2016 travel diary 19: The Scholar’s Garden #1: Yun Seon-do on Bogildo

Bogil-do, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, 19 May 2016, 10:30am Way back in the mid Joseon dynasty, being a scholar official was a troublesome occupation. If you were a dedicated scholar you had to act in accordance with your conscience and the highest principles. Unfortunately, as happens with whistle-blowers today, your conscience could be severely career-limiting. If you picked […]

2016 travel diary 17: Land’s End

Songji-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do, 18 May 2016, 6pm. We continue our drive southeast along the coast of Haenam County, heading towards our destination for the day: Land’s End. The official name for the village is Songho-ri, Seongji-myeon, but Land’s End Village, Ttangkkeut Maeul, is much better as a marketing tool, ensuring everyone knows its geographical significance. […]

2016 travel diary 15: Song of the Sword and Roaring Currents – the two sides of Myeongnyang

Munnae-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do, 18 May 2016, 4:30pm. The battle of Myeongnyang, in October 1597, was Yi Sun-shin’s penultimate victory, and the last one that he came out of alive. His final victory, the Battle of Noryang, came in December 1598 in the narrow strait between Namhae and the mainland, when a stray bullet killed him. […]

2016 travel diary 12: Hwangmaesan

Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, 17 May 2016, 2pm. The Hwangmaesan Royal Azalea Festival After lunch my prime objective was to see the Royal Azaleas (철쭉) on Hwangmaesan. This was the one major scenic sight of Sancheong that I had yet to witness up close.  I had been warned not to expect much, but I was surprised to see […]

2016 travel diary 9: Busosanseong – the Baekje royal garden

Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, 16 May 2016, 5:30pm. The Archaeological Site in Gwanbuk-ri Sometimes, collecting UNESCO points is not as fulfilling as it might be. The item of heritage that has been registered might not be particularly exciting to look at, even though it is historically important. But if a site is historically important you may well […]

2016 travel diary 7: Gongju’s fortress

Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do, 16 May 2016, 3pm. Not far away from Songsan-ri is the fortress of Gongsanseong. It clings to the banks of the Geumgang river (nothing to do with Mount Geumgang in north Gangwondo) and its walls scale the cliffs and meander along the contours of the hill, forming a 2.6km circuit which climbs to […]