Want to know more about East Asia and how the economies and cultures of the region interact?

Check out Phoenix Rising: A Journey Through South Korea, a new book in my ‘Unexplored Territory’ travel trilogy that takes the reader from 1988 through the struggles of recent decades to modern times.

Almost unnoticed by the countries of the west, South Korea has risen like a phoenix spreading its wings throughout the world after the fire, destruction and suffering wrought by the Korean War and the long period of military rule that followed until 1988.

And yet the country is offside for many Western businesses and even for those who have traveled in Asia. Everyone knows something about China and Japan, but very few know about South Korea (except perhaps for its fiery kimchi pickle). This is a serious oversight.


South Korea is one of the most exciting countries in the world, with a rich culture based on passion for learning, Confucian values and respect for the family. In many ways, South Korea resembles a huge family, and this sense of unity and purpose is fed by a long series of invasions and the ongoing threat from North Korea. The country moves with extraordinary cohesion at critical moments.

My voyages into every corner of the country reveal a nation on the crest not only of an economic but also of a creative wave that has enormous resonance for the peoples of Southeast and Northeast Asia – and also for the economies of the US, Australasia and Europe.


It is a country that is rich in Confucian heritage, ancient traditions and Buddhist devotions. It is also increasingly renowned for cutting-edge movies, theatre, pop music, fashion, and indeed performance of Western classical music. Korean classical performers are to be found all over the world.

If you watch a Korean movie (as I often do), you can be sure that it will push the boundaries of every genre and offer much richer and riskier content, cinematography and acting than movies from almost any other nation in Asia.

This South Korea journey takes the reader from the birth of democracy and the hosting of the Olympic games in 1988 to the brash, sophisticated, innovative South Korea of today.

On the way I pause at Korean temples, mountain hermitages, the border with the belligerent North Korea, romantic islands, and ancient dynastic capitals to evoke a portrait of a country in constant, dynamic flux and yet reliant on its centuries-old culture and traditions.

The book is available at http://www.davidcliveprice.com/books, on Amazon and in all good book stores for order (ISBN 9781500451462)