Republic of Korea

Attraction

Hallasan Mountain

Hallasan Mountain, located on Jeju Island, is the highest mountain in Korea, standing at 1950m. The scenery of Hallasan Mountain varies from season to season, but it is enchanting all the time. During April and May, the mountain is full of blossoms of azalea.


There are in total seven hiking trails on Hallasan Mountain. They open at 6am every morning (5am in summer). However, to climb the peak, one must take the Seongpanak trail or the Gwaneumsa trail. Along your way to the peak, you might be able to see deer that travel around the mountain forest. There are restricted hours for different hiking trails. Hikers are advised to learn about it beforehand in order to have a smooth hiking journey.

Jeonju Hanok Village

Over 1,300 years old, Jeonju was the origin of the Joseon Dynasty. Today, in the central area of Jeonju, there are over 700 hanoks (traditional Korean houses), which form the biggest hanok complex in the country.


Jeonju Hanok Village was declared earlier by Cittaslow as a “slow city”. To become a slow city, one has to meet the following requirements: under globalisation, one has to endeavour to preserve its unique features, as well as initiating events to sustain them.


Declared as a slow city, Jeonju Hanok Village has unrivalled traditional charisma. It has been producing exquisite fans, handmade papers, homemade soju and many other handicrafts.


Also, bibimbap, a famous Korean cuisine, originated in Jeonju. If you like bibimbap, be sure to visit the Jeonju Hanok Village to taste the most authentic version of it.  

Hwaseong Fortress (Suwon Hwaseong)

The construction of Suwon Hwaseong was ordered in 1794 by King Jeongjo of the Joseon dynasty to honour his deceased father, Prince Sado. Having a 5-km defensive wall, the fortress encompasses most of central Suwon, including the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace.


Suwon Hwaseong suffered huge damage during the Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War. The Republic of Korea government later began the restoration process in the 1970s following strictly a detailed blueprint that dated back to 1801. The fortress has therefore been greatly restored and later inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 


It takes you around two hours to finish a walk along the defensive wall of Suwon Hwaseong. The wall extends along the Paldalsan Mountain with many ups and downs. Along the way, you can see enchanting scenery, four spectacular gates, as well as artillery towers, pavilions, observation towers and many others. If you want a more relaxing journey, you can take Hwaseong Fortress Tourist Trolley instead.  


Daecheon Beach, Boryeong

Every July, locals and tourists will be celebrating the Boryeong Mud Festival in Daecheon Beach, Boryeong, for nine days. The most important thing about the festival is to play with the mud. Countless tourists will be jumping into a pool of mud and throwing mud to each other. Splashes of mud will be everywhere.


According to the authority, Boryeong Mud is full of minerals and germaniums, which are all healthy to humans. The festival was first held in 1997 to promote the benefits of the local mud to human health. 


The tourists there just want to have fun soaking themselves in the mud and seeing the splashes. The only thing to bear in mind is that the clothes you wore when enjoying the festival would no longer be wearable.


During the nine-day mud festival, tourists may enjoy concerts, parties and firework displays. Besides the mud festival, you also can’t miss the sky bike. The rails are built along the seashore, and part of them are installed over the water. Ride the sky-bike and you can enjoy a fascinating panoramic view of the ocean and the shore.

Panmunjom

On 27 July 1953, the United Nations Command, the Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army signed the Korean Armistice Agreement. They agreed to cease the Korean War and to establish a demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas.


According to the agreement, however, the war was only ceased, but not ended. Therefore, the two Koreas are technically still at war. Also, the Military Demarcation Line between them had long been the frontline of the Cold War.


Over the past decades, the ebb and flow of Democratic People's Republic of Korea–Republic of Korea relations went on. The demilitarised zone serves as an indicator of the relations. As the soldiers of the two countries are just a few metres away from each other, conflicts have occurred from time to time. 


It was not until April 2018 that the atmosphere in the demilitarised zone has been relaxed. The April 2018 inter-Korean summit took place on the ROK side of the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom. In the summit, Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, and Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, crossed the Military Demarcation Line hand-in-hand and stepped over to the North Korea side of the line. It was one of the biggest moments in international history in recent years. It also brought the relations between the two Koreas to new heights. Since then, Panmunjom has become a popular tourist spot.  


Remember to visit the blue meeting house and try to cross the Military Demarcation Line as the two leaders did. You can also go up to Odusan Unification Tower, which overlooks some villages in North Korea.