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Korea is a country divided and one can travel from Seoul on a 56 km (34 miles) bus trip north to the area known as Panmunjeom. Panmunjeom is most famously known as the truce village where the Korean Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. This armistice ended the fierce fighting between what is now known as the two Koreas. It is now a joint security area managed by the UN Command and North Korean guards. There are many different areas to travel at the DMZ including Paju City and Cheorwon. Visitors traveling to the DMZ are taken through a general outpost (GOP) and may see several guard posts. The beauty of the DMZ is famous as it has been left untouched by human hands for almost 60 years. While visiting the Demilitarized Zone, participants will learn about the unique political situation of Korea as well as about the history of the Korean War. One can assume that this tour will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Gyeongbokgung which means Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven, was built in 1395 and it served as the main palace. Gyeongbokgung, at the height of its glory, provided an astounding example of Confucian royal architecture and court life. It is a very impressive palace complex in Seoul and very nice place to stroll around to understand what ancient Korea looked like.
Daedeok Innopolis, formally known as the Daedeok Science Park, is a cluster of institutions in research and development technology located in Daedeok Valley in northern Daejeon. The cluster is built around KAIST, Korea’s leading technical university, Chungnam University, a group of government research institutes in applied technologies, corporate research centers. It started to work in 1973 in unison with KAIST and since its inception it has gathered over 40 corporate research centers that work in unison with 20 major research centers. This cluster of venture companies employs a resourceful and highly educated work force that collaborates to create cutting edge technology. There are hundreds of research centers in Daejeon and many of them can be found around the Daedeok Innopolis. The Daedeok Innopolis is projected to become the R&D center of Northeast Asia and is already described as the ”Silicon Valley” of Korea.
Buyeo County was once the home of the ancient Baekjae Kingdom one of the three Kingdoms of Korea. While there you can stop to see visit the national museum to learn a bit about the Baekjae Kingdom. A short stop from the museum is the Koransa Temple which shows what buildings looked like during the kingdom that existed from 18 BC to 660 AD. There is still more to see and do in Buyeo like visiting Falling Flower Rock where over three thousand women jumped from a rock in order to avoid being killed or dishonored by enemies at the fall of the Baekjae Kingdom. The White Horse River can be seen from the top of the bluff where the three thousand women jumped from and the river allowed many ancient Koreans to stay in contact with each other during Korea’s bronze age.
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute established in 1976 is a non-profit government-funded research institute that has been at the forefront of technological excellence for more than 25 years. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute is providing the world with leading edge technology such paved the way for “Digital Multimedia Broadcasting(terrestrial DMB) technology” or TV in your cell phone. ETRI has become famous for their work in updating semiconductor, computer, and telecommunications technology. Participants will get to visit ETRI and to see all of the amazing technology that has been developed there.
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of visiting Seoul and all of the quick city life? Well head back to Daejeon to visit the Hanbat Arboretum. The Arboretum is a forest purposefully created and planted in the middle of the city. It has a sensory garden, a meditation garden, a rose garden, eco forests, and even a wooded marsh.
Natural Heritage Center
The Natural Heritage Center is located a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Hanbat Arboretum. The Natural Heritage Center is a natural history museum aimed at children, particularly younger ones. However, it is an excellent and relaxing place to visit and learn.
National Folk Museum
Located inside Gyeongbok Palace, the National Folk Museum comprises three interconnected buildings. National Folk Museum, Korea’s leading institution dedicated to the preserving the legacy of traditional Korean life, attracting more than two million visitors annually. It is a venue that collects, stores, and exhibits artifacts and information throughout Korean history. This a gateway to the history, life, and culture of Koreans. In addition to the exhibits in the museum, outside of the exhibit halls there are other things to see and do. A plaza for photos, a water mill, millstones, a vegetable garden, and a display of tomb guardians are all within eye shot of the museum doors.
Shopping anyone? Insadong is the go to spot for young hip Koreans to go shopping. It has a mixture of traditional gifts with virtually anything else one could want to find to buy. It is also a beautiful place to walk and take in the scenes of Seoul. Insadong is also a visiting spot for foreign dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II and the princes of Spain and the Netherlands.
Korea is a place in which dance is a very famous part of both traditional and modern culture. In the heart of Seoul there is a group of award winning performers who put on some of the most vibrant and amazing dance shows in all of Korea. South Korea’s B-boy dancing teams “breakdancing-boy” but the style is different from ‘80s breakdancing. After the performance the performers meet with the audience members for pictures and well wishes for the performers are encouraged. Many previous participants have said this is one of their favorite highlights in visiting Korea.
The War Memorial of Korea
This war memorial is extremely interesting. This educational history museum in Yongsan tells you everything you need to know about the Korean War. Creepy wax displays of battles that occurred and wax displays of what living conditions were like for the soldiers are on display through out the museum. Though war is never a joyful topic, this memorial honors the heroes of the war and really enlightens you on the situation.
You may refer to http://www.warmemo.or.kr.
Seoul Namsan Gugakdang
The Namsan Gugakdang is a dedicated classical music hall that you can enjoy natural sound in a traditional Korean-style house. It is the only domestic music hall with lightning, sound, stage setting etc. perfectly suited for Korean classical music with no electric sound system. The music hall is fit for any musical performance but the design and the style of the stage and performance center gives a cozy and yet elegant feeling.
Korean Traditional Cultural Performances
There are many chances to see and experience Korean traditional cultural performances in person during the course of this program. From the beauty of Pansori or traditional songs to the harmony of the gayageum a traditional instrument there is much to see and hear in Korea. If music isn’t your thing perhaps the chance to cook some delicious food, make your own pottery, even make your own paper crafts, and even experience a traditional Korean wedding. Still not enough what about traditional Korean medicine; no matter what you want we’ve got it covered.
COEX is prominent landmark in Seoul. Located in the central business area, COEX is a destination for business, shopping, entertainment, and more. With a world-class convention and exhibition center, Asia’s largest underground shopping Mall, restaurants and entertainment facilities, COEX is a great place to go in Seoul.