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Walk among Joseon royal tombs

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : April 24, 2023 - 15:45

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Participants at Solyeongwon in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, meditate at a “Wangneungcheonhaeng” program last year. (CHA) Participants at Solyeongwon in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, meditate at a “Wangneungcheonhaeng” program last year. (CHA)

A series of guided tour programs at the royal tombs of the Joseon era (1392-1910) will be conducted May 13 to Nov. 11, the Cultural Heritage Administration’s Royal Palaces and Tombs Center announced Monday.

Titled “Wangneungcheonhaeng,” meaning “A thousand ways to travel the royal tombs,” the program will offer 22 tours led by experts in the field on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The program takes a two-month break in July and August.

There are six themes under the program, including two to three royal tombs, palaces or residences for each -- Road of King and Emperor (Deoksugung, Hongneung and Yureung), Road of Royal Ceremonial Rites (Jongmyo, Donggureung), Road of Danjong (Jangneung, Cheongnyeongpo, Gwanpungheon), Road of Queens (Gyeongbokgung, Taeneung, Sareung), Road of Sejong (Heoninneung, Yeongneung) and Road of Sukjong (Chilgung, Seooreung, Soryeongwon).

While learning about the history of the tombs, visitors can also ask questions about the Joseon royal families and hear their stories. Those who simply hope to relax in the surrounding serene forest are also free to do so.

For some programs, a singing-bowl meditation session will be conducted against the backdrop of a lush forest. Other offerings include pansori performances and music ensembles, which combine the sounds of traditional Korean and Western instruments.

Some programs allow participants to visit royal tombs on days they are otherwise closed to the public, usually Mondays.

The maximum number of visitors per tour ranges from 20 to 40, depending on the location. One person can book up to four tickets.

Those who are booking for May and June tours can reserve tickets at the Naver website, starting Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Tickets are 30,000 won for adults and 20,000 won for those under the age of 19. Entrance fee, shuttle bus service to the destination, lunch, snack and a souvenir are covered by the ticket price.

Program details can be viewed at the Royal Palaces and Tombs Center website.