Sometimes called the South Korean capital of football (or soccer, for Americans), Suwon is also the capital of the Gyeonggi province. Located just 30km (19 miles) south of Seoul, it has been known as the "City of Filial Piety" ever since 1796, when King Jeongjo constructed the Hwaseong Fortress here to guard the tomb of his father. Of course, he was also hoping to use the fortress as a lure in an unsuccessful attempt to move the nation's capital to Suwon.

Famous for its galbi (beef ribs), the city is home to the Korean Folk Village and South Korea's answer to Disneyland, Everland. The site of some of the 2002 FIFA World Cup games, the city has made a real effort in the past few years to get out from under the shadow of Seoul.