Here are seven recommendations in the provinces of Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do for Korea's "Special Travel Week" running through July 19.
1. May 18th National Cemetery
2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement. On the list of UNESCO's Memory of the World, this cemetery honors those who died during the bloody uprising. Memorial Hall is where visitors can see a documentary that offers a view into what happened in 1980. Something that caught my eye was an old Korean flag used by the protesters with their blood stains still on it. I also got an English-language documentary book after watching the video.
2. Juknokwon Bamboo Forest
For those who love nature and strolling in green and calm surroundings, Juknokwon Bamboo Forest in Damyang-gun County, Jeollanam-do Province, is a must. It takes an hour to roam around the 2.4-km forest depending on which of the eight paths is traveled. Feel the natural breeze as the forest is rich in oxygen.
3. Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road
Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road located near the forest is a top attraction in Damyang-gun. The fancy road has the same metasequoia trees as those on Nami Island, sees few crowds and is on the list of the top 10 BTS tourist destination in Korea. The tall metasequoia trees also make this place one of Korea's 100 most beautiful roads.
4. Seonunsan Mountain
Hiking amid the cool breeze on Seonunsan Mountain in Jeollabuk-do Province makes visitors forget the hustle and bustle of urban life. Aficionados of Korean reality and variety shows can cook on a portable stove, whip up samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) and roast sweet potatoes, sleep in a capsule bed and watch a bonfire with friends
5. Yangnim-dong Penguin Village
Yangnim-dong Penguin Village in Gwangju comprises households of elderly residents. Its name originates from their description of knee pain whenever they walk. Most of the abandoned homes there have been redesigned. Paintings, poem collections and artistic designs are found in every corner to attract students, children and tourists.
6. Seomjingang Train Village
Seomjingang Train Village in Gokseong-gun County, Jeollanam-do Province, is one of the few old trains in the country still running. For 20-30 minutes, visitors can ride the old train and experience the fresh air and peace of Gokseong-gun with its huge farm land, mountains, lakes, green trees and fresh scenery. After 10-15 minutes, the train will stop to allow visitors to see more scenery, drink coffee or buy snacks. That stop also offers plenty of activities like bungee jumping, bicycling, crossing the hanging bridge and even spending the night at camping sites or guesthouses nearby.
7. 1913 Songjeong Station Market
Before going back to Seoul, why not drop by 1913 Songjeong Station Market to buy souvenirs or street snacks? This old market just across the station has sold traditional products since 1913. I love this market because of its modern design and signboards, attractive lights at night and its version of bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) which is very affordable and worth to try.
*This article is written by a Korea.net Honorary Reporter. Our group of Honorary Reporters are from all around the world, and they share with Korea.net their love and passion for all things Korean.
By Honorary Reporter Laarni Calpo from Philippines
Photos= Laarni Calpo