Festivals & Korean Route Fam Trip Oct 2015 (Busan-Jinju-Gimje-Suwon)
Korea Tourism Organization has organized a familiarization trip (fam trip) to introduce some of the best festivals and new attractions in Korea.
We started this fam trip from Busan with some new hands-on experience place in Gimhae. And then, we went to Jinju and Gimje to enjoy the Jinju Namgang River Yudeung (Lantern) festival & Gimje horizon festival. Following that, we visited Suwon Samsung Innovation Museum as an industrial tourism attraction after stopping by the Jeonju Hanok village.
In Busan, we visited Korean route sites which combine tourist attractions with the industrial characteristics of the innovation centers for creative economy designed by Korean government. Korea has currently 17 innovation centers for creative economy around the country and Busan’s innovation center itself features creative tourism attractions by rediscovering existing resources like a backward village (Gamcheon village) & an old bridge (Yeongdodaegyo drawbridge), traditional food (Fish Cake Making), sea landscape (Oryukdo Islands Skywalk, Haedong Yonggungsa temple) and much more.
Gamcheon Cultural Village
We also visited some Korean Route sites such as Gamcheon cultural village, Bosu-dong Book Alley, Gukje market¸ Kkangtong night market, Jagalchi fish market, Lotte town, Gwangbok Branch observation deck, Haeundae beach, Haedong yonggungsa temple and the Yeongdodaegyo drawbridge. During the night, we head over to some nigh-view attractions like the Busan Tower and The bay 101.
Bosu-dong Book Alley
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Jagalchi Fish Market
Observation from Busan Tower
Busan The Bay 101
Yeongdodaegyo Bridge located on the left of the Jagalchi fish market is a newly introduced attraction in our K-travelogue. This is the first suspension bridge in Busan to connect the Nampo-dong and Yeongdo Island. It has not been drawn for the reason like traffic jam for many years. However, it recently began to move again and has become a famous tourist attraction. Around 2pm, siren sounds and it is drawn for 15 minutes. One of the best places to see this bridge raised to the sky is the outdoor rooftop park of Lotte town Gwangbok Branch.
Nampo-dong Pharmacy Alley
Busan Lotte Town Observation Deck
Busan Chalotte Coin Statue
After we finished our 2 days schedule at Busan, we were headed for Clayarch Gimhae museum. It was a sunny and quiet morning and we were greeted with an artistic building which was decorated with ceramic mosaic tiles on the walls outside. Before we went into this museum, we had tried Art Kitchen hands-on experience. It’s a Mosaic tile experience that visitors can make their own handicraft with 10 colors of Mosaic tiles, which are architectural materials. After finishing 30 minutes fun experience, we came to appreciate many clayarch (clay+architecture) artworks which were on display in the two museum buildings.
Gimhae Clayarch Museum
Next on, at Jinju. Jinju is located 1.5 hour distance from Busan/Gimhae by car. We were there in time to witness the Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) festival which was going on then. This festival has been designated as one of the best cultural tourism festivals by Korean Government for several years and then was appointed the honorary cultural tourism festival by Government. It is regularly held in the early October for 10 days or more every year. We started our Jinju tour from the main venue of this festival, Jinjuseong fortress. Inside the fortress, Jinjuseong Fortress Battle and traditional marriage parade etc. was reproduced using lante
rn and traditional performance were played continuously. There were also some free hands-on experience like postcard writing, Chinese zodiac hand rubbing, citizen participation lamp making. We also could visit the Jinju national museum and historical site, Chokseongnu Pavilion there.
Daytime View of Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival
The highlight of Yudeung (Lantern) Festival could be seen in the evening. We went back to the festival venue at 7 pm after taking a short rest in hotel and having a delicious Eel BBQ & Jinju Naengmyeon Noodle as a dinner. Many local & foreign visitors assembled to enjoy the night festival. All the lanterns on the Namgang River and inside the Jinjuseong Fortress were lighting brightly and it created fantastic atmosphere. Fireworks for 10~20 minutes doubled this festival’s charm. We made our wish-lantern, floated it on the river and then came back to the hotel walking along a river in the autumn breeze.
Night View of Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival
You can also refresh yourself in the bamboo forest beside Namgang River across the Namgaram culture street and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Jinyangho Lake from the observation deck in Jinju.
Jinju Bamboo Forest
Gimje is located in Jeollabukdo Province, 1 hour distance from Jeonju Hanok village by car. We travel to Gimje from Jinju for 2 hours by bus and went to the festival venue after taking a hearty lunch cooked with clam, prawn, and others in the Gimje city.
Gimje horizon festival which is regularly held in the early October for 5 days every year was selected as one of the premier cultural tourism festival by Korean Government this year. This festival features Korea’s rice farming culture. The expansive fields of Gimje are fertile and offer suitable conditions for growing rice. Hence, Gimje has been the large granary until now.
When we visited Gimje, it was the last day of this festival and the venue was in the middle of the large rice field. We could enjoy straw rope and bag making and also experience rice cake decorating with some colorful pieces of rice cake on it. The highlight was the kite flying along the bank. We all tried to fly kites into the sky on the wind but it wasn’t that easy to do it very well. Just one or two among us could fly the kites high in the air. After that, we looked around some small traditional games Korean children and their parents played together around the field.
There were two big dragon replicas standing in the middle of the field which were made followed by a legend about two dragons descending from the ancient times. The legend says that a white dragon protected the rice field and reservoir in Gimje from a fierce blue dragon trying to spoil the farming.
Gimje Horizon Festival
On the next day of the Horizon festival tour, we visited Jeonju Hanok village. It was very charming & peaceful village with a lot of traditional houses. We strolled down this small town appreciating cute cafes, traditional Hanok houses and some historical sites like Jeondong Catholic church, Gyeonggijeon Hall. And then we stopped by the Nambu traditional market located closely to Hanok village. It was filled with fresh fruits, small restaurants, small shops with passion & creativity of youth.
Jeonju Hanok Village
Jeonju Jeondong Cathedral
Jeonju Traditional Market
The last attraction of our fam tour was the Samsung Innovation Museum in Samsung electronics complex, Suwon. It was made up of 4 exhibition parts: Seeds of innovation, Core of innovation, Inspiring innovation, and History of Samsung. We could learn the history of electricity and electronic devices including global company Samsung Electronics’ history as well as the current and future technologies. This museum was so nice for us to experience the top notch technology of Samsung electronics. If you are a private tourist, you can enter and look around here on Saturday.
Suwon Samsung Innovation Museum