103, Husan-gil, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Located in the eco-village of Husan-ri, Myeongokheon Garden was the garden of Oh Hui-do (1583-1623) of the Joseon dynasty and served as a simple, countryside sanctuary where the scholar read and wrote many books. Main features of the garden are the Myeongokheon Pavilion, where the scholar held lectures, and the square-shaped pond in front of the pavilion that is surrounded with graceful flowering trees. The flowering trees around the pond include red pines and crape myrtles. On the right side of Myeongokheon Garden you’ll see a 300 year-old ginkgo tree, which is where King Injo (1623-1649) of the Joseon dynasty tied his horse when he went to visit Oh Hui-do.
1117, Yeongwoldong-ro, Yeongwol-gun, Gangwon-do
Gossigul Cave located in Yeongwol-gun, Gangwon-do Province is a limestone cave almost 6 kilometers long. Its name came from the story that the Go family took refuge here during the Imjin War (1592-1598). Inside the cave, there are stalactites, stalagmites, four lakes, three falls, and six open spaces that have formed over the past 400 million years. In addition, there are about twenty-four microorganisms that inhabit the cave. Spots where the Go family made fires can still be seen. Visitors can enjoy various facilities nearby such as an amusement park, shops for traditional local products, traditional restaurants, and accommodations.
61, Gyeryong-ro, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Historic Park of Geoje, P.O.W Camp was built to hold prisoners during the Korean War. Out of a total of 170,000 P.O.W. held here, 20,000 were from China and 150,000 were from North Korea. The camp closed upon the signing of the 1953 armistice which ended the war. Remains of the war, such as tanks, trucks and other relics are on exhibit here. The camp was turned into a park in 1997 to ensure that the Korean War is not a forgotten war.
63, Imcheonggak-gil, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Imcheonggak was built as a home during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1919) because of one aristocratic family’s love for the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. Imcheonggak is designated Treasure No.182. Thankfully this structure was untouched during the Imjin War (1592-1598). The most famous structure on this property is the annexed pavilion. An autograph of the famous Confucius scholar Lee Hwang (1501-1570) can be found hanging outside the pavilion.
670, Gukchaebosang-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu
Construction on Gukchaebosang Memorial Park began in March 1998 and was completed in December 1999. The park was established to retain the spirit of the National Debt Remuneration Movement (a national movement that originated in Daegu in 1907) and to help overcome the debt crisis of 1997. The park also expanded the green space in the downtown area and offer a place of rest and relaxation to the general public.
Spanning 42,500 square meters in size, the park boasts the Dalgubeol Grand Bell, a bell pavilion, walking trails, and other amenities. The famous Dalgubeol Grand Bell was installed on the park grounds in December 1998 as a representation of harmony and prosperity and to symbolically awaken the people with its pure and clear ringing.
The park has an ample parking lot (3 underground floors) and is frequented by students who study at the Central Library located within the park. Gukchaebosang Memorial Park is also a popular destination for couples because of its proximity to the Daegu downtown area. As one of the most recently established parks in Daegu, the park boasts thousands of trees, a large grass plaza, and plenty of benches and resting areas. The beautiful fountains, pavilion, and stone artworks add to the charms of the park. The park hosts diverse cultural events such as music concerts and exhibitions and draws many visitors every Saturdays and Sundays for the ceremonial ringing of the Dalgubeol Grand Bell.
29-4, Yangchon-gil, Nam-gu, Gwangju
The House of Choi Seung-hyo is a traditional residential building located on the southeastern slopes of Yangrimsan Mountain. The rectangular building is open to the east, has 8 kan (the space between two pillars) in the front and 4 kan to the sides, and is graced by a traditional ‘paljak’ roof. Since the building was constructed in the 1920s, it offers a valuable glimpse into the architectural style of Korean houses at the end of the Japanese colonial period. Choi Sang-hyeon was an activist who offered his attic as a place of refuge for other activists.
38-9, Geumseong-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
The Five Royal Tombs (called Oreung in Korean) have been officially designated Historic Site No. 172 and are the final resting places of four kings of the Park clan—King Park Hyeokgeose (founder of the Silla Kingdom), King Namhae, King Yuri, and King Jabi—and one queen (Queen Aryeong, wife of King Park Hyeokgeose).
To the east of the royal tombs lies Sungdeokjeon Shrine, which holds the ancestral tablet of King Park Hyeokgeose. Behind the shrine is the Aryeongjeong Well, said to be the birthplace of Queen Aryeong.
816, Namsansunhwan-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Poseokjeong Pavilion served as a separate palace where kings enjoyed banquets with nobles. The building no longer exists, but the abalone-shaped stone water canal still remains, which is speculated to have been built during the Unified Silla period with the exact year unknown. The water canal has an estimated length of 10 m and a x_width of approximately 35 cm with an average depth of 26 cm.
35-4, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Museum Kimchikan is a unique museum dedicated to kimchi and kimjang, the process of making kimchi which was designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The museum was also selected by CNN in March 2015 as one of the world’s top 11 food museums.
Visitors can learn the history of kimchi as well as learn and get a taste of the different types of kimchi. Audio guides in English, Japanese, and Chinese are available for international visitors and a guided tour of the museum by a docent is also available at designated times. Online reservation is available through the museum’s official website.
44-7, Chunghyo 2-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
The tomb of General Kim Yusin (595-673) is Historic Site No. 21. It is located in a scenic area thick with pine trees, on the eastern hill of Songhwasan Mountain.
Known as the Hero of the Silla Kingdom, General Kim Yusin was the great grandson of King Guhae, the last king of the Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty, and the son of Seo Hyeon, a great general of the Silla Kingdom. Yusin joined the Hwarang (aristocratic youth military corps) at 15 and began dreaming of ways to unify the peninsula’s three kingdoms.
Kim Yusin gained his political foothold by establishing a strong relationship with nobleman Kim Chunchu and made a name for himself through his valor on the battlefield.
When Kim Chunchu eventually succeeded to the throne as the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom (changing his name to King Muyeol), Kim Yusin rose through the ranks and was eventually promoted to the extraordinarily high-ranking position of Sangdaedeung in the year 660 (7th year of King Muyeol’s reign). Kim Yusin then went on to defeat the Baekje Kingdom in cooperation with the Tang Dynasty, also later conquering the Goguryeo Kingdom in the year 668.
The Tang Dynasty turned against Silla after the collapse of Goguryeo, but was defeated by Kim Yusin’s army in cooperation with the armies of Goguryeo and Baekje. With the fall of the Tang, Kim Yusin finally realized his dream of unifying the three kingdoms and was appointed the highest government post in Silla in honor of his heroic achievement.
The tomb of General Kim Yusin is a large tomb measuring roughly 30m in diameter. The relief carvings of 12 Oriental zodiac gods (half man, half animal) stand guard around the tomb, brandishing weapons. The elaborately decorated tomb is second in grandeur only to those of royalty, further underscoring Yusin’s major contribution in unifying the three kingdoms.
The path to this tomb is also a sight not to be missed. The street leading up to the tomb is called Heungmu-ro, and has been selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Streets in Korea. The street is full of cherry blossoms in spring and is famous for being a great place to take a walk or go for a drive.
10-4, Neungnam-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
The Royal Tomb of King Muyeol is the tomb of Kim Chun-chu, who acsended to the throne as the 29th ruler, King Muyeol (r. 654-661), of the Silla Kingdom. King Muyeol sought to unify the three kingdoms by allying forces with China's Tang Dynasty, but passed away before he could successfully accomplish his goal. To the east of the grave are the remains of his stele with an inscription that reads “Taejong Muyeol Daewangjibi (Tombstone of the Great King Muyeol)," indicating the owner of this grave.
102, Wonhwa-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond were the secondary palace site which was used by the crown prince. It also served as a banquet site for important national events and important visitors. After the fall of Silla, the site was abandoned and forgotten. The pond was referred to as "Anapji" during the Goryeo and Joseon period. In the 1980s, pottery fragment with letters “Wolji” (a pond that reflects the moon) carved onto it was found, revealing the true name of the pond. After the discovery, the site was renamed to the current Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond.