Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Gangwon (Gangwon-do; 강원도; 江原道) is a province in the north east of South Korea. It is bounded on the west by Gyeonggi Province, on the south by the provinces of North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang, and on the east by the East Sea/Sea of Japan (see Notice on talk page). To the north lies the province's North Korean counterpart, Kangwŏn Province.

Before the division of North and South Korea along the 38th parallel in 1945, the province stretched to what is now North Korean territory. The 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 is 16894 km2, of which four fifth 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 pollack). Mineral resources of the province include iron, coal, fluorite, limestone and tungsten. There are hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants.

The main cities in the province are Chuncheon (the provincial capital), Gangneung, Sokcho, Wonju, and Donghae. Seorak-san (mountain; 1,700 m) and Mount 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.

Population 1,592,000 (1990, estimate).

Administrative divisions: