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South Korea Travel Tips



Seoul and its vicinity

Seoul is both the capital and heart of the Republic of Korea. Originally the seat of government in the Paekche kingdom over 1,500 years ago, the city only came into prominence in the 14th century when it became the capital of the Chosun dynasty (1392-1910). Seoul was once the city of Kings. But now the capital has become the hub of entire nation. Seoul is truly a city of contrasts. Coming into Seoul's rich history, a heritage has been woven, which is evidenced by the palaces, shrines and monuments still standing throughout the city. Seoul's special lure and charm are its palaces with its traditionally classic architecture, representing a colorful history of turmoil during 500 years. Whether it comes from the silence of winter's snow-laden roofs or during a congested autumn sunny afternoon,
hidden paths among painfully silent garden walls or a bustling courtyard before the great throne room. Rated as one of the largest cities in the world, Seoul offers a mixture of the old and new providing opportunities to shop, sightsee and relax. Since the prehistoric times, it has been the favorable place for the human habitation, surrounded by mountains and meandering Han river. The geographical significance of the Han river to rule the entire Korean peninsula had been well proved from that time. A relatively new city by Korean standards, Seoul dates from the foundation of the Chosun dynasty (1392-1910). It was the city for the kings. In November 1394, two years after Yi Sungkye overthrew the declining Koryo regime, he hastily moved his capital to Seoul before the main palace was built. Surrounded with the walls, Seoul had a main royal palaces, a shrine in its left and an altar in its right. Today, a shrine is listed as an UNESCO's human cultural heritage of the world. An altar is a part of Sajik park and can still be visited. Now, the capital has become the hub of the entire nation while its rich culture is displayed and noted everyday by increasing numbers of tourists. Devastated in the Korean War (1950-1953), it is a sprawling metropolis of 10 million inhabitants with a great deal to interest visitors. Since its selection as the royal capital of Chosun dynasty, Seoul is an architectural treasure trove of well preserved buildings from ancient times. Seoul is truly a city of contrasts. The din and rush of traffic past modern skyscrapers seem strangely out of place as only a block away a lazy stream meanders under a stone bridge many centuries old. Today, we find Seoul a fully modern metropolis meeting international standards. Tranquil palaces, beautifully landscaped parks, excellent facility of museums, Buddhist temples, ancient fortress ruins with magnificent gates, massive sports complex and fascinating shopping centers are around. Modern Seoul is an excellent place for shopping and good value for all kinds of souvenirs and Korean products. Without doubt there are few cities in the world much less capital where the very old and new exist side by side in prefect harmony for one to enjoy.

Kyongbok Palace

One hundred years before Columbus discovered America, Yi Taejo built magnificent palace and then it has been the setting for numerous court intrigues, beginning with those of king Yi-Taejo and ending with the murder of Queen Min by the Japanese. Serving the Yi royal family for two hundred years, Kyongbok palace was burned during the Japanese invasion in the 25th king of Sonjo, and rebuilt in 1867 by regent Taewongun for his second son Kojong. After Japanese annexed Korea in 1910, all but 10 of 2 hundred buildings that once formed Kyongbok palace were torn down. Among the attractions are Kwangwhamun, the main entrance of the palace, watch tower in the middle of busy intersection at the southeastern corner of the palace, Kunjongmun gate, Kunjongjon, the Hall of Government by Restraint,
which faced south down the main axis of the city was the hub of the dynastic power, corridors of the throne hall, banquet hall built in the pond supported by 48 granite pillars, the residences of king and queen, audience hall for foreigners, Hyangwon pavilion and its lotus pond, monument dedicated on site of Queen Min's murder, Folklore museum, Konchunmun gate and totem poles and mounds, etc. National museum of Korea housing well over 130,000 artifacts, and Folklore museum displaying Korean tradition, culture, architecture, lifestyle and belief in diorama are among the attractions of the palace. A colorful ceremony of royal guard change is at 10:00, 13:00 and 15:00 except Tuesday.

Toksoo Palace

Located in the heart of Seoul and only several blocks from Kyongbok palace, it was originally constructed as a private residence of the royal family. With the destruction of Kyongbok palace by Hideyoshi's invasion in the late 16th century, it began to use as a palace by king Sunjo. After the construction of Changduk palace in 1615, it had been the detached palace and not used by the kings for 270 years with exception of several years by king Injo. In 1897 when king Kojong ended his one year stay in the nearby Russian legation, he refused to return to Kyongbok palace, and settled here. The name was changed to Kyongwoonkung. In 1907 the palace was called Toksukung when he abdicate from his throne and his son Soonjong became the king. Attractions are Taehanmun, the main gate of the palace moved
back from its original location in 1971, Chungwhamun gate audience hall rebuilt in 1904, art gallery designed by English architect in 1901 and completed in 1909, Chunmyongon the King Kojong's residence, Chukjodang the King Injo's residence, Sogidang the King Sunjo's residence, inner palace residences, a bell cast in 1306 to honor Queen of first king of Chosun dynasty (1392-1910) and statue of King Sejong who invented Korean Alphabet Hangul in 1443. October 9 is the Hangul's day. The change of royal guard ceremony is at 10:30, 14:00 and 15:00 except Monday. Due its main gate restoration, the ceremony is taking palce on the Seoul Plaza until December 2005.

Change of Royal Guard

It is an eye-catching ceremony that is held at the both Toksoo palace except Mondays , and Kyongbok palace except Tuesdays. The ceremony of changing the gate guard is revived at the main gate of Kyonbok palace. It creates an impressive spectacle, and offers a rare opportunity to appreciate a slice of colorful culture of the Chosun dynasty. At Toksoo palace, the ceremony is accompanied by a court band. On arrival of the new guard at the palace gate, each officer from the old guard and the new guard verifies the password of the day. With 6 times of huge drum beating by shouting Choum, the old guard turns over the key box to the new guard. Following the second drum beating of three times by shouting Jungum, each piece of the plaque on which king's order were written, is checked for the confirmation of
the King's order. With the third drum beating of 2 times by shouting Saum, the shift changes and both guards line up facing each other to conduct honors. Then, the guard that has pulled off the duty takes on the new duty of patrolling the palace. In front of Changdok palace, there is also a change of guard ceremony. The palaces offer their unique change of royal guard ceremonies.

Changdok Palace

Located about 3Kms east of Kyongbok palace, it is a detached palace built in 1404. In 1592 the complete Changdok palace complex except for the main gate, the oldest surviving structure of the palace Donwhamun, was burned by the Japanese armies under Hideyoshi. The palace was rebuilt in 1611 with more color and with a slightly different style of architecture. From this date, 13 kings uses it as their official residence, except for a limited period of time when Kyongbok palace was restored and used by King Kojong. Renovated in 1907, Changdok palace was used by Sunjong until his death in 1926. The palace is divided in four major areas; Central palace buildings, Secret garden, Naksonjae and Sonwonjon. Injungjon is a large double-roofed audience hall, the highest within the palace compound.
It is surrounded by covered corridors which lead into adjoining reception rooms. in front of the hall 12 tablets are positioned on each side of the raised walkway, denoting the various ranks of a government officials. The steps leading to the double-tiered platform are flanked with crouching stone Haetae which continue to protect this building from fire. On the roof ridges solemnly sit eight rows of clay figurines called Chapsang, which guard eternally against dangers to this magnificent structure. The throne chair is in the middle of the hall. Behind the throne seat is a large Sun Moon screen with five mountains which depicts the adopted Confucian symbolism. Five happiness or five element of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The entire courtyard is covered with flagstones. East of the main throne hall is the small audience chamber, the hall of the Dissemination of Government once used for receiving civil and military officials, and later foreign dignitaries. Reconstructed in 1653, it is the only building now roofed with blue glazed tiles. Among the other attractions are private royal residences of Huijongdand and Taehojon, royal infirmary. Naksonjae, once the residence of widow of King Yongchin (1897-1970) who was the last crown price and Piwon or secret garden. The palace and Secret Garden are listed as UNESCO's World Heritage in 1997. Unlike other palaces in Seoul, individual visit not allowed. English guided tour is at 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30 except Monday.

Secret Garden

Behind the Changdok palace is a Secret Garden covering 78 acres of ground includes 44 buildings in different size as well as several ponds, springs, and streams. The garden was laid out in 1405 and enlarged in 1623. Throughout the year seasonal changes are mirrored in the placid ponds, while the fanciful pavilions continue to enthrall yound and old. Puyongjong is a graceful pavilion set by the large louts pond, Puyongji, which is said to be fed by four springs but today these springs can not be found. This pond has a small islet, and on the west of the pond is a samll tablet sconsturcted by Sukjong (19th king) tells of the discovery of these four springs . Opposite the lotus pond is Osumun gate and Juhapru pavilion. The architectual design of this gate is impressive since the heavy roof is supported only by two small pillars. Juhapru is a double story building built by Youngjo (21st king).
The lower floor was used as a royal library while the top floor, overlooking the spacious gardens and lotus pond spattered with colorful ints of blossoms, provided a place for entertatainment and feasts. Yongwhadang, the Lotus flower-reflecting pavilion, which is located east of the first lotus pond upon entering the Secret Garden. It was built in 1692 and was used for conducting public examinations for jobs as government officials. On the southwestern corner of the building displays a sundial. Yonkyongdang is the maximum size under Chosung dynasty laws, which forbade anyone other than royalty to have a house of more than 100 Kan. Built in 1828, it is the only house in the palace in the style of a private residence, where Sunjo often frequented to experience the private life.

Changkyong Palace

Neighborhood from Changdok palace is Changkyong palace. Historians are certain that a Koryo palace was constructed in the southern area of the Changkyongwon garden, giving this site the oldest history of any Seoul's palaces. Yejong the 16th ruler of Koryo kingdom became an enthusiastic botanist, gathering rare plants from all over Korea and sending them to China in exchange for many varieties not found here. It might be said that Koryo King Yejong's dream of a botanical garden reached fulfillment in Changkyongwon garden, where a palace had been built in 1104 by his father King Sukjong. This earlier palace was first occupied by Taejo (1st king of Chosun) while Kyongbok palace was being constructed and also served as Taejong's retirement palace in 1419. But after this period the palace fell into disrepair. The palace was reconstructed in 1484 during the reign of Sungjong (9th king). During the Japanese invasion in the 16th century, most of the buildings were burned down. New buildings were added in 1833, but the palace lost its position of palace in 1907 and became the garden. It is now a favorite retreat for citizens. Once there was a zoo here until it moved to Kwachon Grand Park in the 1970s. Among the attractions are gate at the main entrance, corridors and audience hall, Sungmun-dang, Hwangyongjon, a residence for royal widows of Chosun dynasty, Yongchun hon, and Chipbokhon, both of these living area were rebuilt in 1833. Prince Sado was born in Chipbokhon when Yongjo was ruler. At the age of 27 the young prince was falsely accused of insurrection against king Yongjo and condemned to die by being placed in the rice box. Prince Sado's second son, who later became Chongjo, was only 10 at that time of the father's murder. he continued to live in Yongchunhon even after he became king. In addition, smaller pavilions, gates and library. Today the lake within the palace is crowded with tourists and across the main entrance stands Seoul national university hospital on a low hill.

Jongmyo Shrine

It is located in south of Changkyong palace just across the 4 lane street. Being the premier ancestral shrine in Korea, it is dedicated to the spirits of Korea's royal ancestors. It was Built by the founder king of Chosun dynasty in 1396 and has been added on to ever since. Today ancestral ritual service is performed here by the Yi families every first Sunday of May. The ritual is usually from 09:30 to 14:30 accompanied by royal procession from the palace to the shrine as it was used be. At the ceremony of Jongmyo, reverence is paid to the spirits of 20 Chosun dynasty kings and queens, music and dance is performed. Jongmyo Jerye, or Royal Ancestral Rite was one of the most important court events during the Chosun period. It was conducted five times annually. Chosun kings and court dignitaries make an imposing spectacle officiating before the 20 individual shrines. The special music, composed by King Sejong, using the same grade-by-thickness jade-stone gongs, bells and other ancient instruments, has a richer texture that for the Confucian rites. The shrine is listed as UNESCO's World Heritage. Closed on Tuesdays.


Cheonggye c heon stream had served as a center for gatherings and recreation since foundation of Chosun dynasty (1392-1910). When the founder king laid out his city , the valley was drained by a small river called Cheonggyecheon flowing eastward to the Han River. Several streams converged in the v icinity of the Kwangwhamun intersection to form the Cheonggyecheon. The Cheonggyecheon, being more-or-less public poverty downtown, became a n elongated squatter's village after Korean War (1950-1953). Thousands of poor people built shacks along its banks. This posed serious threats to public health, and the occasional fires along the Cheonggyecheon were real conflagrations. In the 1960s, however, the city managed to evict the squatters and began covering the stream to turn it into a broad
east-west avenue in 1967. Piles were sunk into the river bed and slabs of reinforced concrete were used to cover the entire width of the river. The entire lenght of 5.8 Kms long Cheonggeycheon is a lively commercial district filled with huge arcades, commercial facilities and street vendors. Witnessed all the joys and sorrows of their lives, the stream is reborn after 2 years and 3 months restoration project since July 2003. Today, Cheonggyechon flows again through downtown's skyscrapers. Chonggeycheon with its 23 lovely bridges provides a great venue for walking tour, a variety of cultural events and performances by amateurs and street artists, and shopping as well.

Chokeysa Temple

It is the only temple within the old city walls of Seoul. Built in 1910, the temple was first called Gakhwangsa, but the name was changed to Taegosa in 1936. During this time, the temple became the main temple of Korean Buddhism. In 1954, after a great movement to rid the country of any vestiges of the Japanese occupation, the temple came to be called Chokyesa. The temple holds a wide array of Buddhist shrines and also contains a 500-year old pine and a 400-year old pagoda containing a relic of the Buddha. The main hall is an impressive wooden structure which is decorated on the outside with paintings of the Buddha's life and teachings, and has huge wooden latticework doors. Inside, the comparatively small Buddha statue is of unknown origin. The central shrine is flanked by patings of hundreds of
Buddhas. They are symbolic of many Buddhas in the universe. In front of the main hall, to the left, is the bell pavilion. there hang the drum, the bell, the gong and the wooden fish, instruments used to regulate temple life and call all willing sentient beings to listen to the liberating words of the Buddha which are chanted at every ceremony.

East Gate Market

It is the country's largest and busiest shopping area, and possibly the most popular with both Koreans and foreigners. Traditional open markets stand alongside modern shopping malls. One can find almost of everything at a reduced price. East Gate Market is a huge complex with more than 40 markets filled with well over 50,000 shops. The market complex includes several huge shopping malls and markets, which are Dongdaemun Chain store, Doota, Freya town, Milgliore, Pyongwha fashion plaza, Tongin market, Dongdaemun shoes market, Shinpyongwha fashion center, Nampyongwha plaza, Gwangwhi fashion plaza, Hungin sijang, Dongpyongwha market, uno core, Chongpyongwha sijang and more. The market is famous for a variety of things including fabric, sweaters, lingerie, shoes, suits, leather jackets, toys,
and much more.


Taehangno literally means the university street. Located in the neighboring block of East Gate Market complex is a home of youth. There are numerous small theaters, galleries and exhibitions halls displaying dramas and artworks. In the southern part of the street is a park where many young people show off their skills and talents. Here you can enjoy performances like musicals, singing, pantomime, comedy and dance as well. In addition, you will also find a portrait artist and you will want to have your own. Fortunetellers sharing roadside are ready to tell you the good fortune. There are variety of restaurants serving fast food, local and European dishes. In addition, many cozy cafes for your break are around.

South Gate Market

It is one of the largest markets in the country and most prominent conventional open market. Opened in 1414 as a government market, it is a unique cornucopia of clothing, jewelry, appliances, dishes, folk arts and foods. It is widely acknowledged as one of the country's best tourist attractions. Unlike other market place, it is more vibrant and bustling at night than during the day. Clothing malls take up the biggest share of the market. Besides clothing, visitors can shop at large specialized areas for items such as fashion accessories, kitchenware, embroideries, handbags, glasses, and shoes as well. Traditional oriental foods and medicine, such as ginseng are also popular items here. The market opens at 02:00 and doesn't close until 18:00.
For the average customer, shopping between 07:00 and 12:00
seems to be the best time. The giant south gate stands near the western entrance.

South Gate

Located in the bustling intersection of downtown, this magnificent gate served as the main gate through the fortress walls surrounding the capital. It is the largest and oldest one among those wooden structures, which remain in Seoul. It was built in 1398 and is now designated as national treasure No. 1. Neighboring block is a huge south gate market selling all kinds of Korea products at reduced prices.


Myongdong, located in the downtown, has been the center of fashion. the boutiques, cafes and swanky shops that sell clothes and accessories lined on the both side of the narrow alleys of Myongdong. It has turned into financial and precious metals center as well, featuring banks, investment firms, and glittering gold brokerages. the alleyways come alive in the evening when they are crowded by after-work strollers eye shopping past the fancy display of shoes and handbags, tailor-made suits and shirts, dresses in the latest fashions, handcrafted modern jewelry and stockings and cosmetics. Of the most notable attraction here is the Gothic style Myongdong cathedral. It was built in 1898 and serves as the administrative seat of the Catholic church in Korea. The Myongdong festival is held here every spring and
autumn with an opening parade, followed by a wide range of events.


Insadong, located in the back street of bustling downtown, is a place to relish Korean art and craftsmanship. Once affectionately called Mary's Alley by foreigners, the 350 meters- long side street in downtown Seoul is clustered with about 60 shops crammed with various Korean curios such as ancient earthenware, period chests, horse-hair hats and drums. There are galleries of all size, antique shops, and shops selling artworks, Korean paper, crafts, and ceramic. Ancient oriental paintings as well as contemporary are displayed side by side. In addition, there are nice restaurants and traditional tea shops. On weekends, the streets are usually closed to traffic and frequent street festivals are often packed with all kinds of performers and vendors selling traditional snacks, candies and gifts as well.


Itaewon is a major shopping district, which is located not far from downtown, and caters to the tastes of foreign shoppers. In its 500 meter-long street, is crowded with around 2,000 shops of all kinds, which sell shoes, clothes, bags, and many other items. There are a wide range of accommodations like Grand Hyatt, Capital, Hamilton, Crown and Holiday Itaewon. In addition, the restaurants serving German, Italian, Indian, Pakistani, Swiss and Thai, Chinese and Janpanese food are concentrated here. People here speak good English and Japanese as well. Itawon is truly a bargain hunter's paradise.

War Memorial

Located in the south of downtown Seoul and very close to Itawon, war memorial is an excellent facility exhibiting various historical records and relics of patriotic ancestors who fought gloriously to protect the country from numerous foreign invasions in the Korean history. It was opened on June 10, 1994 in order to pay respect to the meritorious services of martyrs and to hand down such patriotic spirit to descendants. The main building houses seven permanent exhibition halls of Memorial Hall, War History, Korean War, Expeditionary Forces, Armed Forces, Large Equipment and Korean Defense Industries. The war memorial displays approximately 13,670 including armaments, relics, and such items collected from many countries around the world. Memorial Hall occupies the central part of the hall and is
the space for meditating about the great spirits and achievements of the national war heroes who protected the nation from many trials and foreign invasions. It is a 30m tall dome structure contains sculptures, mural paintings, and reliefs expressing the themes of defense of the fatherland, of surviving great national trials, and of the unity, prosperity, and eternal peace of the Korean people. War History Hall, which maps out the prehistoric age, Three Kingdom ear, Koryo dynasty, Chosun dynasty, Taehan empire and Japanese colonial periods, displays old military records, historical relics, uniforms and descriptions of military organization Korean War Hall vividly displays photographs, dioramas, articles, and records telling the whole story of the Korea War from the background to North Korea's invasion, the counterattack, the intervention of Chinese forces, to the truce, with a portrayal of wartime life styles. It offers an indirect experience of the Korean War to the post-war generations. Expeditionary Forces Hall displays a wide range of real records related to the activities and achievements of the Korean armed forces in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and in peace-keeping operations. Armed Forces Hall shows viewers at one glance the development of Army, Navy, Air Forces and Marine Corps, including their weaponry, uniforms and training. The Statue of Brothers is based on the dramatic true story of two brothers who met each other on the battlefield during the Korean War. It symbolizes brotherly love transcending ideology. The hemispherical shape of the pedestal symbolizes the grand unity and harmony of both Koreas while the crack in the center of the hemispherical pedestal, which is 18m in diameter and 11m in height, symbolizes the divided nation. The statue reflects the wish for peace and unification.

Seoul Art Center

The Seoul Arts Center is a comprehensive cultural and art comples, and is essentially focal point of Korean culture and arts. The Center is a showcase for the cultural sophistication of a Korean society that is proud of its brilliant cultural tradition. Consisting of the Music Hall, the Caligraphy Hall, the Art Gallery, the Arts Library and the Opera House, the complex presents concerts and exhibitions of all genres. The Opera House, characterized by a traditional top-hat-shaped roof and a lower section which resembles a human sitting with his legs crossed, is the compact embodiment of the entire Center. The first and only Opera House in Asia, a seven-story building with one floor under and six above the ground is composed of Opera Theater for operas, Towol Theater for plays, Jayu Theater for more experimental
productions and backstage. the Opera Theater houses 2,300 seats. It has a main stage sprawling over 660 s quare meters of floor space, three completely partitioned stages, two supplementary stages and a three-level orchestra pit with capacity of 100 people. In the Korean garden and symbolic plaza, outdoor performances are held, enabling visitors to enjoy sophisticated culture and arts in the natural setting.

Yongsan Electronic Market

Opened in 1987, the market has enjoyed a great reputation for electronic goods. Both locals and foreign tourist are flocking to this market, which is now the largest of its kind in Asia. Yongsan Electronic Market is a great area to shop for a gadget freak. Located by the Yongsan subway station, the market has well over 3,000 shops in 22 different buildings. They sell electronic products and house ware goods ranging from computers, stereos, T.V, refrigerators, washing machines, lighting, audio systems, cameras, cellular phones, and general electronic gadgets. Open from 09:00 to 19:00 and closed on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Yoido Isle

This island is not particularly historic, nonetheless it plays a significant part in the life of modern city and contains some its most notable and important structures. The island was a sandbar in the middle of the Han river which came to be used by Japanese colonial authorities in the 1930s as a military airport. Later it became the site of the first post-war civilian airport. Apartment living was first developed here as it is in the center of the city geographically and in terms of its social life. The island is dominated at its western end by the massive National Assembly Hall, which was moved here in the mid 1970s, Full Gospel Church, which is possibly the largest in the world and Korea's tallest modern building. Among the attractions, is an enormous aquarium with a wide variety of fishes on display. Today,

almost of the banks, security business and broadcasting stations are largely centered here and became the business and finance center. In the middle of the isle was once served as an airport, but now is a huge park with lovely paths in the woods. Han river cruise boast leave Yoido pier and they are busy carrying passengers to Olympic Stadium and World Cup Stadium.

63 Building

Proudly standing on the eastern corner of Yoido isle, the 63 Building has become one of Seoul' more popular tourist destinations and the perfect place for family outings on the weekends since its opening in 1985. Besides being a tourist and architectural attraction, the building contains many different attractions and amusements for Seoulites and foreign visitors. Two of its more popular attractions include an aquarium and a 25-meter wide screen in the IMAX Theater. By far, one of the more interesting attractions located here is the 63 Aquarium, the largest indoor aquarium in Korea which houses around 20,000 marine animals in a miniature submarine world of tropical jungles, temperate forests, and arctic zones. There are a number of shows that are put on daily including the Harbor Seal Show and the Fish Feeding Display. Despite its small size, the aquarium is rather cozy and intimate. Next to the aquarium, the other popular attraction is the IMAX Theater. Of course no trip to 63 Building would be complete without checking out the observation deck on the 60th floor. On clear days one can see as far as 50km, including Inchon.

Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower rising up from the pine-dotted summit of Namsan is visible from almost anywhere one travels in the capital city. Built in 1975, Seoul Tower offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding environs, weather permitting, and is one of those must see places in Seoul for tourists and a great escape for locals. Visiting the observation tower, 370 meters above sea level, or the revolving restaurant provides views of the entire city asurrounding areas. If the views during the day are obstructed by weather and pollution, the best time to appreciate the city's beauty is to come here after sunset. With Seoul lit up all around you, with red, pinkgreen and yellow orbs of neon pulsating in the night, you've never truly appreciated this magnificent city until you have experienced it from above its crowded

streets. Seen from the streets below, the tower is Seoul's own North Star,guiding you through the night. The complex containing the Seoul Tower also features several other attractions including exhibition halls displaying pictures of old Seoul, local birds and towers from other countries. For more culturally-minded visitors, the World Folk Museum in the basement of the tower complex displays approximately 20,000 rare and priceless cultural crafts and artifacts including food, clothing and housing from over 150 countries. Visitors can see archeological and folklore items collected from primitive tribes in remote parts of the world, as well as ancient costumes and more recent artifacts, which are exhibited in different rooms by continent of origin. The best time is at night for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the Han River. Elsewhere on the observation deck there is an interesting exhibition of photographs highlighting the history of Seoul that is worth checking out while you are up here.

World Cup Stadium

With an unique design, the Seoul World Cup Stadium becomes one of the attractive spot in the city. Located in Sangam-dong in the west of downtown Seoul is the center of much attention after hosting 2002 World Cup Opening game. Seen from the above, the outline of the stadium resembles a huge Korean traditional shield kite soaring up in the sky. 206m x 243m in size, it has 6 floors with one basement level. The stadium covers an area of 155,946 square meters with an seating capacity of 64,677 and a parking of 2,525.

Lotte World

It is one of the largest indoor theme park in the world. The adventure begins on the basement floor, with an ice rink large enough to accommodate several hocky teams. Two floors of restaurants, pubs and toy stores sepatate the skating area and the amusement park proper. With all the natural light, planted flora, vendors, and realistic sets, it is easy to forget you are inside a building. As a miniature monorail circles the park, mock hot-air balloons run rails attached to the ceiling and a roller coaster appears from behind the Swiss Chalet, the illusion is complete. At parade time, rollerblading fairies zip through the crowd firing confetti guns, Jack chases Jill, toy soldiers dance in unison, and ladies-in-waiting waltz with ponytailed lords. A band of Asian Santas marches around playing "Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer" duriing the Christmas season as soap bubble snowflakes float down on the heads of schoolchildren. Magic island is outdoors and across a causeway connected to Lotte World. This secondary park, built above a small lake, is home to 15 'thrill park' designed to appease extreme sports enthusiasts. The most famous is Gyro Drop. Riders are strapped around a huge pole that slowly rises 70 meters into the air and then careens back to earth with enough speed to generate a two-second freefall before harmlessly resting back on terra firma. Aside from Adventure World and Magic Island, there are squash courts, a bowling alley, swimming pools, a shooting range and folklore museum.

Seoul Land

It is an amusement park. The park is divided into five different theme areas, each catering different age groups. but World Plaza is for everyone. Marquee shows are held on Fountain Stage, named for the geysers of water surrounding the performers, while night-capping laser shows and firework displays are also an exciting part of World Plaza. Korean Culture is the idea behind Samcholli Land. Traditional snacks such as pajeon, delicious rice-flour pancakes mixed with vegetables, and Kalbi, grilled meat wrapped in lettuce, are servved up to hungry visitors. Tomorrow Land is dominated by brightly colored roller coaster tracks snaking and bucking into th eair. Black Hole, the longest roller coaster in Korea, is a four-minute ride that leaves everyone shaking. The latest addition is Sky X; after being strapped to a harness vertically, you are raised 55 meters into the air and dropped. The rest is sheer nightmare. Obviously all of these rides are for teenagers and adults. Fantasy Land is the place for tots. There are half-pint roller coasters, mini bumper cars, and game arcades. A four-story playgound has slippery slides, trampoliners with padded walls, tubesto crawl through, cargo nets, and plastic ball pools. It is a child's rat race, and the kids simply love it. Within a walking distance from the park is The National Zoo and The Contemporary Art Museum so plan on spending a full day here.

Han River

It has a total length of 514Kms. The Han river (Hankang) is the main source of water for Seoul and its surrounding vicinity, and is important to the city as both a natural resource and recreational resource. Two branches of the river converge and flow through Seoul, separating the city into southern and northern halves. Han river is home to many kinds of fauna and flora, with more than 580 species of 106 flora families. About 35 kinds of migratory birds can be seen along the Han river including wild ducks, spotbill ducks, mandarin ducks, whooper swans, white tailed sea eagles and kestrels. Taking a river cruise offers an evening cruise presents a particularly dramatic view of the night skyline. Visitors can enjoy bike ride along the bike trail, which spans 38Kms.

Han River Cruise

The Han River is a central part of the city's landscape along with the parks, apartment complexes, and skyscrapers that line its banks.While the river can be enjoyed many ways from sailing, water skiing, wind surfing, and boating, one of the more popular ways to enjoy the river and its river front areas is a Han River cruise. Since 1986, cruises along the Han River have been one of the more popular tourist attractions to enjoy the river front sites aescape the hustle and bustle of the city. Today, two of the cruise companies have severboats that ply the waters of the Han River. The boats depart from four piers conveniently located along the river in Chamsil, Yoido, Nanji, and Yanghwa which make one-way or round-trip tours from one hour to an hour and thirty minutes. As boat cruises

come and go, the ones along the Han River with their unrestricted views of Seoul and the river front areas along the river are a great way to see and appreciate the size of the and magnificence of the city, not to mention its economic development which spawned the familiar phrase "Miracle of the Han River.” Since the toursfirst started, over one million travelers have had the chance to experience the pleasure of touring the Han River. But don't expect to be dazzled by too many sights unless you consider row after row of apartment buildings scenic. Nonetheless, there are some familiar landmarks along the way including the 63 Building, the Seoul World Cup Fountain (in operation from April 1 - Sept. 30) and off in the distance Seoul Tower and Mt. Pukhan.


Located 35Kms west of Seoul, this busy port city, Inchon marked the first accepted entry of Westerners into Korea by singing of Korean-American Amity and Commerce in 1882. Today, Inchon became the air traffic hub in the Far East by opening its international airport on March 29, 2001. In 1866 the Korean court came to blows with French because of the persecution of Christians in Korea, which resulted in the execution of nine French priests. In 1871 American ships twice attacked this harbor to avenge the General Sherman incident. During the Koran War, Inchon became the site of the most spectacular landing in modern warfare. In the freedom park, a statue of general MacArthur overlooks the beach where he came ashore. Inchon still sprawls up and down the low hills with as yet no downtown concentrations of tall buildings to constitute the civic center. Inchon offers endless things to see and do and is the type of place one can visit over and over again all the year round. The perplexing question of where to start can be dealt with by opting for a tour and there are a couple of programs catering for different needs and tastes. The City Tour highlights are Wolmi-do, Jayu park, Sinpo Shopping Town, Chinatown, Yonan Harbor Inchon Port. Culture lovers will appreciate the Cultural Properties Tour, while the Islands Tour is suitable for nature lovers. Korean cinema addicts should try out the Chung-gu Cinema and Drama Tour.

Inchon Port

The Inchon port is the second rank to the port of Pusan in traffic volume and capacity. It is an artificial port with its lock gates. The tidal difference here is more than 10m. With the construction of new lock gate in 1966 , the port can accommodate the vessels up to 50,000 DWT to berth directly in the inner harbor. Inchon was merely a sleepy fishing village when the port was opened to the outside world in 1883. But now Inchon is the center of regional traffic. The scheduled boats serve passengers to the Chinese ports like Shanghai, Tienjin, Chingtao, Dalian and Weihai. With opening of Inchon international airport on March 29, 2001, Inchon becomes the hub of air traffic in the Far East.

Jayu Park (Freedom Park)

It is the country's first western style park built on a 69 meters high Ungbongsan mountain. It was built in 1888 to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the opening of Inchon port to the outside world. In 1883, this small moutain area was a concession of United States, United Kingdom, China, German and Japan. The park, located on Mt. Eunbongsan, boasts a scenic view of downtown Inchon and the Inchon port. There are two landmarks. The one is the statue of General MacArthur which was erected in 1957 to commemorate his heroic efforts as the commander in chief of the United Nation's forces during the Korean War. The other one is the centennial monument built in commemoration of 100th anniversary of the signing of the 1882 Korea - U.S Security and Trade Treaty, commemorates 100 years of diplomatic

relations between Korea an dthe United States.


It is the site of Landing operation during the Korean War (1950 - 1953). But, Woldmido island is now the most popular tourist attraction in Inchon. Located 1 Km west of Inchon station, it is known for its beautiful sunsets and its scenic view of the sea. The island is now connected with mainland in a land reclamation project. The 840m-long coastal street is divided into 4 sections of meeting area, a performance area, a culture and art area and folk music area. An annual festival features traditional Korean dancing and singing, and sea parade. Wolmido is one of Inchon's most visited spots. The waterfront, also known as Culture Street, is lined with restaurants, coffee shops and pubs all boasting cosmopolitan names with a sea view from large windows. One can vegetate and watch the sea gulls or visit the amusement park situated two blocks behind the restaurants. Here you can shout your head off, buy helium balloons and do people watching. At night, Wolmi-do changes its facade and mood when the 10-meter-tall light pillars and rainbow-colored fountains are switched on.The cruise tours to the neighboring islands are available here. From the pier at Wolmido, ferries serve passenger to Youngjongdo in 25 minutes, where Incheon international airport is located.

China Town

The China town was formed in the late 19th century, when Inchon was first opened its port to the outside world. Shortly after the opening of the harbor, numerous Chinese immigrated to Inchon and formed this community and the Chinese consulate was established a year later. Until the 1940s, Chinatown was one of the largest and most dynamic commercial areas in Inchon. The Chinese trading houses here dealt in everything from Chinese silk to Oriental medicinal herbs. Chinatown also became known for its authentic Chinese cuisine. It is smaller now but, its Chinese characteristics and the aura of its heyday are still preserved.

Inchon Landing Operation

The high-risk operation Chromite was launched on the shores of Inchon on September 15, 1950. 75,000 soldiers and 261 battleships sailed north from Chejudo to the West Sea. U.S. intelligence officials arrived in Inchon beforehand to relay reports to the headquarters. UN troops arrive on Wolmido at 06:31, ready to begin their attack. Based on the original plan, they were one minute late. Soon after, the smell of gunpowder and smoke permeated the entire island of Wolmido, and the attack began. The North Korean troops were too taken aback by the unexpected blow to counterattack. As a result, UN troops were able to seize the entire island by 08:00. From the commanding post in Mt. McKinley, General MacArther was watching the successful results of his plan. A violent battle raged on in downtown Inchon the night of the 15th, but by dawn, the North Korean troops were forced retreat. From the operation, the death toll for UN forces was 20; the death toll for the North was over 1,400. The U.S. Marine Corps seized Kimpo airport and moved warplanes over from Japan to Kimpo. Seoul was reclaimed on the 29th, after 10 days of intense battling. But, Seoul was no longer the city it used be. Even last inch of the city was ravaged and war-stricken. The North Korean soldiers had ruthlessly killed all those who stood in their way.


Suwon is an ancient fortress city 48Kms south of Seoul. It is a walled city of one million people. In the heart of city sits Hwasung fortress. The master plan of Suwon was first drawn up in 1794 by King Jeongjo for his deceased father who had been installed as crown prince, but became the victim of a court conspiracy and was unjustly condemned by his father to bsmothered in a rice bin. The construction of the fortress was not only founded on King Jeongjo's filial piety. The king also conceived the fortress as a new capital and as a southern base for the nation's politics and defense. One of the Suwon's great events is the royal parade that falls on every 8th of October. The royal carriage under the escort of the commanders and officers in the costume of the Chosung dynasty including thousands of

volunteer citizens fill the street making the world's largest parade. Suwon is harmonized between traditional culture and contemporary civilization, including a world heritage Hwasung, one of the best castle architectural art, and tourist attractions in and around the city. Suwon is also well recognized for its Kalbe, beef rib barbecue.

Hwasung Fortress

It was built in 1794-1796 during the reign of King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of Chosun dynasty (1392-1910). Though it is relatively small in scale, Hwasung has been recognized by experts as the best structure of its kind built. The four gates of Paldalmun, Janganmun, Hwaseomun, and Changnyongmun stand majestically at four directions. The fortress has a total perimeter of 5.74Km and encloses an area of 130Ha. It encloses both flatland and hilly terrain with well over 30 buildings including gates, watchtowers, command posts, arrow-launchers, fire bastions and beacon towers. The fortress has multifunctional design as a military, political, and commercial center, making it very unique way. Of the most frequented points are Seobuk Kongsimdon watch tower for its architectural beauty, Hwahongmun gate with its

half-gabled and half-hipped roof and seven sluices at its base, beacon tower, Soejangdae, the commander post set on the highest point of the whole fortress. The fortress is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.

Korean Folk Village

Located 35 Kms south of Seoul is the open air living museum which recreates the life-style of several centuries ago. Set in a natural environment occupying approximately 243 acres, visitors can experience the authentic atmosphere with over 260 traditional houses reminiscent of the late Choson Dynasty including various household goods from the dregions. All these features have been relocated and restored to provide visitors with a general view of Korean food, clothing, and housing style of a past era. A wide assortmresidential structures, from the straw-thatched cottages of commoners to the 99-room home of the noble class, habeen re-created to help illustrate the diversity of traditional Korean culture. The structures are good examples of housing styles once owned

by peasants, farmers and government officials. Korean Folk Village, peopled by real artisans and craftsmen dressed in traditional Korean costumes, is a functioning community displaying how things rewere. It is the place where artists and artisans ply their trades. Here we can see numerous workshops and handcrafts doing jobs as their ancestors did; pottery, baskets, winnows, bamboo wares, wooden wares, paper, brass wares, knots, fans, musical instruments, iron wares and embroidery are practiced . The Korean Folk Village offers various performances as well, including folk music and dance, tightrope acrobatics, traditional weddings, traditional teetetotter, and seasonal cultural and art performances, as well as many other events. Traditional Korean life also comes alive with a treasure trove of household goods and furnishings from the different regions found in each of the homes. Of special interest is the ondol heating system used to heat homes during the harsh Korean winters as well as the ubiquitous ``changdokdae storage containers found outside all buildings. Usually outside of a home to bask in the the jars normally contain soy sauce, fermented soybean paste, thick soybean paste mixed with red pepper. Other highlights of the village include exciting performances by a Farmers' Band in the performing arena. The acrobatic spins by some of the performers as they race around the arena are always a big hit with audiences. An equally impressiacrobatics tightrope act, or ``Jultagi, designated as Intangible Culture Property #58 that dates back to the Three Kingdoms era (57 B.C.- A.D. 668) as well as a traditional wedding ceremony and an acrobatic see-saw routine are hein the morning and in the afternoon. The traditional marketplace located at the rear of the village features a number of food stands where visitors can sample the exotic flavors of Korean cuisine including such popular culinary delights Ppindaetok, a Korean-style pancake that goes well with Dongdongju, an alcoholic beverage made from rice.


Located 30 kms south of Seoul is the coutry's largest amusement park. It has 3 theme parks; Festival World, which is equipped with more than 40 theme attractions and a zoo offering a fascinating opportunity to safari the games. Open year-round, Everland has different attractions to complement Kora's four distinct seasons. Snow busa series of bobsled and slegh riders, opens in winter, nearly two million tulips bloom in Holland Village in S[romg, bikinis abound during the sweltering summer heart at Caribbean Bay, the largest water-park sparkling with the excitement of tropical seas and shores. On Fantastic Express, a roller coaster that features a double barrel-roll followed by a double loop. Of the 40 rides in Everland almost half are in Magic Land. A spin through Safari Landmust whatever your age. Buses coast through this park full of lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, and bears. Everland is enjoyed from the giant Ferris Wheel in the center of the Park. The Festival World holds a variety of events celebratinthe beauty of each season.The festivals of Tulip, Rose, Musicals, Fall and Winter. Souvenir shopping and dining also add the pleasure of the visitors. Hoam Art Museum, set on a picturesque hill next to the Everland, offers a comprehensive glimpse to the history of the Korean art with its 15,000 collections. In addition, the walk thrtranquil garden brings visitor an added pleasure.

Lamp Museum

Located 30 in Nungwon-ri in Yongin City, the museum displays over 400 oil lamps and candle sticks in chronological order. They are also arranged according to their usage, whether they were used in main rooms, guest rooms or kitchens. The museum has four floors above and one floor from the ground level. Underground floor provides plenty of rooms for various cultural events including stage performances, art exhibitions and symposiums.


Located only 60 Kms north of Seoul is Panmunjom, a small farming village where Armistice was signed that ended Korean War (1950-1953). In the middle of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) which divides two Koreas, Panmunjom provides visitors with one of the best way to understand the situation, the tensions, and the reality of the South and North Korean division. On August 18, 1976 the cold calculating aggression of the North Korean communists reached shocking proportions when two American military officers werto death in cold blood with axe in surprise attack here. They were trimming poplar trees in the area south of the Bridge of No Return near guard post 3 on the UN side. Suddenly 30 d to the scene from their guard post, wielding axes. As a result, two U.S officers died on thspot and 9 other members

of the UN work team seriously wounded. It was the locale of the return from North Korea of 82 crew members of the U.S Navy ship Pueblo, when December 23, 1968, the men crossed the Bridge of No Return to reenter the free world. See Freedom Bridge where 12,733 Korean War prisoners walked to freedom. Today both side still continue to meet here at the Armistice Commission Building.

The tunnel contructed by North Korea, about 50 kms north of Seoul, is a vivid hint of reinfiltration. It was found on October 17, 1978, 4Kms south of Panmunjom, after a thrscientific research aided by Kim's testimony. Mr. Kim Busung, who was a surveyor in the North Korean army and joined this tunneling, defected to the South Korea in 1975. As is often the case with them, they denied its construction, claiming that it was dug by South Korea to attack the North.However, the dynamite holes all placed toward the South. This finding, along with other clues, clearly affirmed theiconstruction. the tunnel was constructed in the granite bed 73 meters under the ground. It has an average width andheight of 2 meters. The total known length of the tunnel is 1,635 meters, of which 435 meters are found in the South over the Military Demarcation Line. The tunnel, if used by armed forces, would allow about 10,000 soldiers to ininto the south or 30,000 non-armed people to pass through within

one hour. Today, we can walk up to as close as 170 meters from the Military Demarcation Line. However, a person who suffers from a weak heart, claustrophobia, or has difficulty in breathing is not allowed to enter into the tunnel.

The First Infiltration Tunnel

The first underground tunnel designed to invade the South was discovered on November 15, 1974, about 8 kms northeast of Korangpo. The UN headquarters called for a joint investigation of the tunnel, but the North refused, claiming that they had nothing to do with it. North Korean phone lines and records detailing plans to invade the Swere found in the tunnel.


Located about 50 kms northwest from Seoul and about 7 kms south of the military demarcation line, Imjinkak is a remnant of the Korean War (1950-1953). This is a pwhere visitors contemplate the tragedy of the Korean War and the national division that followed. Built in 1972 to console those who had to leave their homes in the North. Locatenearby is the Freedom Bridge. It is a 83 meters and 4.5 meters wide bridge, which was built 8 meters above the mighty Imjin river, where 12,733 Korean War prisoners walked to freedom. Nearby is a railway which once ran into North Korea. At the Mangbaedan alter provided on the court, peowho left their families in the north, pray for their ancestors. The eye-catching attraction by the peace bell is the stones collected from 86 battlefields in 64 different countries that have

witnessed suffering and grief of war. Peace garden, War monuments including tanks and planes that were used in the war are on display on the outdoor exhibits. Imjinkais truly a symbolic spot for all the Korean for the peaceful unification of the country.

Kangwha Island

Kangwhado Island, 50 kms west of Seoul, has been prominent in much of Korean history. It has historically been the focus of many foreign attacks on the Korean peninsula due to its geographical location. In the 19th century, the island was the scene of Korean battles resisting the military forces of France and the United States. Several fortresses are rebucommemorate these battles. Another very important aspect of this island, and Korean history in general, is Buddhism. Chondungsa temple which was found in 381 AD by the Kokuryo monk Ado. It is an active Buddhist temple, providing a glimpse into Buddhist culture. In 1299 when a quedonated a jade lamp, the temple was renamed Chondung temple or Temple of the Bequeathed Lamp. The island is also famous for ginseng. Ginseng

has historically been considered an empowering medicine and an aphrodisiac in Korea. A root shaped like a man, ginseng may be bought unprocessed, dried, powdered even candied. The visit to ginseng market is short but a memorable. The island is also well known for its dolmen or megalith. There are more than 80 dolmens only in Kangwha. Of the most interesting one is Kangwha dolmen located 6Kms south of the town. is one of the very important historical relics for the study of northeastern Asian dolmens. This 50 ton cover stone supported by two stone panels, has 6.5m long axis with 5.2m wide and 1.2m thick. The dolmen is now missing twend side closing stones and therefore, the inside stone chamber has been making a long passage.


Sungnam is one of the neighbor cities of Seoul. Located 30 kms southeast of Seoul, the city became the fast growing community with its new town of Bundang to have built in the 1990s. There are number of historical relics and cultural assets in and around this city. Another well-known attraction of the city is Moran Market. First opened in the 1930s, this local market has withstood a huge influx of modern civilization and has upheld the traditional market customs. Thmarket deals in both retail and wholesales with its 12 specific sections; floriculture, grain, medicinal herbs, apparel, sundries, fisheries, vegetables, foods, peppers, pets, poultry and miscellaneous. The market, which opens in every 5days on dates with the numbers 4 and 9 in them, is truly a great attraction of the city.


About an hour drive from Seoul is Yangju, a home of mask drama, Yangju Bolysandaenori. Designated as an important intangible cultural asset, Bolsandaenori is a form of drama that satirizes the joys and sorrows of common people and social concerns. The drama unfolds as various people including a spoiled aristocrat, a depraved monk, a shaman, and servants and disclose the social ironies through unique dance and gestures, and both comical and provocative dialogues which are extremely entertaining. On every Saturdays and Sundays, there is a performance for two hfrom 3 O'clock. Visitors can enjoy mask drama, farmer's dance, and learn the basic steps of mask dances as well. The 14th century Hoeamsa temple site is among the attraction of Yangju.


We have two kwangju cities in Korea. One is in Kyonggido province and the other one in that of Jollanamdo. Just 10Kms east of Songnam or 40Kms southeast of Seoul is Kwangju city. Of the most famous attraction of Kwangju iNamhansanseong fortress. Shilla king Munmu (reign 661-681) first had a small-scale fortress with earthen walls builhere in 672 after unifying the Korean peninsula. that compound was known as Jujangsung. The wall defining the boundary of the fortress closely follows the contour of the steep mountain it is on, making it difficult to assault aneasy to defend. Inside the wall, meanwhile, is a flat wide open space that provides a comfortable place to live. In 1612, the ruler Kwanghaekun made the wall for the defensive position of the capital. The 8km long fortress, whichactually dates to the Three Kingdoms period, had been greatly renovated from 1624 in anticipation of the invasion. During a Manchu invasion in 1636, king Injo took a refuge with his court to this fortress but, after 45 days fighting with his 17,000 troops, he finally surrendered here. Today, the wall has numerous facilities including twelve gates, four command posts, a palace, a variety of office buildings, several shrines and seven temples. The existing facilitiesinclude four gates, training center, two shrines, Changkyongsa temples, a two-story defense command lookout.


About 60 kms south of Seoul is Ichon. It is famous for its celadon manufacturing. Ichon has been the center of traditional Korean potteries ever since 500 years ago. Today, Ichon is home to numerous ceramists who continulearn and pass down the traditional potteries. You will be able to see artisans at work designing, creating and manufacturing several different kinds of ceramics. Watching the master craftsmen work is fascinating and theralso ample opportunities to purchase lovely works at factory prices. An annual Ichon ceramic festival provides visitorwith the opportunity to try their hands at pottery making. Ichon is also famous for its Hot Springs. First discovered in 1870, the springs contains high sodium which is beneficial for soothing skin problems, arthritis, and gynecological diseases. About 20Kms east of Ichon is Yoju, the site of Korean Alphabet creator King Sejong's tomb, Moga woodcrmuseum, Silluksa temple and many pottery workshops.

Moka Museum

Moka Museum and Shilluksa temple in Yoju provide a great oppurtunity to appreciate Buddhist culture. The Museum presents not only various ancient Buddhist and Korean artifacts, but also many of the wooden creations of famous sculptor Park Chan Soo himself. The museum specializes in upholding the traditions of Buddhist art and the processand techniques used in traditional woodcrafts. Of the items displayed in the museum are various artifacts related witBuddhism including paintings and statues, works of calligraphy, and figures of young monks. The outdoor sculpture park displays stone images of Buddha and pagodas. Moga museum has a total collection of 6,000 pieces.

Shilluksa Temple

Located 75 Kms southeast of Seoul by the South Han River, and about 15 minutes away from the Moga museum is Silluksa temple. Built In the Shilla dynasty, the temple later became the royal memorial temple for the king and the royal family. The 7-story pagoda is the onlyexisting Koryo (918-1392) brick pagoda that makes this temple famous. On either side of the South Han River, the people, according to the legend, were being tyrannized by a dragon-horse who lived on an island in the middle of the river. Priest Naong put a magical bridle over it and tamed the wild animals. Therefore the temple came to be called "Divine Bridle." The tomb of King Sejong was moved to Yoju in 1469 and it was decided that Silluksa would become the royal memorial temple for thking and the royal family, The temple was

extensively restored in 1472 when about 200 rooms were repaired or built.After that many Confucian scholars passed time at the temple until the 16th century Japanese and 17th century Chinese invasions which left most of the temple in ruins. The final rebuilding was in 1928. The Main Hall is a ParaHall enshrining Amitabha Buddha, Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The calligraphy board which hangs there is the writing of Priest Naing and it says "Hundreds of Millions of Years." On the left wall there is a painting of Ksitigarbha with entourage and on the back wall is an altar for death and memorial ceremonies. Above the table theris a picture of Ch'ilsong, the Seven Buddhas. One more picture shows the guardian of the Buddha's teachings, Shinch'ung, ministers and officials. Especially beautiful is the Judgment Hall with Ksitigarbha and the ten kings.Attending the kings are various servants and behind them are the pictures of the different hells with their torturethe compound of the house where the head monk lives, there is a special trestle garden which dates from 1468. Also in the same compound there is a statue of priest with Priests Muhak and Chigong. Muhak was an advisor of Yi Taejo, who founded the Choson Dynasty. Yi Taejo moved the capital to Seoul according to advice from Priest Muhak, who waa famous geomancer. Priest Chigong was an Indian monk who, Tibetan monks believe, was an incarnation of a Tibetan Lama. He came to Korea in 1328. To the east of the monastery is a hill on which is a seven-story, brick pagoda which is 9.4 meters high and is the only existing Koryo brick pagoda. It was erected in honor of the famous monk Wonhyo, who visited Shilluksa. The base is granite impressed floral decorations.

National Arboretum

About 30 Kms northeast of Seoul is Kwangnung, the home of national arboretum. It has been carefully managed for more than 500 years. It was designated as the Imperial Forest of the Chosun dynasty. This dense forest is a part of the tomb site of King Sejo, the 7th ruler of the Chosun dynasty. This are is one of the most diverse ecostystems in Korea. It supports more than 1,900 native and 12,800 non-native plants of 2,844 different species of trees, shrubs,and herbs. It is also the habitat of rare redheaded woodpeckers, as well as giant flying squirrel, long-horned beetle. The arboretum consists of 15 special sections; wetland flora, alpine plants, aquatic plants, deciduous trees conifer trees, ground cover plants, medicinal and edible herbs, subtropical plants, foreign flora, and botanical plants. Aboutmillion square meters arboretum with its lovely trails under the woods are of a great spot for refreshment. The arboretum museum displaying 28,000 articles is an another attraction of the area. It displays various fauna andsamples, arboriculture technology, natural resources and diverse products which haven been made from wood. The arboretum is open for educational purposes on weekdays. Visitors can set their eyes on tender spring greens, or crimson foliage, or spectacular snowscapes. Reservation is a must much in advance.


Located 70 Kms south of Seoul, Ansung with 160,000 people, has long been known the town of best quality brassware. In addition, colorful festivals, performances, rice, grapes, pear, beef, ginseng are among its local products and attractions. Promoted as the center of culture and art, the city is also home to the Namsadang Troupe, Baudeogi performanceknown as Korea's top class entertaiment team. Number of ancient fortresses, Buddhist temples and hermitages, stone Buddha images, weathered Buddhist pagodas and stupas, Confucian school, shrinescenic lakes and reservoirs are scattered in Ansung. Known as a garden city, it is surrounded by the peaks of mountains with two streams which formed a rich granary, and flourished a local culture. In particular, the city tradition of distinctive patriotism, as well

shown of the invasion by the Red Turban bandits in 1359, and March 1st independence movement in 1919. There were successive demonstrations from March 29 to April 2, 1919 in the marplaces. Thousands of people even rushed to the County Office and staged a sit-in. Later, the Movement was an armed struggle against the oppression of imperialistic Japan. Though, the struggle could not achieve its desired results, it evoked the strong sense of Independence. The memorial monument is dedicated to this patriotic event.


Of the most remarkable spot in Ansung is Mirinae, which is one of the regions in Korea where Catholicism took a root. During the persecution in 1801 and 1839, many early followers of the Catholic faith took refuge here. Today, there stands the statue of Korea's first father Kim Daegon by his grave, who martyred in 1846 at the age of 26. The body of St. Andrew Kim Daeon was transported by young man named Vincent Lee Minshik of seventeen, in secret and buried here. On the 6th of May in 1984, St. Andrew Kim Daegon was canonized with other 102 martyrs by Pope John Paul the second when he visited Korea. A memorial church built i1896, a chapel built after Beautificaion of 79 Korean martyrs on July 5, 1925 and The Most Holy Trinity church built on May 27, 1991 stands here.. Mirinae is abundant of the spirit of the

Martyrdom and is sought out by many visitors. To assist in their spiritual pilgrimage, the outdoor stations of the cross, the mountain of G ethsemane and the outdoor fifteen maysteries of the rosay path were added. Today, pilgrim visits of many Catholics and non-Catholics as well continue and in every September, there is a great exaltation gathering here.


Set in the north of Kyonggido province in the mountainous area where a mountain ridge branches toward the west from Mt. Odaesan breaching the lower reaches of the Han river. Located about 45Kms east of Seoul, Yangpyong is atown where everyone can feel refreshed with Yongmunsan (1,157meters) offering a grand panorama, and two scenic rivers conjoining here. On weekends, the area attracts many hikers, cruisers and holiday makers.

Yongmunsa Temple

It is the 7th century temple, and is said that the temple housed over 300 monks at its peak days. At the temple entrance stands over 1,000 years old, and 60 meters tall ginko tree with circumference of 14 meters at its trunk.addition, the temple is famous for its stupa, and the 14th century stele. There are lonely hermitages, giant bedrock owhich can accommodate 100 people, and fancy rock formations on the shady trekking trail from the temple.



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