82, Yerae-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Yaerae Village encompasses a beautiful natural landscape, prime seaside location in Jeju, and cultural and historic sites spread throughout the area. Located between valleys near Jungmun Resort, considered one of Korea’s greatest tourism complexes, the village retains its traditional way of life. Village residents value environmental awareness, placing an importance on educating youth to preserve both the local customs and the village’s natural surroundings. Villagers encourage a sense of community through engaging in environment-related activities.
554, Cheoncheonbung-ro, Cheoncheon-myeon, Jangsu-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Situated in Jangsu, Jeollabuk-do, Haneullae Deulkkot Village, as the name suggests in Korean, it is a village nestled alongside the Cheoncheon stream (haneullae means ‘heaven creek’). The area is blessed with clear shallow creek, a green mountain and a field of wild flowers (deulkkot). In the small ecological park there is a 500-pyeong building, a playground, a farm, a garden and a pond occupying a total of 3,000 pyeong. Next to the grassy playground you’ll find a therapeutic pebble path made for walking on bare foot, towering trees scattered around the playground offering some cool shade and a few swing chairs attached to the tall trees. There are three wooden look-out stations also shaded by the platanus trees. And in a corner of the playground is a campground capable of accommodating up to ten tents. The pond is home to more than ten varieties of water plants, including the lotus and water hyacinth. There are also some colourful native water life, such as the Crucian carp, daces, dark chubs, Chinese minnows, loaches, freshwater snails and marsh snails.
The 20-pyeong cafeteria is all made of pine. Visitors can breathe in the soothing woody aroma, take in the view of the park all while having a meal. You can go on hiking trails, rest afterwards with some tea then walk to the local market in a pavilion. Also, people can visit the local compost centre and earthworm breeding farm, as well as the nearby roosters, a protected species native to Korea.
464 Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
One of the amazing things about Seoul is that some of the most interesting historical sites are right in the middle of the business districts. Located near the Jongno Police Station and the Japanese Cultural Center, Unhyeongung Royal Residence is one such site.
Unhyeongung Royal Residence was the home of young Gojong, who later became Emperor during the Joseon Dynasty. Under order of Queen Mother Jo, Unhyeongung was renovated into a grand, palace-like house with four gates. Gojong’s father, Yi Haeung, or better known as Heungseon Daewongun, continued to live at Unhyeongung for most of his life. Damaged during the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War, the Unhyeongung Royal Residence seen today is a much smaller version of the majestic structure that it used to be.
Entering through the front gate, the first noticeable sight is a small row of rooms to the right. This area, called Sujiksa, housed the servants and guards. To the front, left-hand side of Sujiksa is a structure called Norakdang. Many important events, such as birthday parties and ceremonies, as well as the wedding ceremony for Gojong and Myeongseong, were held here. To this day, traditional wedding ceremonies continue to be held at Norakdang.
Norakdang also served as one of the two women’s quarters. The most notable structure inside Norakdang is the kitchen, which was used for food preparation when hosting important events. Right outside Norakdang, there are several rock structures along the path to Irodang. The rock structures are said to resemble various animals. To the left of Norakdang lies Irodang, the main building of Unhyeongung. This was where the wife of Heungseon Daewongun resided. Irodang's most prominent feature is its tall steps and square shape. It was built this way in order to help protect the women inside from intruders. Outside Irodang lays an old well on one side of the wide, open yard. To the right of Norakdang lies Noandang.
Noandang served as the men’s quarters and was where Heungseon Daewongun received his guests. The word noan means "old man" and carries with it the connotation of comfort and ease. Thus, it served as the leisure quarters for the men. However, Noandang was not just a place of rest and entertainment. As the father of a young Emperor, Heungseon Daewongun carried out all his business from Noandang.
Upon exiting Noandang, there lies an Exhibition Hall to the far right. The Exhibition Hall houses a small collection of interesting artifacts and information. Items such as a scale model of Unhyeongung, writing tools, traditional wedding garments, and more, can be seen here.
Next to the Exhibition Hall, there is also a small coffee shop and tea room where visitors can enjoy a nice beverage while taking in the sights of Unhyeongung.
Geonip-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Running across from Dongmun Market in Jeju City, Sanjicheon Stream is home to a rich array of freshwater fish (e.g. sweetfish, gray mullets, Amur goby, and carps). In summer, it attracts hundreds of thousands of anglers as well as children.
The port, downstream from Sanjicheon Stream, is renowned for picturesque views of fishing boats, egrets, and seagulls. A restored Chinese sailing vessel is exhibited at the end of the stream for visitors. Along the stream are walking paths, a park, and music fountains, in which Sanjicheon Art Festival and a slew of cultural events and performances are held every summer and winter, attracting many visitors.
656-2, Taemok-ri, Daejeon-myeon, Damnyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Situated between Damyang-gun and Gwangju Metropolitan City, Damyang Wetland is one of the best places to experience the ecology of Yeongsangang River. It is a habitat for the hawk, wildcat, Boreal digging frog (endangered species), and kestrel. It became the first river wetland to be designated as a wetland reserve in 2004.
Ui-dong, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul-si
The valley between Bukhansan Mountain and Donbongsan Mountain is called "Uidonggyegok Valley." It earned the name "Uidong" because the two peaks of Bukhansan Mountain, Baegundae and Insubong, looks like a cow's ears.
One of the trails leading up to Bukhansan Mountain and Dobongsan Mountain also starts here.
25, Jayugongwonnam-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
Jemulpo Club was established in 1901 to be used as the venue for foreigners such as American, English, German, French, Russian and a small minority of Chinese and Japanese all living in Incheon to build up friendships before opening the port. The two-story brick building was comprised of a library room, pool table, tennis court and others facilities.
The site was used as Incheon Museum from 1953 to 1990 and Incheon Cultural Center from 1990 to 2006. In 2007, the name was changed to Jemulpo Gurakbu.
It now offers a site for experiencing modern culture interactions.
185 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Located in the heart of Seoul, Changgyeonggung Palace was originally built as Suganggung Palace by the 4th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong (r.1418-1450), for his retiring father, King Taejong. It often served as residential quarters for queens and concubines. During the reign of King Seongjong (r.1469-1494), the palace was renovated and renamed to Changgyeonggung Palace. It later became a park with a zoo and a botanical garden during Japanese colonial rule. The palace grounds remained this way until 1983 when restoration of its old grace was completed.
Past the main entrance of Changgyeonggung Palace, Honghwa Gate, you will find Okcheongyo Bridge. All palaces of the Joseon dynasty have ponds with an arch bridge over them, just like Okcheongyo Bridge. Cross Okcheongyo Bridge, pass the Myeongjeongmun Gate, and you will find Myeonjeongjeon. This is the office of the king, and Myeongjeongjeon is the oldest of the Joseon Dynasty palaces. The houses face southwards, but Myeongjeongjeon faces east. Because the ancestral shrine of the royal family is located to the south, the gate couldn't face the south, as is required by Confucian custom. There are stones with the status of the officials carved on the yard. Behind Myeongjeongjeon on the upper left side is Sungmundang. This building utilizes the slope of the mountain. If you look at Myeongjeongjeon and Munjeongjeon, the combination of the high and low roofs offers a beautiful view.
Tongmyeongjeon was built for the queen. It is the biggest building in Changgyeonggung Palace, and you can recognize the delicate details of its structure in various parts of the building. Walk up the stones past Tongmyeongjeon and there you will find Jagyeongjeon. On the southeast direction of the Jagyeongjeon is the Punggidae. This Punggidae is a measuring instrument. It is a long pole with a cloth hung at the end used to check the speed and direction of the wind. If you head north there is a large pond called Chundangji. Half of the pond was originally a rice field that the king took care of. But during the Japanese occupation, the rice field was changed to a pond with little ships floating on it. And the botanic garden built above the pond still remains today.
153-32 Yesulgongwon-ro, Manan-gu, Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
Anyang Water Land, using pristine waters from the deep valleys of Gwanaksan and Samseongsan Mountains, is a composite theme park open in all four seasons with state-of-the-art pools, water-slides, facilities, and services.
394, Ganghwa-daero, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon
Ganghwa island is the fifth largest island in Korea and is located in the West Sea. It is composed of 11 inhabited islands and 17 uninhabited islands, and its beaches are 99 km long. Recently with the creation of the Ganghwa Bridge, the island has become more like the mainland.
Because there were people living on this island from the prehistoric times, there are many ancient artifacts on the island. The most famous of these are the Goindol Rocks, designated as World’s Cultural Treasure. The Goindol graves are where the rulers of the Ganghwa Island in the Bronze Age are buried. There are about 80 of these stone graves around the island. There is also evidence of the Dangunwanggeom, the founding figure of Korea whose life marks the beginning of Korean history. If you walk up the many steps of Chamseongdan in Mani Mountain, you will come to a peak where you can see the West Sea and the inland. This is where Dangunwanggeom is said to have offered sacrificial rites to the heavens.
Ganghwa Island has many famous local products, including the medicinally effective Ganghwa Ginseng, Pure-Ganghwa radish with its peculiar taste, and Hwamunseok, which is a mat woven with flower patterns. Hwamunseok is famous also as a representative traditional Korean product, with its intricate handwork and designs.
12, Geumsa-gil, Jeonui-myeon, Sejong-si
Home to many ancient porcelain kiln sites, the Geumsa Gamagol Village is often referred to as "the town of porcelain". According to the Sejong Chronicles, grayish blue-powdered celadon and white porcelain were produced and supplied to the royal palaces. Today, traces of porcelain chips and kiln sites can be found throughout the village. Also, the village offers pottery experience programs, as well as seasonal activities involving farming and sulfur hot springs.
137, Kkotbadyangji-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Located on the highlands of Pyeongchang County where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held, Uiyaji Baram Maeul (Uiyaji Wind Village) is a mountain village situated on top of Daegwallyeong. At Uiyaji Wind Village, one can enjoy various types of activities such as making cheese or ice cream as well as enjoying the beautiful sight of wind-mills standing high above the frozen plain.