Places you might not think exist in South Korea
We all know each country has something beautiful or unique to them and they are promoted to the masses almost non-stop and then among all those places, the popular ones will have so many people running around you. Obviously this will make your head spin. We all know Gyeongbokgung or Insadong are major tourist spots. And in the countryside you would have Yeosu and Jeju as spots to put down on your travel checklist. But I am gonna try to point out a few spots of natural beauty or places that might pique your interest but only maybe the locals would know and think nothing of as it is too close to home. Anyhow read on;
Sareung is a station on Gyeongchun Line of the Seoul Subway. The Sareung tombs are pleasantly close by to the Hongneung tombs also. Though the Hongneung tombs is the bigger attraction for most visitors to the area. A short wander around Sareung gives you a better idea of the differences and uniqueness of designs between the Joseon Dyansty tombs.
With various Joseon Dynasty Tombs scattered all around Gyeonggi-do province, It is recommend to visit between Spring and Fall. It must also mention there are often extremely nice staff at many of these tombs, sometimes if they are not too busy, they may give you a brief tour and more access to the tombs.
You can have a very nice time visiting the Hongneung and Sareung tombs in one afternoon. Taking in the serenity and natural setting of the Joseon Dynasty historic remains.
Ganghwa island is a 2 1/2 hr bus ride from Seoul roughly. The dolmen is well kept and the museum near by is worth a look but it can be a journey to get there. If you are going to be in the area and are a ancient history buff this could be a good place for you to give a go. Don’t expect to bump into a lot of people who spoke English, so if you are not comfortable getting directions in Korean you might want to do this one by tour or find a closer dolmen. If you want to get a view of small town Korean seaside live then Ganghwa Island is a good place as well.
If you really want to make a worthwhile experience, explore Korea’s many dolmen sites, make a challenge of it, hike and explore the surrounding areas on top of searching out dolmen locations. Basically try not to sit on your backside a lot and see as much of it as you can.
This Five-story Stone Pagoda at Wanggungri is an iconic example of the refined architecture during the Baekje era located on a hill about 2 kilometers south of Wanggung nearby Iksan. The pagoda stands tall at roughly 8.5 meters and was officially designated a National Treasure. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is worth a see but apart from the info here there isn’t much more info available to share.
This place is a Buddhist temple of the Jogye Order located off by Donghae, Gangwon-do. The main temple is nice, but nothing to make your jaw hit the floor. Saying there though, there is a second smaller temple about 1.5 km up the mountain that can make even the most jaded traveller be thankful to exist on this green and blue earth. There are some waterfalls up the way, with one being about 40-50 meters tall. The path is well marked and sometimes one can get a monk to escort them up to the temple. The monks study medicinal plants, so if you can find one that speaks English you can learn about some of the plants and their uses. Pretty cool I would think.
All in All, Here is just a short list of what is outside the cities and off the beaten track if you are willing. You might find something you never really expected or planned for and it could be what makes the trip special for you.