After we had breakfast, our host's father took us via his taxi to Suwon to see Suwon Hwaseong (Suwon Fortress).
Hwaseong Fortress was built during the 18th century by King Jeonjo of the Joseon Dynasty in honor of his father. The fortress surrounds the center of Suwon and has been registered as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO last 1997. I am not Korean history savvy, and unfortunately, did not have time to research about it so I only know very limited about what the Fortress symbolizes.
Operating Hours: Summer season 09:00-18:00; Winter season 09:00-17:00
Admission: Individual – Adults 1,000 won / Youth 700 won / Children 500 won
Directions: Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1)
|Dongjangdae - Eastern Command Post|
We started off at the North Gate which is the largest of the existing main gates.
|Dongbukgongshimdon - Northeastern Watchtower|
|Janganmun - North Gate|
|Amazing design - however, in the past, these were used for signals by the warriors for enemy attacks|
|Some children's artwork near Hwahongmun|
We have also arrived at Hwaseong Haenggung accidentally. Hwaseong Haenggung is the largest palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It was a temporary palace for King Jeongjo during his royal pilgrimage to his father's tomb. There are lots of Haenggung or palaces around Hwaseong but this is the largest and most notable as this is the largest Haenggung in Korea.
|The entrance to the palace|
|This place was also a drama location for DaeJangGeum|
Afterwards, we decided to go to Paldalmun already and our stomachs were already rumbling and we wanted to look for a decent place to eat.
The way to Paldalmun was quite interesting. There were lots of restaurants and cool hotels with awesome exteriors.
It was certainly a fun walk however, when we got to Paldalmun, it was going under renovation! Nobody told us that :( It was quite disappointing as I was looking forward to see it.
Anyway, good thing there is a huge marketplace surrounding Paldalmun so the trip there did not go to waste. There were lot of cheap finds and lots of shops were on sale as well. My friend went on a splurge on buying cosmetics.
Paldalmun market is quite famous around Suwon for cheap clothes, cosmetics and other merchandises. I have seen lots of items on my Christmas wishlist!
|Big discounts at Nature Republic|
|The tourist information center of Suwon|
Operating Hours: 09:00 AM, closing time depends on the month you will be visiting
Admission: Individual – Adults 15,000 won / Youth 12,000 won / Children 10,00 won
Directions: Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1) - take the Free Shuttle or Bus 10-5 or 37
|Schedule of folk performances|
|The only decent eatery inside - of course expect that the food are expensive|
I was very hungry that time because we have arrived quite late at the Folk Village. Me and my friend got some Bibimbap and Sundubu.
|The egg was quite... small|
|Yummy Sundubu! I finished this all by myself!|
|Traditional Korean pots|
|The folk village has been used to shoot Daejanggeum as well|
I did not expect that the area was quite large. This could have been a drama set for some historical drama (which I found later was true.) The whole area looks like a traditional Korean neighborhood, I think around 20-30 houses are there that presents different Korean traditional aspects of living such as architecture, housing, family, livelihood, and past time.
You can also try a hand with traditional Korean games - there are few available around the area.
|Tohu - Korean traditional game|
I was told that this folk village was built for tourists so you can't say the experience was really authentic (yup - no Korean actually lived on the houses). Anyway, we were planning to go another folk village at Andong in Gyeongju.
|this was how they "cut" heads off long time ago|
|Traditional Korean device for punishment|
I totally recommend checking out this area for people who are into nature photography. The scenery was just breath taking! I think I did not do enough justice with these pictures! You have to see the view with your own eyes.
The Folk Village has their own amusement park for kids as well. This has a separate admission fee, so of course we did not dare go inside given that the folk village was already closing as well when we arrived here.
We went back to Suwon using the employees' bus! hahaha. We did not know that the last bus for tourist stopped by 5PM and we got out around 6PM. Anyway, no one noticed or reprimanded us for that so I guess it was okay.
Given the opportunity, I would go back again to Suwon Hwaseong and the Folk Village (because we were not able to catch any folk performance when we went). If it did not rain the other day, we could have spent one whole day on both places. Anyway it was still a very fantastic experience overall nonetheless and I could not wait to go back here! I recommend going here during autumn but spring would be nice too. We were very tired when we got home and I was really satisfied because it was a very productive day for us. We will be going to Everland the next day, hoping for good weather.