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Tourism

The Four Best Time Travels in Korea; Jeonju, Gunsan, Gochang, Buan

Sep 24, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Jeonju
A trip to the Joseon Dynasty with over 500 years of history!


Young people wearing beautiful hanbok travel around ‘Jeonju Hanok Village’ with excited look on their faces. Jeonju Hanok Village located in Pungnam-dong, Jeonju is home to some 700 hanok houses, making it the largest traditional hanok village in the nation. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the nation and it practically started the trend of traveling around wearing hanbok. Jeonju was the capital of Jeolla-do during the Joseon Dynasty era, was one of the three major cities of Joseon Dynasty and prospered as the political and cultural center. The village will take you back in time to the Joseon Dynasty era, making you feel like the time seems to have stopped in this part of the city.

Young people wearing beautiful hanbok travel around ‘Jeonju Hanok Village’


The Joseon Dynasty founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye in 1392 was ruled by a total of 27 kings for 518 years with the Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism being the central ideologies of the state. Jeonju is a meaningful place because it is the home of the Jeonju Yi Clan of Taejo Yi Seong-gye, the root and the founder of the Joseon Dynasty that had lasted over 500 years until 1910. Gyeonggijeon Shrine in Jeonju is where the eojin (king’s portrait) of Taejo Yi Seong-gye is enshrined and it was constructed in the 10th year of King Taejong’s reign (1410) to hold memorial service for King Yi Seong-gye, destroyed during the Jeongyu Jaeran or the second Japanese invasion in the 30th year of King Seonjo’s reign (1597) and rebuilt in the 6th year of Prince Gwanghae’s reign (1614).

Gyeonggijeon Shrine in Jeonju is where the eojin (king’s portrait) of Taejo Yi Seong-gye is enshrined.

Gyeonggijeon Shrine in Jeonju is where the eojin (king’s portrait) of Taejo Yi Seong-gye is enshrined.


Namcheon Bridge located at the upper reaches of Jeonjucheon Stream serves as the gate to Jeonju Hanok Village. There is a trail on both sides of the bridge and they are part of Jeonju citizens’ everyday life. The pavilion, Cheongyeonnu with a gambrel roof on top of the bridge was built in October, 2009. The name Cheongyeonnu comes from ‘Hanbyeok Cheongyeon’ which refers to Hanbyeok, a famous pavilion that is known as one of the 8 scenic sites in Jeonju. Cheongyeonnu’s night view attracts many people from all around the nation.

The pavilion, Cheongyeonnu’s night view attracts many people.



Gunsan
Buy a ticket to Gunsan, the modern historical and cultural city

Gunsan feels like a city that has all the doors that take you back in time. The railway in Gyeongam-dong was built in 1944 during the period of Japanese colonial rule to transport paper and materials used for making newspapers. So how did the village form around this railway? After the Korean War, the refugees started to settle around this part of the city and a proper village started to form in the 1970s. The trains slowed down to about 10km/h where they were passing through this village. When the trains all together stopped passing through this village starting from July, 2008, Gyeongam-dong Railway Village also froze in time.

Gyeongam-dong Railroad Village, a glimpse of life next to the train tracks.


The Gogunsan Islands located on the sea about 50km southwest of Gunsan, are comprised of some 60 islands. Seonyudo Island is at the center of these islands and it has served as the center of the fishing industry in this region, ensuring the harsh waves. Seonyudo Island Beach is also known as the nation’s largest habitat of Milky Fiddler Crab which has been designated as Class 2 Endangered Wild Animal in 2012. It is the heaven for Milky Fiddler Crabs with their huge claws and the trip to Gugunsan Island always starts from Seonyudo Island.

Seonyudo in Gogunsan Islands, where you can ride a zip line and meet white-footed farm crabs.


The building Gunsan Customs which was built in 1908 during the Korean Empire era and had been used for 85 years until 1993, is considered one of the three structures of the Western Classicism that exist still to this day, along with the old Seoul Station and the main building of the Bank of Korea. The old Gunsan Customs Office designed by a German architect and built using Belgian bricks, is a combination of European architectural style and modern Japanese architectural style. Since the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910 to the liberation from the Japanese colonial rule in 1945, the office was used by the Japanese as a warehouse to store the rice and other crops exploited from the Honam and Chungcheong regions and now it is used as Honam Customs Museum.

Gunsan Customs, the twisting history of its beautiful architecture.



Gochang
Let's travel back in time to the farthest past

The great place we must not miss out on is Gochangeupseong Fortress. Walking along the fortress trail which gives a full view of the downtown Gochang, you can almost hear the roar of our ancestors who fought in tears and sweat against the enemies. The entire county has been designated as UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve. It is a town where nature and cultural heritages that we must protect, shine in their original form. Seonunsa Temple is one of the most popular places in Gochang gets filled with elegant shades of autumn in this time of the season and offers us bright red camellia flowers in the winter.

The Gochangeupseong Fortress built in the early Joseon Dynasty is well preserved in its original form.


Dolmens are tombs that belong to the Bronze Age and there are more than 30,000 dolmens across Korea. Also, 63% of the dolmens in Jeollabuk-do are located in Gochang which is home to largest colonies of dolmens in Korea (about 1600 dolmens in 185 colonies). Gochang Dolmen Site that has 447 dolmens scattered around was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. As of yet, about 2,000 relics including dolmens, polished stone daggers and spindles have been discovered here. Gochang is where mounded burials and dwelling sites from the Mahan era have been founded and it is considered the first ancient capital and cultural center of the Korean Peninsula.

Gochang Dolmen Site that has 447 dolmens scattered around was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.


Seonunsan Mountain is referred to as Dosolsan in Sinjeung Dongguk Yeojiseungnam (Newly Enlarged Geographical Survey of Korea) which is a geographical book from the mid Joseon Dynasty period. Seonunsa Temple built during the Baekjae Dynasty era became increasingly famous and the mountain naturally was named after the temple. Seonunsan Mountain which boasts beautiful gentle terrains is referred to as the Naeguemgang of Honam Region and is famous for its camellia forest (Natural Monument No. 184). Camelia flowers in Seonunsan Mountain are called Chunbaek or Spring Camelias because they blossom later than those in other regions. Seoununsam Temple will be a great place to visit to capture the last bright days of camelias which have already fallen off in warmer regions.

Seonunsan Mountain boasts beautiful colors in all four seasons.


Buan
The mesmerizing sea clif, warm and spacious area!

Buan offer more than just rich plains. The coast and sea cliff at the far west side of Byeonsanbando National Park. Chaeseokgang Cliff is the best among the best scenic sites in Buan. It’s impossible to deny that nature is the greatest art when you look at the beautiful cliff and all the sedimentary layers that show the passage of time. The name Chaeseokgang was coined by the name of Chaeseokgang, a favorite of Chinese poet Lee Tae-baek during the Tang Dynasty. It is said that he died while trying to catch the moon in Chaeseokgang. It must be said that the scenery of Chaeseokgang is so beautiful.

Chaeseokgang Cliff is the best among the best scenic sites in Buan.


Naesosa is a Buddhist temple that was established originally as Soraesa by Buddhist monk, Ven. Hyegu Duta in the34th year of Baekjae King Muwang’s reign (633). In the beginning, there were two temples Daesoraesa and Sosoraesa and Sosoraesa is the Naesosa we see today. It is uncertain when the name changed to Naesosa. Most of the parts of the temple were destroyed during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592 and in the 11th year of Joseon King Injo’s reign (1633), a monk named Cheongmin rebuilt the Daeungbojeon Hall and Seolseondang Hall. The temple is visited by people from all over the country who come to see the famous fir tree road that lies between Iljumun, the first gate at the entrance, to Cheonwangmun (Gate of Guardians) and, the Daeungbojeon Hall which was built without using a single nail.

Naesosa is visited by people from all over the country who come to see the famous fir tree road and the Daeungbojeon Hall which was built without using a single nail. 


There is a special place beyond the mesmerizing sea cliff. This place referred to as either Jukmak-dong Suseongdang (Jukmag-dong Shrine) or Jukmak-dong Jaesayujeok (Jukmak-dong Ancestral Ritual Site) was first discovered when Jeonju National Museum was carrying out an archaeological field survey in the west coast of Jeollabuk-do. It is the first ancestral ritual site discovered in Korea and it was used all throughout since the Samhan period until the later Joseon Dynasty period to offer ritual to the god of sea. This building stands on the magnificent 22m-high sea cliff and it really feels like Madam Gaeyang who, according to the myth, ruled the western sea can my wishes come true.

Beyond the mesmerizing sea cliff, there is a Jukmak-dong Suseongdang.



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