangwon people. They mainly inhabHEAD / HTTP/1.0 HEAD / HTTP/1.0 Connection: Close

Topography

Topography
Most of the land in Gangwon-do consists of mountainous areas. Gangwon-do is largely divided into Yeongdong on the east side of the Taebaek summit, the backbone of the Korean Peninsula, and Yeongseo on the west side of that ridgeline.

Lands lower than 100 meters above sea level only account for 5.6% of the total land size of Gangwon-do, even less than the 9.6% of South Hamgyeong Province. The low mountainous regions between 100 m and 500 m make up 46%, and middle-low mountainous regions between 500 m and 1,000 m accoun for 43.4%, which is the highest rate in the nation, while high mountainous regions over 1,000 m represent 5%.

There are no large areas of flat land in this province at all. Some significant narrow coastal plains are found in the Gangneung, Donhae and Sokcho coastal areas between the Taebaek Mountain Range and the East Sea. Various-sized valleys are found around Bukpyeong and Cheorwon in the Yeongbuk region, and around Chuncheon and Wonju.

Ground transportation between the Yeongdong and Yeongseo regions is sometimes inconvenient (especially in the winter), since it requires going over high mountains passes such as the Daegwanryeong Misiryeong, Jinburyeong and Hangyeryeong. However, the views, from these thousand-meter passes, of the high mountains and deep valleys are truly beautiful sights. Gangwon-do's highway infrastructure is constantly being upgraded, so that driving the trans-Taebaek routes is getting safer and faster.

The Taebaek Mountain Range steeply declines on its eastern side, which results in narrow plains along the seaside, while the western slopes of the Taebaek gently incline towards the lowland Seoul and Gyeonggi-do regions. The highlands of Yeongseo (west of the range) are mostly developed with high-altitude-type farm fields, which are different than sea-level fields.

Many small springs rise up in the many high-mountain villages and gorges in this province, they collect into clean streams and the origins of great rivers like the Han-gang and Nakdonggang, the main water sources of the Korean nation. This is why our province was granted the auspicious name "Gangwon," which means "Origin of the Rivers."

Most importantly for Gangwon-do, the twin great waterways Namhangang [South Han River] and Bukhangang [North Han River] gather in the Taebaek Mountain Range and flow westwards, uniting just before Seoul. The upper reaches of these rivers run through narrow scenic gorges that are ideal for tourism activities, while their lower reaches have naturally become densely developed.
The upstream watershed of the Bukhangang is in or near the DMZ, and the ordinary population is not permitted to live there, because of the current North-South conflict. In this area, various species of fish can be found (including some that are unique to Korea), and the stream's ecological system is well preserved, as the purity of water is kept clean by careful observation and strict regulations.

It flows into the Dam of Peace, the Hwacheon-Chuncheon Dam, Soyanggang Multipurpose Dam and Euiam Dam, and then down to various dams in Gyeonggi Province, and is the source of clean drinking water for tens of millions of people. In addition, the Namhan-gang is a source of industrial electricity at the Yeongwol Thermal Power Station.

General Information

Gangwon-do, located in the central eastern region of the Korean Peninsula, contains lots of mountains from the main ranges of the Taebaek Mountain Range and several small and large branches. Thus, it has been called Yeongdong for the east side of the Taebaek Mountain Range and Yeongseo for the west side. The eastern boundary meets the sea along the coast and the western boundary faces Seoul, and the southern boundary is connected with other regions. The northern part, which is crossed by the demilitarized zone, meets another part of Gangwon-do, called Buk-Gangwon-do. Because of these geographical features, it is the gateway for overland tours to Geumgangsan and the departing base for cruiseships to Baekdusan.


General Outline
  • Population: 1,560,000
  • Area: 16.898㎢
  • Distance: 150㎞ east-west, 243㎞ south-north
    (length of coastline: 212㎞)
  • Location: the north latitude 37° 02” ~ 38° 37”
  • Longitude: the east longitude 127° 05” ~ 129° 22”
  • Provincial capitals: Chuncheon
  • Si (City) & Gun (County): 7 Cities & 11 Counties

Gangwon-do is a monsoon climate and has four clearly-divided seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. The beauty of the various seasons plays a remarkabl role in the abundant natural environment of Gangwon-do. There are a variety of well-developed leisure sports providing a pleasant experience for every season. In particular, winter is the best season to enjoy winter sports, with the abundance of snow, the mountains and fields in Gangwon-do become a skier’s paradise.

Location

Location
Gangwon-do (province) is mainly divided into the Yeongdong (east of the mountain range) and Yeongseo (west of the Mountain range) with the Taebaek mountain ranges that are developed along the east side of the Korean peninsula. It ranges from the north latitude from 37 degrees and 02 minutes to 38 degrees and 37 minutes, and the east longitude 127 degrees and 05 minutes to 129 degrees and 22 minutes.
The north latitude of 38 degree line is nearly through the central part of the peninsula, and the demilitarized zone is lined up around the north latitude 38 degrees and 45 minutes in Hyeonnae-myeon, Goseong-gun towards the southwestern direction where it meets the Hyangro-bong (mountain peak), connecting the northern part of Mundeung-ri (ri means small town) and Gimhwa-eup (eup means town) around the north latitude of 38 degrees and 20 minutes with a distance of 145 km.

Area

Area
The total land size of Gangwon-do accounts for 20,569 ㎢, among which the land portion in the south from the demilitarized zone corresponds to 67.8%, or 16,873.73㎢, a vast land size which is about 16.9% of whole land size of South Korea's 99,765 ㎢. Gangwon-do consists of about 81.6%, or 13,782 ㎢ of forest, whereas only 8.4%, or 1,725.6 ㎢, of the land is used for farming, and 10% is for other uses.

The land size that can be used for farming can be divided into the mountainous fields totaling 746.4 ㎢, and the fields for cultivating rice totaling  653 ㎢, which means the rate of rice fields is 47% to mountainous field at 53%. The average amount of land that each farming family possesses corresponds to 1.4㏊.
The land size by the sea levels can be divided into 946.2 ㎢ of lower than 100m above sea level, or 5.6%, 7,773 ㎢ of higher than 100m above sea level, or 46%, while the portion of mountainous lands between 500m and 1000m accounts for 8178.8 ㎢. When compared with the national land usages, rice fields take up 4.9%, the mountainous fields 9.9%, and the forests 21% of the total national land area.
Gangwon-do is a monsoon climate and has four clearly-divided  seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. The beauty of the various seasons plays a remarkable role in the abundant natural environment of Gangwon-do. There are a variety of well-developed leisure sports providing a pleasant experience for every season. In particular, winter is the best season to enjoy winter sports, with the abundance of snow, the mountains and fields in Gangwon-do become a skier’s paradise.