The 17th Icheon Rice Cultural Festival will be held in the country’s rice production hub of Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, until Sunday.
Under the theme of “Joyful Union, Sharing Happiness,” the five day festival, which kicked off Wednesday, will feature a variety of programs and competitions.
Visitors will get a chance to learn how to cook rice and rice cakes in a traditional style using conventional cooking utensils, and participate in rice-cooking contests.
There will also be traditional folk games and tug-of-war games, as well as theatrical plays and dance performances. The festival, which won a premier festival award from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, will be held at Seolbong Park in Icheon.
For more information, visit www.ricefestival.or.kr.
Climb up Mount Deogyusan
Mount Deogyusan in Muju, North Jeolla Province, is one of the easiest mountains for visitors to climb to the top, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.
The trekking course from Deogyusan National Park’s Samgong Exploration Center to the main peak Hyangjeokbong, which is 1,300 meters above the sea level, via the BaekRyeon Temple is known to be a famous path during the autumn.
There are barely any uphill paths surrounded by pine trees and valleys to the temple, and trekkers will come upon the mountain’s representative Gucheong Valley, which stretches 25 kilometers from the peak to Seolcheon River.
Visitors can take Muju Deogyusan Resort’s cable cars to the Hyangjeokbong peak, costing about 14,000 won for adults and 10,000 won for children.
Deogyusan, which known as “The Heaven of Wild Flowers,” was designated as the 10th national park in 1975. For more information, visit english.knps.or.kr.
Enjoy autumn at Mount Seoraksan
Autumn is here, which means visitors will get a chance firsthand to see colors of forest leaves change at Mount Seoraksan spreading across over four cities and counties of Sokcho, Inje, Goseong and Yangyang in Gwangwon Province.
Seoraksan National Park is known to turn “red” at this time of the year, where tourists can also enjoy the grand landscape view of the region from its highest peak called Daecheongbong at over 1,700 meters high.
People can follow the mountain streams, and come across Osaek natural spring water resort where they can rest and drink its fresh water during trekking.
Also, the Korea Tourism Organization recommends tourists to visit the nearby Hajodae Beach, 13 kilometers south of Yangyang. There is a pine forest behind the beach.
Plan your trip to Mount Songnisan
Songnisan National Park in Boeun, North Chungcheong Province, offers a variety of hiking and resting courses where visitors can not only see autumn forest but also learn the history of its Beopjusa Temple.
Beopjusa, one of Korea’s biggest temples, in Mount Songnisan dates back to the Silla era, part of the Three Kingdoms of the Korean Peninsula.
It was built in the 14th year of Silla King Jin-heung (540-576), who was the 24th monarch of the kingdom. The temple contains more than 1,500 years of national treasures and monuments.
Visitors drive their cars up to a parking lot on the mountain, about 2 kilometers from the temple. They can hike on the Orisup Forest Trail through conifer trees toward the temple’s main gate.
Philippines to hold largest festival
The Philippines Department of Tourism said that the Higantes Festival, one of the largest in the Philippines, will be held in Angono city, Rizal province, for two days from Nov. 22.
This year’s festival features events such as singing competitions, art exhibitions and water wars amongst participants in traditional costumes.
At the same time, banderitas, meaning “small flags” in Spanish, will be set up around the festival grounds. These small flags add to the exotic flavor of the festival, and underscore Angono as an eco-friendly city as the flags are made with recyclable material.
The most unique part of the Higantes Festival, which is held every November, are the paper giants (higantes) that can stand as tall as 4.5 meters. The giants depict specific people, personalities and individualities.