Yi Su Shin’s shrine has all the pomp and circumstance the man deserves. One of Korea’s biggest heroes, Admiral Yi served his country by fighting off the Japanese invasion and developing the 거북선 (geo-buk-seon), the ironclad spiked turtle ship. While it doesn’t feature any signs of royalty, it wouldn’t – and shouldn’t; instead, the Admiral is honored with the solemn respect he deserves.
Born in 1545 in Hanseong (present-day Seoul), he was named Sun-shin after his grandfather-in-law appeared in his mother’s dream, saying she would bear a son who would become a noble man. While a boy, he moved More >
If you enjoy nature, Cheollipo Arboretum (천리포수목원) is well worth the day trip. Started in 1966, it’s the biggest arboretum in Korea, and part of a select group certified as one of the most beautiful by the International Dendrology Society (that’s the study of trees to us, and yes, I had to look it up myself). The arboretum was started by Carl Ferris Miller, a U.S. Army Officer who eventually decided to stick around Korea after World War II and make something beautiful. With 600,000 square meters to explore, it’ll take a couple hours to see it all!
With over 13,000 taxa of plants, 500 More >
It’s been a long time since I went to a beach where there was almost no one else around. The popular beaches are great places to sightsee, but sometimes getting away from it all is worth the travel time. Off we went to Daecheon harbor, taking in the busy Daecheon beach nearby the night before (as seen above) – a beach that even as of September has plenty of life.
The next morning, it was time to get away from it all. An 8-10 minute taxi ride from the beach, Daecheon Harbor provides a fairly easy getaway to any of several islands along the western coast. We bought some tickets for Sapsi-do More >
THE bus to Sejong City passes through plenty of rice fields. The speed bumps are seen occasionally and felt seconds later, especially through the straight parts of the road. Look up to appreciate the mountains, both near and far, and down to take in a stream that runs just as it has for decades. Just when you’re about to dismiss the multi-trillion-won project as a pipe dream, the first few skyscrapers appear on the horizon. Plenty of concrete has already been poured to support the bridges to come, but the solar power stations along the expressway look nearly finished. What was once a dusty More >
You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Well off the beaten path, Haemi Fortress (해미읍성) in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, is pleasant enough on the eyes while harboring an interesting back story.
Built from 1417 to 1421, this site was the army post for the province, and defended the land against Japanese pirates. The wall remained here after the camp moved to nearby Cheongju – this south gate, AKA Jinnammun, has some colorful but well-worn flags on either side.
Now inside the fortress, looking back at the south gate.
The large open space is perfect for kids, kites, or picnics, but when you’re More >
각원사 rests at the bottom of Taejosan, not far from the entrance to plenty of hiking trails.
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks): How do I rate destinations?Ease to arrive:Foreigner-friendly:Convenience facilities:Worth the visit:
Directions to Gakwonsa: Take line 1 of the Seoul subway system to the Cheonan station – yes, that’s all the way south and into Chungcheonnam-do. Look for exit 1, then turn left to get to street level. Now at ground level, bear right for the tourist information center. Stop by if you like, then walk to the main road behind it. Cross the street, then turn left and walk 200 More >