|Suncheon, unwind amongst nature|
Major Tourist Sites
Suncheon is home to many beautiful natural tourist sites like mountains, fields, rivers, and the sea. While you are at the International Garden Exposition, we recommend visiting the Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park, the Suncheon Drama Set, Songgwangsa and Seonamsa temples, and other major tourist sites in the area.
While you are visiting the International Garden Exposition, make sure to visit the Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park. Expansive fields of reeds wave back and forth with the wind boasting splendid green 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.
A free shuttle bus is available between the International Garden Exposition and the park, a convenience put in place so that visitors to the Expo can see all Suncheon has to offer.
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., 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 performances are held for thirty minutes every day during the expo period except on Mondays.
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, 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.
Other tourist sites
Goindol (Dolmen) Park, Geumjeonsan Mountain, Suncheon Municipal Ppurigipeunnamu (Deep Rooted Tree) Museum