Sightseeing - Korea travel information

Uisangdae Pavilion (낙산사 의상대)

Uisangdae Pavilion (낙산사 의상대)

16153     2021-04-12

100, Naksansa-ro, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This pavilion is located on a seaside cliff on the way from Yangyang’s Naksansa Temple to Gwaneumgul Cave of Hongnyeonam Hermitage. The word “dae” in Uisangdae refers to a building built at a vantage point for areas with beautiful scenery. Indeed, the view of the East Sea and the coast from Uisangdae Pavilion awarded its recognition as one of the Eight Sights of Yangyang, and a must-visit place for all visitors to Naksansa Temple. Jeong Cheol (pen-name: Songgang), a famed scholar and writer of the poem Song of Diamond Mountains, chose the pavilion as one of the Eight Sights of Gwandong, and the pavilion is today one of the popular sites for sunrise-viewing on the east coast of Korea. Together with Hongnyeonam Hermitage, it is designated as the Scenic Site No. 27 of Korea under the name “Uisangdae Pavilion and Hongnyeonam Hermitage of Naksansa Temple, Yangyang.” Uisangdae is named after Uisang, a respected Silla-era Buddhist monk who is said to have founded this temple in 671 (11th year of King Munmu’s reign of Silla), and many stories of his deeds can still be found in the temple. For instance, Uisangdae is said to be the site where he meditated before founding Naksansa Temple at its present site. Today’s pavilion was restored to its present hexagonal form in 1995.

Danyang Silla Jeokseongbi Stone Stele (단양 신라 적성비)

Danyang Silla Jeokseongbi Stone Stele (단양 신라 적성비)

5571     2021-04-12

Habang 3-gil, Danyang-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Danyang Silla Jeokseongbi Stone Stele was erected by King Jinheung, the 24th King of Silla Kingdom, as a public announcement board. It was found at the Jeokseong Fortress site of Danyang in 1978.

The stone stele is divided into three parts: the two lower pieces are inscribed with 280 letters, which spell out the names of people, locations and positions from the Silla Kingdom period, whereas, the top piece which has 100 letters are mostly destroyed. As such, it has helped illuminate political development and statuses of the time.

Changgyeonggung Palace Honghwamun Gate (창경궁 홍화문)

Changgyeonggung Palace Honghwamun Gate (창경궁 홍화문)

7807     2021-04-12

99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Honghwamun Gate is the main gate of Changgyeonggung Palace. It has three gates in the front and two gates to the side with a sophisticated locking mechanism.

Namaehang Port (남애항)

Namaehang Port (남애항)

3952     2021-04-12

Maebawi-gil, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

The largest port in Yangyang area is also one of the Eight Sights of Yangyang, and along with Simgokhang Port of Gangneung and Chogokhang Port of Samcheok, said to be the three most beautiful ports in Gangwon-do. Indeed, its reputation can be seen in the picturesque view of the white and red lighthouse, breakwater, and the fishing boats docked at the port. Another point of interest at Namaehang Port is the Namaehang Skywalk Observatory. Located at the entrance to the breakwater, this observation point offers a breathtaking view of the Namaehang Port area and the East Sea. The island, where the skywalk is located, was called Yangyado Island during the Joseon period, and the site of this observation point used to have a beacon during the Joseon period. Namae Fishing Village Experience, a village that is fed by the Namaehang Port, offers fishing boat trips for visitors, along with hand fishing, rock crab catching, and stuffed squid making. Some of Namaehang Port’s major catches include squid, plaice, and flatfish. A line of restaurants specializing in raw fish slices allows visitors to enjoy the fresh catch right away.

Hajodae Beach (하조대)

Hajodae Beach (하조대)

1     2021-04-12

29, Hajodaehaean-gil, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This rocky beach is one of the Eight Sights of Yangyang, located in Hyeonbuk-myeon, Yangyang-gun. Its 135,000 m2 seaside is made up of the mysterious rock formations and rocky islands of the East Sea, a sight that has, along with the nearby pine forests, given the area a distinguished place among the Eight Sights. The name of the beach, Hajodae, is said to come from Ha Ryun and Jo Jun, two late Goryeo-era officials who plotted to overthrow the dynasty and would eventually become one of the founding officials of Joseon. A pavilion, also named Hajodae, can be found on top of the coastal cliff. Today’s pavilion is a restoration dating back to 1998, while the original was established during the reign of King Jeongjong of the Joseon Dynasty and underwent numerous renovations. The pavilion is the favored point of view for many visitors. An old pine tree standing upright on the rocky cliff was made famous for its appearance on the broadcasted screen for the national anthem of Korea. Following the decked walkways from the pavilion brings one to the white unmanned lighthouse, or the nearby Hajodae Trail and Observatory. Hajodae Beach can be found about 1 km to the northwest of the area. Its relatively shallow depth, reaching no more than 1.5 m, makes it ideal for families with small children.

Osaek Jujeongol Valley (오색주전골)

Osaek Jujeongol Valley (오색주전골)

18834     2021-04-12

Yaksu-gil, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This valley in Seoraksan National Park is located on the way from Osaek-ri, Yangyang-gun, to Osaengnyeong (Hangyeryeong) Pass. It is the most famous place for fall colors in Seoraksan Mountain, and its handsome valley and rock formations are well-known as well. Its name, Jujeongol, is said to come from the Joseon-era bandits that are said to have settled in the area, making their living with counterfeit (ju) coins (jeon) while disguised as Buddhist monks. Osaek (meaning “five colors”) was inspired by the five colors of Jujeongol’s rock formations, and the five-colored tree that is said to have lived in Osaekseoksa Temple of the past. A 3.2 km-long trail brings visitors along the rising rocks next to the valley, connecting Seongguksa Temple and Seonnyeotang Pothole to Yongso Falls Information Center. It is a relatively flat, 1 hr-long course with many wooden decks that help to make it more accessible for the visitors. The entrance to the trail is the location of the Osaek Mineral Spring, whose natural carbonation and iron content impart a unique flavor in the water. Keep your eyes open for strange rock formations like Gorae, Sangtu, and Bubu Rocks, as well as Namseorak’s famous sights like Seonnyeotang Pothole, Geumgangmun Gate, and Yongso Falls.

Namdaecheon Stream (남대천)

Namdaecheon Stream (남대천)

6640     2021-04-12

Yangyang-eup, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This stream is taken as the first among the Eight Sights of Yangyang. Originating from Odaesan Mountain (1,563 m) in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, this river flows through Yangyang and into the East Sea. The stream is divided into five areas; the upper stream, Buyeon Valley, Beopsuchiri Valley, Eoseongjeoncheon Stream, and Namdaecheon Stream. Namdaecheon Stream is the foremost site for salmon run in Korea, with more than 70% of salmon in Korea returning to this “river mother of salmons.” Salmon fry hatching here spend about 3 to 5 years in Bering or the Sea of Okhotsk, and return to the East Sea to run the river and lay their eggs at the end of their lives. Salmon run in Namdaecheon Stream reaches its x_height in mid-October to November, and is celebrated by Yangyang Salmon Festival held in mid-October. Other fish sightings include the big-scaled redfin in April and May, and sweetfish in July and August. Namdaecheon Stream is said to be the clearest and the longest stream in Yeongdong region of Gangwon-do: while other streams are about 20 km long, Namdaecheon Stream has a total length of 54 km and many other distributaries. It is also home to tourist sites like the Beopsuchiri Valley and Naksan Beach, and Namdaecheon Eco Trail at the delta is known for its silver reeds in fall.

Gapyeong Baengnyeonsa Temple (백련사(가평))

Gapyeong Baengnyeonsa Temple (백련사(가평))

3557     2021-04-12

159-50, Saemgol-gil, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

Baengnyeonsa Temple is surrounded by mountains, as it is located off Yongmunsan, Myeongjisan, and Daegeumsan Mountains. On each side of the temple, one can also find Unaksan Mountain as well as Cheonmasan Mountain. In addition, just behind the temple are Chungnyeongsan Mountain and Seorisan Mountain.

This temple was built relatively recently, so not many cultural treasures are around. However, as compared to the average temples in Korea, it is distinguished by its well-designed and refined architectures. The decorations in the temple are simple, with not too vibrant colors nor complicated designs so as to help in seeking peace and inspiration.

The temple is also known for its hiking trails and beautiful scenery offered by the surrounding mountains.

Micheongol Recreational Forest (국립 미천골자연휴양림)

31962     2021-04-12

168-16, Micheongol-gil, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This recreational forest is located at the foot of Guryongnyeong Pass, which connects Yangyang-gun with Hongcheon-gun, along Micheongol Valley. This 12 km-long valley creates waterfalls throughout the forest, both small and large, and feeds many varieties of trees including birch, ash, maple sap, and dogwood. In addition to the Forest Cultural Rest Center, campground, and auto campground, the forest also includes a historic site, a Silla-era Seollimwon Temple Site. Seollimwon Temple was a Seon (Zen) Buddhist temple complex built during the Unified Silla period, and the site of Treasures like the “Three-story Stone Pagoda at Seollimwon Temple Site, Yangyang.” Many forest-themed experience programs are available in the recreational forest: “Forest Education, Forest Guided Tour,” which brings one closer to the nature in the forest, and “A Beautiful Trip in Person,” which offers members of marginalized communities a chance to connect with nature, are the examples of such programs. There is a 6.2 km-long (round-trip) mountain trekking road in the forest, and a 12 km-long forest road (round-trip) that takes one from Complex 3 of the Forest House to Bulbaragi Mineral Spring.

Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream (다대포 꿈의 낙조분수)

60021     2021-04-12

14, Morundae 1-gil, Saha-gu, Busan

Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream is located at the entrance plaza of Dadaepo Beach. The fountain shoots water up to 55 meters above the ground and displays a musical show of water dancing along with the background music. Most fountain shows in the world are located within a lake or small pool, which makes this fountain stand out for performing straight out in an open plaza. Evening visitors to Dadeaepo Beach can enjoy a fantastic fusion of sound, light and water along with various cultural events.

Osaengnyeong (Hangyeryeong) Pass (오색령(한계령))

9865     2021-04-12

Seo-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This 1,004 m-high pass connects Seo-myeon of Yangyang-gun and Buk-myeon and Girin-myeon of Inje-gun, at the border between Naeseorak and Namseorak. The people of Yangyang know the pass as Osaengnyeong, while in Inje it is known as Hangyeryeong. Yi Jung-hwan, a late Joseon period scholar and the author of the geographical text Taengniji (On Selecting a Village), counted Osaengnyeong Pass as the first and the foremost of the six famous passes in Gangwon-do. Indeed, Osaengnyeong Pass was the route through which essential supplies were transported from Yangyang (in Yeongdong) to Inje (in Yeongseo region), and the rough pass taken by the people of Yangyang on the way to Seoul. Its presence in the folklore of the region can be seen in the popular song Hangyeryeong, which speaks to the difficulties of those who had to climb the pass. Hangyeryeong Road was opened in 1981, and today’s National Road No. 44 is famous for being a driving course through the beauty of Seoraksan Mountain. This is also the starting point of the shortest route to Daecheongbong Peak, the highest peak in Seoraksan Mountain, and the trail to the summit of Jeombongsan Mountain.

Seoraksan Daecheongbong Peak (설악 대청봉)

30824     2021-04-12

Seoraksan-ro, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

This 1,708 m-high peak is the highest peak of Seoraksan Mountain and the third highest in the Republic of Korea, behind Hallasan Mountain (1,950 m) and Jirisan Mountain (1,915 m). It is the centerpiece of the 40 km2-wide Seoraksan National Park and the dividing point between Naeseorak and Oeseorak areas: areas to the west of Daecheongbong Peak toward Inje are considered Naeseorak, while the areas to the east, toward Sokcho and Goseong, are considered as latter. It is also the origin of most of Seoraksan Mountain’s famous valleys, like Cheonbuldong and Gayadong Valleys. Because of erratic weather and low temperature, Daecheongbong Peak is often covered in snow from late October to late spring. Its ridges are populated by Siberian dwarf pine, Hairy Korean rhododendron, Erman's birch, and subalpine trees, making it a valuable source for alpine plant research. Four trails in the Seoraksan National Park take the visitors to this peak, through Osaek, Baekdam, Seorak-dong, and Osaengnyeong (Hangyeryeong) Pass. The shortest trail is the 5 km-long Osaek Trail (Osaek – Seorak Falls – Daecheongbong Peak), taking about 4 hr in total. The management controls entry to Seoraksan National Park depending on weather conditions and period, so visitors are advised to check the real-time information provided at its webpage (