Suncheon is home to many beautiful natural attractions like mountains, fields, rivers, and the sea. While visiting Suncheon Bay Garden, we recommend visiting Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park, the Suncheon Drama Set, Songgwangsa and Seonamsa temples, and other major tourist sites in the area.
Suncheon Bay Garden, the venue of the 2013 Suncheon Bay Garden Expo, has a variety of themed gardens from eleven countries including England, Italy, the Netherlands and China. It would take about one or two days to look around the entire garden because of its size. If you don’t have the luxury of time, decide on which gardens to visit and plan out a specific course to take. You can also take the garden’s shuttle in order to save time.
The expansive field full of reeds waving back and forth with the wind boasts splendid green colors in the summer and golden hues in the autumn. The area is visited by 200 or so species of migratory birds every year. If you are lucky, you will see a fantastic group dance of hundreds of migrating birds. Go up to the observatory to get a birds-eye-view of the ecological park. Many people are drawn to the view of the setting sun, which is a favorite subject for professional photographers who visit the area.
The Suncheon Drama Set is a model of the downtown and suburb areas of Seoul during the 1980s and the impoverished residential hillside areas of the 1960s. Starting at 2 p.m. on weekends, live guitar, ocarina, and saxophone performances, as well as Korean traditional singing performances are held at the theater in the center of the venue.
The Korean movie A Werewolf Boy starring Song Joong-ki and Park Bo-young, and Korean dramas Lights and Shadows, King of Baking Kim Tak-goo, Giant, and East of Eden were filmed at the Suncheon Drama Set.
Naganeupseong Folk Village allows visitors a chance to step back in time. This village is surrounded by a stone wall 1.4 kilometers long and is home to thatched roof houses in which 200 or so people still live. Walk along the low-rise stonewalls and you will feel like you are in an historical Korean drama. This place is not an artificially-made establishment like a drama set or other folk villages, as it was originally built in 1397.
In the village, you will find restaurants and home stays run by villagers. Various hands-on programs are organized such as a changing of the guards ceremony, tea ceremony, straw sandals making, and ceramic making for visitors to get a chance to experience some traditional Korean culture.
Naganeupseong Folk Village is registered on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage tentative list. It was also featured as the 16th most beautiful place to visit in Korea by CNN Travel.
Seonamsa Temple is one of the best places in Suncheon to relax as it has a very peaceful ambiance. The thick wooden groves and the valleys with trickling creeks leading up to the temple give the mind and the body a great sense of tranquility. Pass Seungseongyo, the famous arched bridge that provides passage over the creek below, and you will soon reach the temple. Seonamsa is estimated to be around 1,500 years old. The name Seonam (Heavenly Rock) derives its name from a legend that a heavenly being once played the game of Go at the temple grounds.
Some of the most famous cultural assets at the temple are the Samindang Pond, Seungseongyo arched stone bridge, and the reclined pine tree that is more than 600 years old. In the spring, Seonamsa is splendid with flower blossoms.
The back garden of Seonamsa Temple features wild tea trees that are hundreds of years old, so while you are in Seonamsa Temple, make sure to visit the Suncheon Wild Tea House. Follow the road by the entrance to the temple and you will step into a forest of Hinoki Cypress. Walk along the forest for about 5 minutes and you will soon reach the tea house in a traditional hanok building.
The tea house offers hands-on programs, allowing visitors to make and taste wild green tea and snacks. The wild teas of Seonamsa are hand-dried in a cauldron by monks through a traditional manner. The tea has a deep green color and is quite flavorful, but not overwhelming.
To the west of Mount Joggyesan in Songgwang-myeon County in Suncheon is Seonamsa Temple, and to the east is Songgwangsa Temple. Together with Tongdosa Temple and Haeinsa Temple, Songgwangsa is one of the three major temples in Korea. The name Songgwang means that 18 great monks will spread the teachings of Buddha. Songgwangsa is home to many Buddhist cultural assets and even has a museum. It is an historical temple that preserves the traditional Korean Buddhist heritage.
Goindol (Dolmen) Park
Suncheon Municipal Ppurigipeunnamu (Deep Rooted Tree) Museum