Explore Korea’s Treasures – July 2018

Chilgapsan Provincial Park

Hiking is a beloved activity in Korea. National and provincial parks are scattered all over the peninsula. Chilgapsan Provincial Park, located southwest of Osan Air Base, is renowned for its shifting, year-long beauty and accessibility. It’s often referred to as the “Alps of Korea.” 

Summer is an excellent time to visit. The forest is lush and green at this time of year, providing shade as you hike. There are numerous trails that wind around and over the mountain, providing options for hikers of all skill levels. The main trails lead to a 561 meter high peak. On a clear day, you’re rewarded with beautiful views down into the valleys surrounding the summit. 

Chilgapsan Provincial Park has several unusual sites to see in addition to hiking. The Cheonjangho Suspension Bridge is the longest in Korea at 207 meters long. It provides gorgeous views up the mountain and into the valleys. While that should be reason enough to check it out, the true interest lies in the bridge’s decoration… giant chili peppers! Chili pepper sign posts and statues can be found along the trails. 

Jangseung are large, traditional totem poles. Chilgapsan Jangseung Park, located within Chilgapsan Provincial Park, features a large collection of both General (Chilgapsan Daejanggun) and Female General (Chilgapsan Yeojanggun) jangseung. Some of the featured totem poles reach up to 11.5 meters (nearly 38 feet) tall. 

There are many other fascinating historical and cultural sites and experiences to be had within Mt. Chilgapsan Provincial Park. Experience it all in person with ITT!

Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach

Summer in Korea brings heat, humidity, and a variety of festivals. Boryeong Mud Festival, fondly known as “Mud Fest,” draws participants from far and wide – it’s the most popular festival for international visitors. Mud Fest take place in late July, spanning over a week, with different activities and performances daily. 

The events, stages, inflatables, and, of course, mud pits, are set up on Daecheon Beach, located in Boryeong City on the west coast of the peninsula. Around four million visitors attended the festival in 2017! Mud Fest offers a variety of fun, mud-related events for all ages. 

Mud baths are available for adults, with a separate mud bath for kids. Buckets of multi-colored mud allow participants to decorate their bodies with colorful designs. Several mud covered slides encourage friendly competition-see who can get down the slide the fastest! Competition continues in the inflatable mud obstacle course. For the more athletic participant, there’s a 3K race through the mud. Mud massage, mud dancing, mud fights; there truly is an activity for everyone! 

Disposable cameras are a great way to document your time at Mud Fest without worrying about losing or ruining your phone or camera. Wear clothes you are okay saying goodbye to as mud may be difficult to wash out. If beating the heat and getting muddy is up your alley, join a trip heading down 14 or 21 July!