1215-89, Odaesan-ro, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Sangwonsa Temple is located 8 kilometers north of Woljeongsa Temple. The temple was built by Buddhist monk Ja Jang in the 12th year of Silla Queen Seondeok, and rebuilt in 705 during the 4th year of King Seongdeok's reign. It burned down in 1946, but was restored once again in 1947. The temple is home to the Bronze Bell of Sangwonsa (National Treasure No. 36), the oldest bronze bell in the nation. The bell, built during the 24th year of King Seongdeok, has a x_height of 1.67 meters and a diameter of 91 centimeters with a beautiful, clear ring. Other relics at the temple include Statue of Child Manjusri, said to have been seen directly by King Sejo, as well as a tablet commending the rebuilding of Sangwonsa Temple, written by King Sejo. Gwangdaegeori, located at the temple entrance, is also connected with King Sejo through a story of his bathing in the pure mountain stream one day while visiting Sangwonsa Temple.
64, Daepohang-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Located on the southern most point of Sokcho are the many raw fish restaurants and dried fish shops of Daepohang Port. This bustling port has become one of the most popular tourist spots for those in search of the freshest raw fish restaurants.
At Daepohang Port, it is said that the Seoraksan Mountain and the East Sea are gifts from nature. The port is filled with raw fish restaurants and a live fish market containing eel, flatfish, flounder, yellowtail, and plethora of other high-end seafood. Furthermore, the abundance of local dishes that can be found lining the streets includes ojingeo sundae (Korean sausage in a squid) and gamja songpyeon (steamed rice cake with potato filling). For raw fish lovers that are in the Sokcho area, Daepohang Port is the place to be.
Nearby tourist attractions include Seorak Sunrise Park and Tourism Submarine. These are all great places to stop by while visiting the Seoraksan Mountains.
450, Seonamsa-gil, Seungju-eup, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do
Suncheon Wild Tea house is a tea experience house. It is located on the road to Seonamsa Temple in Jogyesan Mountain. At the Suncheon Wild Tea House, visitors can experience the beauty and the composure of a traditional Korean style house while enjoying the delicate flavor and scent of tea surrounded by scent of pine trees. Available programs are darye (manners of tea drinking) experience, tea making, tea cookie tasting and education on tea ceremony.
450, Seonamsa-gil, Seungju-eup, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do
Seonamsa is a beautiful temple located at the east end of Jogyesan Mountain. The distance between the entrance and the temple site is approximately 1 kilometer. The temple site is nestled within a lush forest of diverse trees that are hundreds of years old. In front of the temple is a arched stone bridge named Seungseongyo Bridge, which is supported by natural bedrocks. In front of the main hall, Daeungjeon Hall, are two three-story stone pagodas that grab visitors' attention. Not only is Seonamsa Temple home to many of the country's pristine treasures and artifacts, it is also one of the few temples that preserve the traditional temple culture even as of today. Seonamsa Temple is beautiful throughout the year, but it is especially inviting in spring and fall when the flowers start to bloom and tree leaves change in color.
9, Seongbuk-ro 15-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
The Choi Sunu House is the old residence of Hyegok Choi Sunu (1916-1984), who lived in this house from 1976 until the day he passed away. The house is designated as Korea’s Registered Cultural Property No. 268. Choi Sunu was a leading art historian who served as the director of the National Museum of Korea. He devoted his life to rediscovering the beauty of Korean art and made many academic accomplishments in the areas of Korean ceramics, traditional woodcraft, and the history of painting.
The house has been open to the public as the Hyegok Choi Sunu Memorial Hall since 2004. The memorial hall displays Choi Sunu’s relics as a permanent exhibition and holds special exhibitions in the fall as well as cultural programs every spring and fall.
116, Arirang-ro 19-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
Jeongneung Royal Tomb is the tomb of Queen Sindeok, the second wife of King Taejo (1392-1398), founder of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). However, this tomb was not well-maintained in contrast to other royal tombs because of a power struggle. The queen had two sons, one of whom was chosen by King Taejo as the crown prince and his successor to the throne. The queen met a sudden death due to health complications, and shortly after, both her sons were killed by King Taejo and Queen Sinui's fifth son Yi Bang-won's strike to win over the throne. After Yi Bang-won rose to throne as King Taejong, he relocated Queen Sindeok's tomb to outside of the city walls.
68, Seonjam-ro 5-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
Situated in the middle of Seongbuk-dong, Seoul, Gilsangsa Temple was built on the site of a fancy restaurant called Daewongak. The restaurant owner donated her property which turned into a temple in 1997. Although Gilsangsa Temple has a relatively short history, it is conveniently located in the heart of Seoul, attracting many locals and international visitors alike. The temple also serves as a downtown cultural space by offering& variety of Buddhist programs like temple experience, classes on Buddhist teachings, and temple stay. The temple features Gilsang Seonwon (Zen center) and the House of Silence, which are special halls dedicated to practicing meditation. While Gilsang Seonwon provides meditation rooms for Buddhists with experience in meditation, the House of Silence is open to the general public at liberty to pursue personal meditation. Gilsangsa Temple also has a branch temple in Paris.
1154-113, Sunhwan-daero, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Gubongsan Mountain Observatory is one of the most scenic driving courses in Chuncheon, stunning with its breathtaking views both day and night. With fresh brewed coffee in hand, go for a stroll to its outside terrace or garden where you can gaze out on the beauty of Chuncheon. The observatory offers the best spot to see the night view of Chuncheon. Cafes and restaurants decorated with different themes provide good coffee and a great food. You can enjoy sitting on the wooden deck and watching the world around you at its finest.
2675, Yeongseo-ro, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Soyanggang Skywalk is an observatory facilty set up on Uiamho Lake. The walking path, comprised of transparent glass, is 156 meters long and offers a thrill to tourists to feel as if they are walking over the lake.
25, Sille-gil, Sindong-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Known as one of Korea’s leading short story novelists, Kim You-jeong (1908-1937) was born in Sille Village in Sindong-myeong, Chuncheon. A restoration of his birth house, the Kim You-jeong House of Literature is part of an effort to turn the whole village into a literature village in honor of the novelist. The house has an exhibition hall, a walking path, and a hiking trail.
Kim You-jeong spent a great deal of his life in Seoul and returned to his hometown in 1931 at the age of 23. He published his first novel Sangol Nageune (The Wanderer) followed by numerous rural-based novels such as Dongbaekkkot (The Camellias) and Bom bom (Spring).
Inside the exhibition hall, his birth home and even a treadmill are reproduced in their original form. A variety of programs reproducing his works are on display.
269-50, Yeongneung-ro, Yeoju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Yeongneung is the joint tomb of the fourth ruler of the Joseon dynasty, King Sejong (1397-1450, reign 1418-1450) and his wife Queen Soheon (1395-1446). This was the first joint royal tomb of the Joseon dynasty.
King Sejong was the third son of the third ruler, King Taejong, and his wife Queen Wongyeong. He came to the throne at the age of 22. During his 32-year reign, he was very influential in the development of Korean culture. For example, King Sejong created the Korean alphabet, which he called Hunminjeongeum, and set up the Hall of Worthies (Jiphyeonjeon), an association of the kingdom’s brightest scholars. He also used Confucian principles to administer state affairs. Under the reign of King Sejong, therefore, many sectors including politics, economy, society and culture flourished. In fact, King Sejong the Great is regarded as making some of the most brilliant achievements in Korean history.
Yeongneung is currently located in Neungseo-myeon in Yeoju-si in Gyeonggi-do, but the tomb was originally located in Seogang, Gwangju. When it was constructed following Queen Soheon’s death in 1446, it was decided it should be a joint tomb, and the space on the right side was reserved for King Sejong. In 1450 when King Sejong died, he was buried together with the dead queen. Later, the tomb was moved to its current place, as it was thought that the original location was not an auspicious place according to geomantic traditions.
Various items that were originally buried in the tomb were excavated in 1973 and now are exhibited in the King Sejong the Great Memorial Hall, which is located in Cheongnyangni, Seoul.
Nyeongneung is the royal tomb of the 17th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, King Hyojong (1619-1659, reign 1649-1659), and of his wife Queen Inseon (1618-1674).
The tomb was originally located to the west of Geonwolleung (the tomb of King Taejo, the first ruler of the Joseon dynasty), but in 1673 cracks appeared on the tomb’s “Byeongpungseok” (stone border), and it was moved to its current location, which is to the east of Yeongneung (the tomb of King Sejong).
King Hyojong was the second son of King Injo, Joseon dynasty’s 16th ruler, and Queen Illyeol. Upon ascending to the throne, he devised a plan to conquer the northern region of Asia, including the Qing Dynasty (part of China). As part of the plan, he reformed the military system and strengthened the army and military enforcements. King Hyojong had spent time in northern China when he was taken hostage by the Manchus. During that time he became exposed to many different cultures and technological advancements. When a group of Dutch sailors were shipwrecked on the Korean shore, King Hyojong ordered them to build the Korean army’s first muskets.
King Hyojong also implemented “Daedongbeop,” a tax system under which people had to pay taxes with rice, and circulated “Sangpyeongtongbo,” the coinage of the Joseon dynasty.
201, Byukgye-ro, Gungnyu-myeon, Uiryeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Byeokgyegyegok Valley in Uiryeong, Gyeongnam region, begins at Jagulsan Mountain and runs down along Hanusan Mountain, showcasing deep valleys and interesting rock formations. Also called Chalbigyegok Valley, the valley has clean water flowing all year round. The valley’s stream from the waterfall creates big and small ponds along its way, most famous among which are Gaksiso and Nongso ponds.
The biggest draw of this attraction is the crystal clear pond waters that are clean enough to reflect the surrounding forest like a natural mirror. Byeokgye Tourist Site and Byeokgye Reservoir located near the tail-end of the valley are growing into full-fledged tourist attractions for camping and fishing.