Nine Confucian academies listed at UNESCO

For visitors to Korea (such as myself) who like to try to get round all the UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, the list just got longer. On Saturday 6 July, the World Heritage Committee included nine Seowon, or Neo-Confucian Academies, in the list. The nine seowon are dotted around the central and southern parts of the […]

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 […]

Latest UNESCO listings break the stereotypes

A famine-ridden state that spends all its money on its army and its nukes; and a country that builds a green city and restores its rivers… Those are the stereotypes. Yet it’s the North that has just had a biosphere reserve registered at UNESCO, while the South’s latest registration is an impressive piece of military […]

Mt Chilbo is the fourth DPRK biosphere reserve

At the 26th meeting of the UNESCO International Coordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere Program on 10-13 June, thirteen new sites were added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Among them was Mt Chilbo (칠보산), in Myongchon County, North Hamgyong Province. This 340 hectare site in the north-east of the country is a […]