Saturday, 21 April 2012

Beautiful places to visit in Korea

As these spectacularly photographic spots show, if you've only been to Seoul, you're missing out big time

Cheongdo Bull Fighting Festival (청도 소싸움 축제)

Just don't wear red.

As the biggest bull fighting festival in Korea, Cheongdo Bull Fighting Festival attracts around half a million people every year.

In addition to the big matches of 130 fighting bulls, there are art contests, cow-play exorcisms, rodeo experience, and even magic shows to entertain the crowd.

If the sights are a bit too violent for your taste, check out other Cheongdo attractions such as the Nakdae Waterfall and Unmun Temple. 

Cheongdo-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 청도군)

Hyeopjae Beach, Jeju Island (제주도 협재 해수욕장)

We think this beach is one of the main reasons Jeju Island made it unto the seven new wonders list.

This white sandy beach is perfect for families with its shallow water (average depth of 1.2 meters), nearby amenities, and camping in the pine forest surrounding the beach.

Hyeopjae is also particularly known for its delicious abalones and conches, served fresh in the seafood restaurants dotting the beach. 

2497-1 Hyeopjae-ri, Hallim-eup, Jeji-si, Jeju Speicial Self-Governing Province (제주특별자치도 제주시 한림읍 협재리 2497-1번지)

Anapji (Anap Pond) (경주 안압지)

There are lotus flowers under there somewhere.

This man-made pond was created during the Shilla Dynasty approximately 1,500 years ago.

Three buildings stand on three artificial islands while patches of lotus flowers frame the pond.

Gorgeous exterior lighting that go on after sunset create a magical night view. 

26 Inwang-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 경주시 인왕동 26)

Seryang-Je (세량제)

All this scene is missing is a fairy.

Seryang-Je, a reservoir built in 1969 in Hwasun, is another famous spot for both professional and amateur photographers for its ethereal mist and reflections of colorful blossoms and leaves. 

Seryang-ri, Hwasun-eup, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 화순군 화순읍 세량리)

Kwanghan Pavilion (광한루) 

This picture probably would work upside-down as well.

Kwanghan Pavilion is the setting of Chunhyangjeon, one of Korea's most famous folk tales.

Chunhyang, the young, beautiful daughter of a gisaeng (Korean geisha), and Mongryong, the handsome son of the local governor, first met and fell in love in this beautifully designed pavilion, which was designated a treasure in 1963.

77-1 Cheongeo-dong, Namwon-si, Jeollabuk-do (전북 남원시 천거동 77-1)

Seomjin River Train Village (섬진강 기차마을)

Where it's safe to walk along the tracks.

Kudos to the Gokseong district office, which has managed to create a lovely tourist attraction out of abandoned railroads. 

A brief steam train ride (they don’t make ’em like this anymore, literally) is available for tourists, who can also enjoy a bike hike on a trail bike or a romantic walk beside the train track. 

770-5 Oji-ri, Ogok-myeon, Gokseong-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 곡성군 오곡면 오지리 770-5)

Cheongsando (청산도)

We prefer the word "leisurely."

For a small country road, Cheongsando marks a lot of "firsts" -- it is the world’s first "Slow Road" in Asia’s first "Slow City". 

It doesn’t take long to realize why it is called "Slow Road" -- one’s pace naturally slackens to fall in with the pace of the rest of the island.

Rape blossoms (in spring) and Mexican Asters (in fall) in full bloom are bordered by simple stone walls.

Cheongsan-myeon, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 완도군 청산면)

Halla Mountain (한라산)

What Narnian skies must have looked like under the grip of the White Witch.

This fairy-tale sight of snowflakes and icicles covering tree branches on Halla Mountain were the inspiration for the Halla Snow Festival that was held late January/early February every year.

Unfortunately, the festival was halted a few years ago because whenever they set a date it would rain and people would get mad.

But the snow-covered trees are still there, and you are welcome to go sledding, snow rafting and ice sliding on your own. 

Halla Mountain, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (제주특별자치도 한라산)

Terraced Fields, Hamyang (함양 다락논)

Who knew there were so many shades of green?

This small village at the foot of Jiri Mountain displays a curious sight of terraced rice paddies.

In spring the water in the paddies reflects the sky, while in autumn the paddies glow with golden grains.

Macheon-myeon, Hamyang-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 함양군 마천면)

Nuri Peace Park (임진각 평화누리공원)

Primary colors in full bloom.

This artistic park located in Paju embodies South Koreans’ yearning and longing for peace in the Korean peninsula.

Yes, it’s a rather heavy subject, but even those who couldn’t care less about the death of Kim Jong Il can still enjoy the beauty of this park, which is well-known for its colorful display of pinwheels and the giant bamboo colossi.

618-13 Majeong-ri, Munsan-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 파주시 문산읍 마정리 618-13)

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