Gwangju

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Sightseeing in Gwangju

Among the many tourist attractions that the city boasts of, the most prominent is Mt Mudungsan. The peak rises to 1187 m and creates a splendid environment with its thick forests and tree-speckled slopes. Mt Mudungsang is known for its Chunseol tea with the aroma of watermelon - a drink fit for kings! The area offers many an escape into the surrounding woods and to a number of parks like the Dadohae Archipelago National Park, Mt. Jiri and Mt. Wolchul Parks. Visitors flock to the Jungshimsa temple at the base of the mountain.

At the foot of Mt. Jogyesan is the Songwang temple, one of the most treasured of Korean temples. Set amidst pine forests, the beautiful Soswoewon garden belongs to the mid-Joseon dynasty period. The garden is lovely, with rocks and streams that culminate in a pretty pond. In another forested area is the legendary Unjusa temple with its one thousand Buddhas and 21 pagodas that are said to have been built overnight! Also in the vicinity is a symbol of Gwangju’s courage - the May 18 Cemetry, built to honour those who lost their lives in the May 1980 resistance.

Start your cultural tour of Gwangju with a visit to the Gwangju National Museum in downtown Gwangju. The museum has a display of prehistoric relics and objet d'art from the royal family of Baekje that date back to a period between 18 B.C. and 660 A.D. Interesting artefacts recovered from the wreck of a Chinese ship that sank off the Sinan coast in1976, are also housed in the museum. The other unusual museum is the Damyang Bamboo Museum, which exhibits a range of bamboo products from Damyang and all over the world.

Another must see place is Art Street – here the arts and crafts of Korea are very much alive and kicking. Vist on Saturday if you can - on this day you will rub shoulders with artists who will be displaying their beautiful artworks.


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