Encircling Korea’s capital of Seoul, Gyeonggi province boasts many interesting tourist attractions
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong Fortress was built to protect Suwon, one of the main cities in Gyeonggi province. The fortress testifies to the dutifulness of King Jeongjo to his father. Built between 1794 and 1796, the fortress features four gates in the North – South – East – West directions and the seven-arch Sumun Gate. Its walls were built using Seokje and Jeondo bricks. Holes between these bricks are just large enough for the guns, arrows and spears used to defend the fortress. This fortress was registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997.
Heyri – Paju Arts Village
Gyeonggi locals are proud of Heyri Village, which is home to some 500 artists working in different fields of art. The resident artists have made books showcasing their work. They run fine art workshops, galleries, museums and cafes so that visitors can experience their art. The village boasts over 100 galleries, shops and museums devoted to everything from international folk musical instruments to toys, butterflies, stamps and traditional cuisine. Anyone who works in an artistic field would love to live in this green and inspiring village.
Demilitarised Zone (Dmz)
The DMZ inspires great empathy in Vietnamese visitors. This is the border between South Korea and North Korea, and measures 248km in length and 4km in width at Parallel 38. The border symbolises both war and peace, national divide and reunification. After some strict physical checks at a military checkpoint, visitors can tour an infiltration tunnel of North Korean soldiers, then climb to an observatory offering panoramic views of the entire DMZ, which features the national flags of both sides. Visitors can tour Panmujeon, where bilateral talks have been hosted. Since normal residential activities have been prohibited here for more than five decades, the demilitarised zone is a fantastic biological reserve with a variety of wild animals.
Dorasan Memorial Peace Park
Near the Demilitarised Zone lies a vast memorial park with a big complex of monuments and professional display halls. Visitors are invited to draw some memorial lines on ceramic bricks, which will be used to make a memorial wall in hope of long-standing peace. The brick wall is expected to be inaugurated in November this year.
No day trip to Gyeonggi province is complete without a chance to enjoy the local cuisine. The signature dish of Pocheon grilled ribs is a pleasant end to your journey. Soft grilled pork or beef ribs or chicken is coupled with a fantastic sauce. A glass of traditional Makgeolli wine and the draught beer from Bavaria fuels the locals’ friendly hospitality.