Monday, 11 May 2009

Discover Korea #3: Naju (THE EAST Campaign in Association with Korea Tourism Organization)

Pyrus pyrifolia is a pear tree species native to Korea, China and Japan. The tree’s edible fruit is known by many names, including: nashi, nashi pear, Asian pear, Japanese pear, Korean pear, Taiwan pear, African pear, sand pear, apple pear, bapple, papple, bae, li.
The nashi tree’s flowers have five white petals. In the northern hemisphere, the tree flowers around April. The nashi tree is a popular symbol of spring in East Asia, and is a common sight in gardens or in the countryside.
In Korea, they are grown and consumed in great quantity. Many are exported to the U.S. and sold as gifts, touting the superior quality of pears grown on the peninsula versus those grown in Southern California. Imported pears tend to be quite large and very fragrant, and are carefully wrapped, allowing them to last several weeks or more in a cold, dry place. In the South Korean city of Naju, there is a museum called The Naju Pear Museum and Pear Orchard for Tourists.Naju is the best place to grow pears with the appropriate weather and soil. Naju pear’s flesh is tender and very sweet to be recognised as world-class fruit. As it is a strong alkali, it even neutralise blood and keep your good health. Because of their relatively high price and the large size of the fruit of cultivars, the pears tend to be served to guests or given as gifts, or eaten together in a family setting.

The size of Naju is 603.88 km2. One of the 4 major rivers of Korea, Yeonsan river crosses the center of the city running north and south. As Naju plain is located near Yeongsan river area, it’s very easy to irrigate the fields. Although some mountainous area is bumpy and steep in southeast and northwest, Nampyeong, Geumcheon, Dasi plains retain very rich and fertile soil and are abundant in production. Mt. Geumsung (451m) stands at the center of the city commanding the beautiful scenary of the Naju plain. Located at 26.7km southwest of Gwangju, it is the transport center being a gateway of 10 cities and goons such as Hampyeong, Muan, Mokpo, Yeongam, Ganjin and Haenam. Naju is also a birthplace of the great names of history. It is also a epicenter of Gwangju Student Independence Movement.
Naju is close to Gwangju which has a population of 1.3 million. Because there are 11 colleges and many business high schools in the district of Naju, is very easy to look for and find skilled technical manpower. Thus it is possible to develop a machine assembly industry complex, with its focus on high-tech intensive industries. Naju is a key transportation hub where cars pass through in order to go to 12 cities and counties in the southwest. National Routes No. 1, No. 13, and No. 23 intersect the city and the Honam Expressway and Honam Railway are connected. There are the Gwangju High-Tech Industrial Complex, Hanam Local Industrial Complex, and Mokpo Daebul Industrial Complex within 20 - 30 minutes of the city. Transport links by air, land, and sea are better than any other district in the Honam area. To maximize daily transport capacity, several projects are underway: Songjeong-Mokpo double-tracking of the Honam Railroad, the expansion of Mokpo Harbor, the construction of Mokpo’s New Outport for 4,000 ships of 30,000 tons, etc. Since the Yeongsan River flows through downtown Naju, it is very easy to secure water for industrial use.

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