Another trip to the South: Yeonggam and Jangheung

by - April 10, 2018

Jeollanam-do has some great sights - particularly forests. In March, just as the weather was getting better, we had another weekend trip further south, where we visited Jangheung and Yeonggam. Jangheung is a small county in Jeollanam-do that is located near the sea of Boseongman Bay, and by the big lake created by Jangheung Dam and Tamjingang River. It's also the same place they have the water festival, but this time around, we visited the Cypress Forest Woodland there.  Needless to say, if you are in the region, it is certainly worth a visit since cypress trees are not a common sighting in Korea and make for a very pleasant hike.

The Cypress Forest has great walking pathways, all over the forest, and it is located around Eokbulsan Mountain. There are also various hanok-style pensions, for people to stay at, and some random sculptures in the forest.

Following Jangheung, we made our way to Yeonggam to participate and enjoy the Wangin Culture Festival. The festival is meant to commemorate the achievement of Korea’s Dr. Wangin, who traveled to Japan some 1,600 years ago to spread knowledge about Korean culture, and arts. The festival takes place in two parks, the Bongseondae and Sangdaepo Historic Park.

Within the area, there are excellent views of the Cherry Blossoms, as well as a number of games and activities, from Hanbok wearing to tug-of-war games. 

There is also a section for trick art. 

This is followed by a parade with drummers and women in traditional attire, that "see off" Wangin. 

The entire historical event of Wangin leaving Korea for Japan is re-enacted.

 Wangin is believed to have been a teacher to the emperor of that time. His teachings included the Thousand-Character Text and the Analects of Confucius. The person was also highly proficient in teaching writing composition to the Japanese and helped with developing the foundations of education, which had a great influence on some areas of study such as social science, politics, economics, culture, and art. 

Each year, this festival seems to attract a few foreigners as the local area has been trying to promote it. So if next year you want to go, take a bus to Mokpo and head over. Though the program isn’t announced early, there are many activities and great food options. 

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