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South Korea World Heritage

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Author winterkjm
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#46 | Posted: 1 Nov 2011 22:13 | Edited by: winterkjm 
South Korea tentative list

*collection of photos

URL

Author winterkjm
Registered
#47 | Posted: 5 Nov 2011 11:18 
South Korea World Heritage List

*collection of photos

URL

Author winterkjm
Registered
#48 | Posted: 8 Nov 2011 04:33 | Edited by: winterkjm 
South Korea Potential Tentative Sites

*collection of photos

URL

*Beopjusa Temple
- Includes one of only two remaining wooden pagodas in Korea. This being the largest at 5 stories. All other wooden pagodas were destroyed during the Samurai invasions in the 16th century, the Japanese Colonial Period, and the Korean War. Wooden pagodas are somewhat rare in Korea, as wooden pagodas were the earliest form, followed by brick, and then stone. Stone being by far the most prevelant. The pagoda was burnt down during the Samurai invasions and was rebuilt in 1624.

*Daehan Green Tea Plantation
- Numerous vinyards have been inscribed on the WH list, why not the oldest and most important green tea plantation in Korea?

*Japanese Colonial Buildings - Gunsan
- Probably would not have too much difficulty getting inscribed, unfortunately Korea may not be ready for this type of nomination for a while yet. The colonial period is still too sensitive a topic. Nevertheless, the preservation of colonial sites in Gunsan is a new trend in Korea. The important Japanese buildings are being protected, and being listed as historical sites and being highlighted for tourism. This is a huge change from the policy in the 1970's - 2000's when most Japanese buildings in Korea were destroyed indiscrimately. The sites in Gunsan have a strong connection with the Japanese use of the city as a port to transport Korean goods to Japan. Major Colonial buildings in Gunsan include a Japanese style Buddhist temple, a Japanese businessman's home, and a western-styled customs building. The Japanese style temple is the only one of its kind remaining in Korea. There is also a gold mine in the vacinity, and quite a few other colonial buildings such as banks, a lighthouse, and railroad facilities which have been registered as regional cultural sites.

Korean article highlighting Gunsan's colonial buildings
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/n_feature/2011/02/07/91/4901000000AEN2011020700070031 5F.HTML

*Seoul City Wall
- Alreading planning to submit a proposal in 2013-2014 to be included on Korea's tentative list. Aspiring to be inscribed in 2015. The remaining city walls are around 10km long (orginally 18km), the remaining 8km are being rebuilt. Scheduled completion is 2013.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#49 | Posted: 9 Nov 2011 10:06 
winterkjm:
Seoul City Wall

I guess that includes the gates as well, in which case I got an accidental visit to that. Bit of a bonus if it is.

Author winterkjm
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#50 | Posted: 11 Nov 2011 13:36 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Yes if you visited any of the Seoul Gates, such as Namdaemun or Dongdaemun you have visited part of the Seoul City Wall.

Meltwaterfalls, I have to say I've been enjoying your reviews on Korea. Are you still there? Seoul certainly is a great place to explore beyond it's world heritage.

You mentioned the statues. An interesting fact about the Joseon tombs, there are more than 1,300 statues among all 18 tomb clusters, these being statues of the large scholars and generals, and also guardian animals.

On a side note: Jeju Island has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature!?!? While Jeju certainly deserved to be one of the 28 finalists, being voted in the top 7 shows more about Korea's voting ability than actual value of the site! The fact that the Grand Canyon, Galapagos Island, and the Great barrier Reef did not make the top 7 says alot.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#51 | Posted: 11 Nov 2011 19:38 
winterkjm:
Are you still there?

Alas, I am back in gloomy old London (though it is starting to get the wonderful festive feel that makes the end of the year so enjoyable).

Glad you are liking the write ups, will have to get around to writing the rest in the next couple of days.

Unfortunately I didn't get to Jeju, it was a conscious effort as I knew I couldn't do it justice in the time I had. Leaving it unvisited I felt gave me greater incentive to return at some stage in the future, as everyone here seems to rate it so highly.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#52 | Posted: 20 Dec 2011 14:44 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Winterkjm, I just wanted to say a little thank you.
I have been talking a little bit about Korea in the last day or so after the death of Kim-Jong-il. At work I have been asked a little bit about my opinion on Korea in the last few weeks, as I have recently visited there.

Now I know there is a big difference between North and South but when people bought up the issue of Confucianism and dynasty of North Korea I had a little bit I could say.
You have said a fair bit about the role of Confucianism in South Korea, and this essentially reinforced what I had read about it, but now it has really hit home after visiting the sites in the South and reading how similar ideals may apply in the Juche idea to the North.

I could be proved entirely wrong in the long run if Kin Jong-Un is eventually pushed aside, however your highlighting of the Confucian idea has made these ideas really illustrate a current trend in Korea politics that effect things in my home country.

I know it is very early to talk about predictions of the future of the Korean peninsular, I think this really does re-iterate why I love travelling to WHS and being a member of this forum. It teaches me a lot about the world around me and encourages me to seek more information.

So thank you winterkjm for highlighting many aspects of Korean culture that I may have missed, and thanks to this community for consistently making me seek new information, even if it is on the minutiae of a certain WHS.

So in the end the thank you is not just solely to winterkjm, but to all the active members of the forum for making me critically investigate my passion.

Author winterkjm
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#53 | Posted: 20 Dec 2011 15:27 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Your words are too kind. I have also enjoyed the incredible insight by the members of this forum. By the way, I have enjoyed your reviews of Korea very much. You made an excellent decision to participate in the temple-stay program at Haeinsa Temple.

I can claim some expertise on the US, China, and particularly Korea. However, it is humbling to see many of the active members of this forum provide nuanced views on such a wide variety of places around the world!

Speaking of Korea, I literally jumped out of my chair when I read the news of Kim, Jong-Il's death. I am not one to celebrate the death of anyone (and I did not here), but I do hope this brings serious change to North Korea in the coming months and years. My father in law works in the Korean intelligence Agency, and I'll just say he has been very busy the last couple days!

The North Korean regime I would argue is very much a dynasty in the Confucian tradition. The Kim dynasty in the guise of communism is suprisingly similar in structure to Joseon. The Communist party in Korea holds a priviledged position in North Korean society very much like the Yanban (aristocrats) during the Joseon period. The Communist party leadership in North Korea and the Yanban in Joseon rely on the "King" for their elevated position, therefore this structure strengthens the stability of the regime. As we have just seen the position of the "Great Leader" in North Korea is matter of succession. Joseon Kings were also groomed for leadership, and when elder sons were not fit to rule, younger sons were chosen on ocassion. Moreover, like the Joseon dynasty foreign trade and commerce was not a priority of the regime. Instead ideas of self suffiency and a close relationship with China were highly valued.

The Korea's are without a doubt in my mind the most Confucian nations in the world. The more you are immersed in Korean culture the more obvious this is. Indeed Confucianism is represented very well in Korea with numerous WHS and TWHS directly related with Confucian traditions. This is why the Jongmyo Shrine is a WHS, it is indeed very spartan and hard to appreciate (like many have commented), but its direct link to ancient confucian traditions is indesputable and of OUV.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#54 | Posted: 24 Dec 2011 13:25 
This is a little long, but as evidence of the magnificent hospitality I received in Korea I put forward my experience over 24 hours:

Whilst I was walking around the central tomb cluster in Gyongju, the monotonous drizzle started to get a little heavier so I decided to duck into a little refuge to have some snacks. Whilst in there I got talking to a man who was having a look around with his family. He noticed that I didn't have an umbrella, so on leaving he requested I have his, stating that sharing the remaining umbrella with his wife would allow them to cuddle a little closer. Amazed at this generous gift I went off and explored more of the park with a broad grin across my face.

That evening I headed out in search of some food, but my natural instinct unknowingly took me into a bar rather than a restaurant. Happy with this outcome I sat down and ordered some mystery plate from the picture menu and a large glass of beer. When my food arrived I had no idea what it was but started to eat the rather rubbery textured meat. A fellow dinner came over and sat down next to me and started talking, he then explained that I was eating chicken stomachs. It wouldn't have been my normal choice but hey ho, in for a penny in for a pound so I carried on munching and sharing the poultry bellies with my new companion. Finishing the plate off I asked for the bill which my new friend insisted on paying it for me, before inviting me other to join his wife and friend for a few more beers.
The night progressed and we talked about many aspects of Korean and European culture and sport, and I told them about the nice man who had earlier given me the umbrella. As the night wound to a close it became very obvious that there was no way I would be allowed to pay anything that I had consumed. We walked out of the bar in great spirits, where upon one of my new friends noticed my new umbrella was small, yet I was taller than him, therefore he up graded my umbrella and insisted I take his larger one. I went to bed astonished at the hospitality shown to me.

Early the next morning I headed off for my bus, and had the great fortune to be sat next to a well dressed a fellow world traveller who was on his way to a wedding. We spent the hour trip talking about our favourite destinations and where else I would be heading in Korea. When we neared Daegu he said that as I had some time to spare in the city before my onward connection he would buy me lunch, as long as I didn't mind quickly popping along to the wedding. Baffled, but by this stage willing to go along with anything that the country would throw at me I decided to join him. The wedding was a swift affair, but I do wonder what all the Korean guests thought of the rather dishevelled backpacker standing in the corner whilst they greeted the happy couple and gave them gifts. My new friend bought me a magnificent feast for lunch (no exaggeration there were at least 20 separate dishes on the table) and carried on talking about future travel plans and his own upcoming wedding. Again there was no way I would be allowed to offer any money for the food despite my insistence, and I just resigned myself to the astounding hospitality when he also bought me a coffee and my onward metro ticket.

I rushed onto a bus to Haeinsa temple and in the hurry it seems it had got over booked and I would have to stand. A small Korean lady could not possibly see a guest stand the whole way and was adamant that I take her seat whilst she perched on a small step. I gave up, all resistance to this countries hospitality had escaped me, and it made for one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life as I continued around the country.

Whilst these 24 hours were a highlight it was by no means uncharacteristic, even I Seoul I had metro tickets bought for me and was given yet another umbrella! Korea was an absolute revelation and I really would encourage everyone to go there. You may not be as lucky as me, but even the most hardened of hearts will surely see that this place is a bit special.

Author joycevs
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#55 | Posted: 24 Dec 2011 13:47 
Wonderful story to read meltwaterfalls. That's what I liked about Korea too; the people are so friendly! And without wanting anything back for it. I was also offered an umbrella, food and a taxiride was paid for me and I got offered rides so I didn't have to take public transit all the time. And only because "you are a guest to my country". What if everybody in the world (including ourselves) would do that. Hmmm I don't celebrate Christmas, but this is a little x-mas spirit ;-)

Author winterkjm
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#56 | Posted: 24 Dec 2011 22:09 
Ha! One of the reasons I love Korea. What a great story to share over the holidays! It is definetly hard to pay a bill in Korea if you have company. It is very much a battle of wills and Koreans usually win!!! I have become somewhat sneaky with friends and I would slip the waitress my card well before the bill arrives.

I did a community internship teaching English at a Elementary school in Maeiji-ri in Gangwon-do province. While walking to this countryside school I noticed an old man in a wheel chair waving to me. His wife was cleaning vegatables nearby and he obviously wanted to speak to me. Coming up to him he started speaking heavily accented English to me, while his wife chuckled at him. Approaching him I noticed his hat stated he was a Korean War veteran. I bowed deeply to him and I spoke my best (broken) polite Korean. We chatted for a bit, and he wanted to tell me his story and thank me for teaching at the nearby school. I mentioned I was attending Yonsei University, and he told me he was an English intepreter during the Korean War. The respect and kindness he showed me was touching. I will never forget wonderful people like this in Korea, and I always look forward to returning.

Giving up an umbrella seems like such a natural courtesy in Korea. I always forgot to bring an umbrella, yet often after leaving a restraunt they would tell me to take one of theirs. I miss Korea immensly.

Author winterkjm
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#57 | Posted: 10 Jan 2012 02:27 | Edited by: winterkjm 
This is a great article highlighting 50 beautiful places outside of Seoul. The pictures are exquisite. Many of the sites are on Korea's tentative list.

URL

Tentative list sites featured

6. Upo Wetland - such a beautiful place to take a bike ride.

7. Jeungdo Salt Farm (Salterns) - a place I look forward to visiting upon my next visit.

8./44. Seoraksan National Park - one of the many beautiful national parks of Korea.

16. Naganeupseong Town fortress and Village - fun to stroll around the village and then get the view along the town fortress.

42. Suncheon Bay (Southwestern Coast Tidal Flats)- an incredible coastal wetland and a future Unesco World Heritage site.

Other great places

12. Udo Island

14./31. Jirisan National Park

18. Boseong Green Tea Plantation

39. Taebaeksan Provincial Park

Author winterkjm
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#58 | Posted: 20 Jan 2012 05:51 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Seoul City Wall's nomination progress. Planned as a tentative site to be added in June 2012, with an aim for 2015 as the potential inscription year. Namhansanseong Fortress, Ancient Mountain Fortresses, Naganeupseong Town Fortress and Village, and soon Seoul City Wall Fortress? It seems Korea is going a bit overboard nominating fortresses as of late, no? I think Namhansanseong and Naganeupseong might succeed, but I am unsure about the others.

http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120120000957

Author meltwaterfalls
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#59 | Posted: 20 Jan 2012 10:45 
It does seem like over kill for me. Especially when added to the already inscribed Suwon fortress.
I guess Korea is just going the same way as many of the other serial nominators though.

Author winterkjm
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#60 | Posted: 3 Feb 2012 06:34 
Looks like Korea is very active organizing early candidates up for nomination. More sites are also being considered for nomination, Tongdo-sa Temple apparently (perhaps an extenstion?). It is difficult to judge which sites are in line, but seemingly the plan is still the Baekje nomination, Namhansanseong, and Coastal Tidal Flats in the first round (2013, 2014). However, as of yet I don't know if any Korean sites made the Feb. 1st deadline for 2013. The yonhap news article states the Confucian academies nomination is also seeking 2014 as the year for inscription.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/02/03/33/0301000000AEN20120203004100315 F.HTML

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