415, Gwangneungsumogwon-ro, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
The Korea National Arboretum (KNA) is situated in Gwangneung forest and contains the Forest Museum where all the information on forestry is exhibited. The construction of the arboretum and museum took place on October 25, 1985 and opened on April 5, 1987. In order to preserve the forests, weekends and holiday entrance were restricted, reservations were required 5 days in advance, and no more than 5,000 visitors were accepted per day. As diverse plants are gaining recognition worldwide, the research department formed the Office of Forestry on May 24, 1999.
Korea National Arboretum covers an area of 1,157㏊ and contains 15 specialized forests, including Conifer Garden, the Garden of Ornamental Trees, and the Aroma and Touch Garden. The Forest Museum is the largest in Asia, covering 4628 sq.m² with a traditional Korean design, and the interior and exterior are both constructed of wood and stone. The arboretum facilities consist of 5 exhibition halls (Living Forest, Forest and Man, Forestry of the World, Forestry of Korea, Nature of Korea), a Herbarium, a Special Exhibition Room, and an Audio Visual Hall.
12, Hwaamdonggul-gil, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do
Hwaamdonggul Cave was originally a gold mine that was commercially operated from 1922 to 1945 as the nation’s fifth largest gold mine. However, the cave was found to have natural stalactites, and was later developed into the only theme-based cave that combined gold and nature. The ticket booth and the cave's entrance is located apart from each other, and visitors can either hike or ride on monorail to the entrance point. Hwaamdonggul Cave is not only a tourist attraction but also an educational venue where visitors can learn about the subterranean ecology of a stalactite cave and the process of gold mining and refining.
386, Byeongsan-gil, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Before it became a Confucian academy, Byeongsanseowon Confucian Academy was originally located in Pungsang-hyeon under the name Pungakseodang School, which was used as a educational institution since the Goryeo dynasty by a political party known as the Sarim Party. It was moved to its current location in Byeongsan by a well-respected Cofucian scholar named Yu Seong-nyong, penname Seoae, in 1572.
When Yu Seong-nyong passed away in 1607, many of his followers and other renowned scholars commemorated the late Confucian scholar by building Jondeoksa Shrine to enshrine his ancestral tablet in 1613, followed by renaming of the institution to Byeongsanseowon in 1614. Yu Seong-nyong's ancestral tablet was later moved to Yeogangseowon to be placed together with the ancestral tablet of Toegye Yi Hwang. In 1629, another ancestral tablet of the late scholar was made and housed in Jondeoksa Shrine.
In 1863, Byeongsanseowon was recognized by the king to receive support as a private Confucian academy. The lecture hall and shrine were reconstructed in 1921 and 1937 respectively as part of preservation efforts made during the Japanese occupation. This academy is designated as Historic Site No. 260, housing a collection of 1,000 documents and 3,000 books, including works by Yu Seong-nyong.
48, Yeouidong-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park in central Seoul was the first ecological park in Korea, opened on September 25, 1997. It houses a wide variety of flora and fauna, including kestrels (Natural Monument No. 323), herons, and minnows. There is a 6 kilometer-long promenade that crosses the park, and information signs explaining various flower and plant species throughout the park.
Odaesan-ro, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Odaesan Mountain is located in the central and eastern part of Gangwon-do. The mountain was designated a national park in February 1975, including an area of 298.5 ㎢ centered on the highest peak, Birobong Peak (alt. 1,563 meters). Other peaks include Horyeongbong, Sangwangbong, Dongdaesan, and Durobong.
Odaesan Mountain has the largest natural forest of Korea, home to many wild animals and plants. The mountain is divided into five sections: Odaesan Section, Bangadari Bridge Section, Byeongnae-ri Section, Hwangbyeongsan Mountain Section, Hongcheon-myeon Section, and Sogeumgang River Section. It is also rich in soil and resources, with lush forests and gentle slopes.
276, Sambonghyuyang-gil, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Located in Odaesan National Park, Sambong National Recreational Forest is filled with large acicular trees like fir and broad-leaved trees like birch. Lenoks, a species of freshwater fish that are considered a Korean natural treasure, found only in the cleanest water, thrive in the waters of the deep valley running through the park. The park is surrounded by three peaks – Gachilbong Peak (1,240 meters), Eungboksan Mountain (1,155 meters), and Sasambong Peak (1,107 meters). Sambong Mineral Spring, whose waters attract many visitors, is found In the middle of the three peaks. The spring’s waters are said to ease stomach complaints. The park is also popular since visitors can see beautiful fall foliage in autumn while enjoying the mountains and sea at the same time in summer.
225, Heungjeonggyegok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Opened in 1993, Herbnara Farm located within Hongjeong Valley is the first herb-themed farm in Korea with more than 100 kinds of herbs. The farm also offers seven different theme gardens as well as a green house and experience programs for visitors to enjoy. Delicious dishes and drinks made with herbs cultivated on the farm are available at the restaurant. Visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery and scent of herbs all season long at Herbnara Farm.
424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Mongchontoseong Fortress is an earthen fortification from the Baekje dynasty (18 BC- AD 660). It was built sometime between the 3rd and 4th centuries, using the natural protection offered by a tributary to the Hangang River on one side and wooden barricades for added defense on the other side. The fortress has been designated as Historic Site No. 297, and is currently located inside Seoul Olympic Park.
Mongcheontoseong Fortress features an overlapping structure of the outer and inner fortifications that were built along the hilly areas descending down from Namhansanseong Fortress. On display inside the fortress are artifacts excavated from the site that date back to the Baekje dynasty. The exhibited items include various earthenware and living tools. The site also displays dugout hut and storage pit sites in the state they were at the time of excavation.
107, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
It is said that Samcheong-dong was named from the story about the three ‘cheong’ (Chinese character meaning ‘clean’) of the area, namely the mountain, water, and people. Another theory is that the origin of the region's name came from Samcheongjeon Hall where three tablets called ‘Taecheong,’ ‘Sangcheong,’ and ‘Okcheong,’ were set up based on Taoism. Samcheong-dong Street features a mixture of old scenes of hanok buildings with traditional beauty and modern scenes of galleries and cafés, creating a unique atmosphere. Visitors can feel the abundant cultural mood at every corner of the street through the art galleries, museums, antique shops, and quiet pathways.
62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Insa-dong, located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, teahouses, and cafes.
The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area offering every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, which promotes many promising artists, and Gana Art Center.
The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. They are hidden deep within the twisting alleyways, making it feel like a treasure hunt. The shops in Insa-dong are very popular among all age groups, because each one is unique.
Every Saturday from 14:00 to 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00, the main street is blocked to vehicular traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Stores set up booths outside and Korean candy merchants and fortune teller stalls can easily be found; there are traditional performances and exhibits as well. Insa-dong is especially popular among international tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture first-hand, and also purchase pieces of fine art.
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 Yi Bang-won, the fifth son of King Taejo and Queen Sinui, in order to win over the throne. After Yi Bang-won rose to the throne as King Taejong, he relocated Queen Sindeok's tomb to outside of the city walls.
1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Namiseom Island, designed with the concept of "Storybook Land, Song Island," hosts cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions all year round. The island aims to promote dreams and hopes in children, and love and memories in couples. Main cultural facilities include Song Museum, Picture Book Playground, Art Shop, and UNICEF Hall. Guests can travel the island in comfort by riding on the UNICEF Train, or the Story Tour Bus. Namiseom Island also has restaurants offering various cuisine, and accommodations for overnight stays.