A number of royal palaces and historic sites in Seoul -- the Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung and Deoksugung palaces, Jongmyo Shrine and Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty -- will offer free admission during the month of July, courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace, located in Jongno-gu was originally built in 1395 when Seoul was appointed the capital of Joseon. Acknowledged as the largest and arguably the most beautiful of Seoul’s five palaces, it houses such historic structures as the Gyeonghoe-ru Pavilion, built against the serene backdrop of Hyangwonjeong Pond, and the Geunjeongjeon Hall, where the king granted audience to his officials and presided over official functions.
For inquiries, call the Korea Travel Hotline at (02) 1330.
Travel package to Yinchuan
Korail Tourism Development is offering a three-day travel package to the Chinese city of Yinchuan.
The package will be available from July to December. Visitors will depart from Incheon International Airport at 9 p.m. and stay at a five-star hotel operated by the Yinchuan city government. The itinerary will include sites such as the tomb of the Western Xia King, also known as the pyramids of China; the set of “Red Sorghum,” the 1989 film by director Zhang Yimou; and ecological sites such as lakes and caverns.
Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, whose name means “the river shines silver under the sun,” boasts a scenic view of the Yellow River and a rich history and culture. It is also one of the few unpolluted natural tourist sites in China and has been gaining attention as a commercial trade area between Asia and Europe. For inquiries, call (02) 2084-7744.
Pirate fun at Caribbean Bay
Waterpark Caribbean Bay is presenting a series of pirate-themed events during the summer for vacationing families with children.
Musical “Treasure Hunter,” on until Aug. 23, will feature a pirate band and b-boy dancers, also letting the audience participate in the performance. The audience will be able to dance with the actors on stage, take part in the search for treasure and battle against skull-headed ghosts.
Running July 18 to Aug. 23, a pirate-themed treasure hunt will be available for children aged 6-8. The adventure-filled program, which includes pirate costumes, face painting, puzzles and missions, was designed by Caribbean Bay in conjunction with early education experts to provide a fun and instructive experience for visiting children.
For inquiries, call (031) 320-5000.
Boryeong Mud Festival from July 17-26
The 18th Boryeong Mud Festival will be held at Daecheon Beach on South Korea’s west coast from July 17-26. Boryeong, in South Chungcheong Province, is famous for its abundant natural resources and beautiful scenery, and Daecheon Beach is one of the largest and best swimming beaches in the country, with more than 10 million visitors each year. The festival offers a chance to bathe in a massive mud tub, receive mud massages, compete in the “Mud King” contest and participate in a mud photo contest. Tourists will also be able to buy various mud cosmetic products at discounted prices.
For information, call (041) 930-3820 or visit www.mudfestival.or.kr. (Yonhap)
Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival
Seodong was a prince of the Baekje Kingdom who later became King Mu, the 30th monarch of the kingdom. The Seodong Lotus Festival from July 10-19 is being held around the Gungnamji Pond in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, locale of the legend of Seodong’s birth. Programs include a night parade featuring Prince Seodong and Princess Seonhwa, performances of traditional music and dance, experiences of Baekje culture and a photo contest against the backdrop of picturesque lotus blossoms.
For more information, call (041) 830-2921 or log on to www.buyeotour.net. (Yonhap)