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South Korea

 
 
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Author Durian
Partaker
#136 | Posted: 8 Jul 2015 03:42 | Edited by: Durian 
After Seowon and Seoul city wall I hope it will be a time for Gaya nomination, there are already 2 pending in the tentative list.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#137 | Posted: 8 Jul 2015 04:44 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Durian:
Gaya nomination

Traditional Buddhist Mountain Temples of Korea seems to be in for the 2018 slot, but off course that can change. The Gaya nominations, which I think will be combined into one single nomination, will likely follow sometime in 2019-2020.

Author Durian
Partaker
#138 | Posted: 21 Jul 2015 23:39 
Interesting Japanese report on Seoul' Baekje Site, seem that Seoul targets to nominate the site as an extension in 2020 but the archaeologists are facing protest from locals around the site from archaeological works which deceasing locals' quality of life, and ask for compensation.

http://japanese.joins.com/article/425/203425.html

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#139 | Posted: 22 Jul 2015 04:53 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Durian:
but the archaeologists are facing protest from locals around the site from archaeological works which deceasing locals' quality of life

This may seem perplexing (at first), particularly when considering how knowledgeable the general public in Korea is of the UNESCO World Heritage Program. The reason however is simple. Nearly all the Baekje sites in Seoul are in highly populated residential areas, relatively quite neighborhoods (for Seoul), and often close to large apartment/condominium buildings. These small sites, which not many locals really pay attention to for their history, but for their green space and very quite atmosphere. I particularly remember some of the Baekje tombs being a favorite for the elderly and locals walking their dog. Most of the sites belong to a district called Songpa-gu, which is a highly sought after piece of real estate in Seoul, being adjacent to Gangnam.

Therefore, the "challenge" is one of accessible-quite-free green space and the potential loss of development in and around these areas, which will surely face development restrictions. Pungnap Earthen Fortress by itself is 2-3 kilometers long, and you can bet there are developers who fear this extension might affect construction projects, further development, and the desirability of the real estate. Realistically, how much tourism benefits could possibly occur because of an earthen mound that looks like a small elongated hill? Seoul does NOT lack historic sites to fill tourist itineraries. Most of the Joseon Royal Tombs are outside central Seoul in mountainous/wooded areas that were already protected landscapes, which is very different than the Baekje tombs and earthen fortresses in Southern Seoul.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#140 | Posted: 22 Jul 2015 15:23 | Edited by: winterkjm 
If the Hanseong Baekje extension is added to the tentative list, how does it improve the Baekje Historic Areas nomination? This is the important question. I don't think it adds much to the serial nomination of 8 inscribed components. Indeed, similar properties in Gongju, Buyeo, and Iksan were actually cut from the original nomination when it had more than 8 serial components. The only real argument for an extension is that the Baekje sites in Seoul complete the story of the capitals of this ancient kingdom. Seoul was the original early capital of Baekje, but because of development/war the vestiges left of this kingdom are less prevalent than Gongju, Buyeo, or Iksan. Moreover, the archeological evidence at this point is still not 100% certain of the location of the Baekje royal palace in Seoul.

Baekje Remains in Seoul (Summary)

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#141 | Posted: 24 Jul 2015 02:36 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Symposium Meetings (Seoul Municipal Government)
- Significant activity on the local level to nominate 20th century "dark history" sites. I am very curious to hear how the Cultural Administration of Korea (CHA) views these proposals (approved or denied).

Yongsan Garrison (July 2015)
- World Heritage criteria 2, 4, 6
- "Once the troops relocation plan is completed (2016), we plan to transform the place into the city's major green place while preserving historical monuments. The Yongsan park will be a 'green' place that both memorializes painful history and heals the wounds."

Seodaemun Prison (November 2014)
- Comparative Analysis
- "We plan to launch a project to restore the prison into its original state by 2022. The city's restoration plan is part of its project to create a "hill of independence" in the region surrounding the park by setting up memorial facilities and exhibition halls to honor the spirit of patriotic ancestors and to help educate people about history."

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#142 | Posted: 9 Aug 2015 12:42 
Unjusa Temple (November 2013 - January 2014)
- International Conference Held
- Submitted to CHA January 2015, with expected submission to UNESCO in September 2015

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#143 | Posted: 20 Aug 2015 05:57 | Edited by: winterkjm 
This article really emphasizes the meaning of Seodaemun Prison to both Korea and Japanese visitors. It has perhaps become the strongest symbol of Japanese Colonialism in Korea and a memorial to Korean Independence Fighters. It has yet to be added to the Korean Tentative list, but based on reports over the last 2 years, it may be included in 2016 if its approved.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/08/19/2015081901503.html

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#144 | Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:14 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Hi winterkjm,
I am at the early stages of looking at a trip to S Korea to pick up my "missing 5" (Koch'ang Dolmen, Haeinsa, Baekje, Hwaseong and Namhansanseong).
As this seems likely to be my "last visit" to S Korea (though one should never really say that - I once found myself "unexpectedly" in little, "remote", Sao Tome for a 2nd time having never expected to ever be there again!!) I would also like to pick up those T List sites which are most likely to gain inscription in the coming years. Korea's T List stands at 15 at the moment I know you have done a good job at listing the expected dates of nominations in the next 4 years So I have
2016 - Seowon, Neo-Confucian Academies of the Joseon Dynasty
2017 - Seoul City Wall
2018 - Traditional Buddhist Mountain Temples of Korea
2019 - Gaya Tumuli: Gimhae & Jisan-dong
But what might be the strongest candidates thereafter? I know it is a difficult call and of course the conditions under which sites get nominated and inscribed might well change in the future - The WHS might even conclude for instance say that there really are enough City Walls and Mountain temples etc!! The more we move forward into unforeseeable circumstances the less likely I am to put time, money and effort into seeing any more - but it would be a shame to miss them if they were close by to our planned route anyway.
And you might well point out that some of them have enough merit to be worth making a detour EVEN IF S Korea never nominated them!!

Incidentally - I know from experience ( a long time ago!) that S Korea has an excellent bus system but we do like travelling totally free from the constraints of timetables etc and are thinking of self drive car rental for the trips away from the Seoul conurbation. What are you views about the logistics of this
a. Cost and ease of Parking for instance. I was amazed last month to discover the enormous amounts which many Spanish hotels try to charge for overnight parking - as much as 15 Euro. This is not common practice in UK (We managed our 3 weeks in Spain without paying once!)
b. Road signs and finding ones way around.
c. Cost of toll roads and indeed the need to use them - what are the "non toll roads" like? etc

Author elsslots
Admin
#145 | Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:23 
Solivagant:
worth making a detour

Have you also considered making a detour to Palau's Rock Islands? South Korea seems to me the easiest access point.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#146 | Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:40 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
Have you also considered making a detour to Palau's Rock Islands? South Korea seems to me the easiest access point.

I have always regarded the Philippines as the "natural" entry point to Palau (Korea is a very long way away??)Maybe less if the entire great circle from Europe is taken into account - but Manila isn't as expensive a flight as Korea? Best to try to take it in as part of a wider Transpacific etc ticket? I see that Korean Air do fly there so maybe with Korea itself as a "stop over" it could be on.

Yes - that could be the way to do it. A very quick search (no attempt to optimize on dates etc) shows Asiana charging London - Koror c £833 with Incheon stopover. The same airline charges around £630 to Incheon on the same dates - so, if you are allowed to stay in Korea on the ticket you are getting Palau return for around £200 add on - not bad!! But, I think you coulld do better than that on a simple London- Korea return ticket so the add-on is probably greater.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#147 | Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:52 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Solivagant:
2016 - Seowon, Neo-Confucian Academies of the Joseon Dynasty
2017 - Seoul City Wall
2018 - Traditional Buddhist Mountain Temples of Korea
2019 - Gaya Tumuli: Gimhae & Jisan-dong

2020 Naganeupseong, Town Fortress and Village

Under the Radar Candidates
Daegokcheon Stream Petroglyphs (Rumored for 2017 for quite a while, but postponed)
Southwestern Coast Tidal Flats (Rumored for 2016 for quite a while, but postponed)

It may be the most practical to connect Seowon locations with nearby Buddhist Temples
Sosu Seowon (Considered one of the most significant academies)
Buseoksa Temple

Other pairings (within 30 min. from each other)
Suncheon Bay (spectacular wetland scenery - part of the Tidal Flats nomination)
Naganeopseong, Town Fortress and Village

Daegokcheon Stream Petroglyphs
Tongdosa Temple (Certainly one of the premier historic temples in Korea)

Beopjusa Temple (largest and only 5-story wooden pagoda left in Korea, also the entrance to Songnisan NP)
Samnyeon Sanseong (Three Kingdom Fortress - ruined and original, mixed with some recent starkly white rebuilt portions)

Magoksa Temple
Oeam Village
(scenic, pleasant village, but likely does not have OUV)

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#148 | Posted: 22 Oct 2015 06:00 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Besides Seoul City Wall, there are also several sites that may make it onto the tentative list in the coming years that I personally view as worthy stops, even if their world heritage potential is somewhat of a long shot.

Seodaemun Prison
Jeong-dong: Old Legation Quarter
(Russian Legation Building, European Consulates, Seoul Anglican Church, Seoul Museum of Art, Deoksugung Palace)

If you do try to make it down to the Gochang Dolmens, a more rewarding visit may be to some of the nearby tentative nominations. There are tidal flats, salterns, and confucian academies relatively close by. Easy by car, difficult with public transportation.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#149 | Posted: 23 Oct 2015 01:51 
winterkjm:
Easy by car, difficult with public transportation

Thanks for replies. So you foresee no particular difficulty for someone with no knowledge of Korean script in driving there?

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#150 | Posted: 23 Oct 2015 08:37 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Don't waste your time driving in Seoul, that could be dangerous and slow. I know plenty of people who have driven in Korea, but don't speak Korean. Most of them did however have some working knowledge of reading Korean characters. Specifically, city and tourist names. So that challenge would depend on how ambitious you feel.

I have never driven in Korea myself, with KTX rail and the relatively easy bus system. However, whenever I was in a car with another driver, I realized the road system is not too difficult, and many of the historical or natural sites are well signposted. Maps including tourist sites are also abundant at rest stops. If driving is extra stress, I would just use trains and buses. The duration of your stay will really determine how much WHS and TWHS you can visit. For example, I took a bus from Seoul to Andong, Seoul to Boeun, Seoul to Gyeongju, among many others. I've also taken KTX from Seoul to Busan, and been a passenger in a car for traversing much of Gangwon-do and Jeollanam-do provinces. There are so much options, and by no means are buses or trains limited ONLY connecting with Seoul.

No difficultly (accessible by metro rail Seoul)
Namahansanseong
Hwaseong Fortress
Seoul City Wall
Seodaemun Prison
Royal Tombs
Jeong-dong Walk

Fairly Easy, Bus from Seoul
Gongju, Buyeo, Iksan (Baekje Sites)
(Sites in Iksan are a bit more off the beaten track, I had to use a mix of taxis and local buses)
- Depending on when you travel to Korea, Mireuksaji Temple in Iksan may be the most interesting Baekje site, granted the restoration is complete. The current completion date falls sometime in 2016. Oldest and largest stone pagoda in Korea.
- If you have some time in Gongju, it might be logical to try to visit one of the Buddhist mountain temples nearby. Magoksa Temple is about a 40 - 60 minutes bus ride from Gongju.

Middle Difficulty Bus from Seoul to Haeina/Daegu
You may have to make Daegu. It takes nearly 3 hrs from Seoul, and it will take some time to visit since its at the entrance of a national park (Gayasan). Secondly, it may be worth considering using Daegu as a base to not only visit Haenisa, but also the Jisan-dong Tumuli park which is perhaps the most interesting Gaya site and a key part of the nomination. Both sites are relatively close to Daegu. Dodong Confucian Academy is apparently not far away either.

Middle Difficulty, Bus/Train Seoul to Suncheon 3.5 - 4 hours
- Suncheon Bay (wetland, part of the tidal flat nomination)
- Naganeupseong, Town and Village
- Traveling to Gochang only for the dolmens may not be fully worth the time and effort, they are interesting yes. But the dolmens are best paired with other historical or natural sites. The Hwasun Dolmen site is located relatively close to Naganeupseong and Suncheon. It might be possible to do all 3 relatively easy and throw in Unjusa Temple in as well (potential tentative nomination).

Middle Difficulty, Bus Seoul to Boeun 3 hrs
- Beopjusa Temple (buses do not drop you off here, but follow the hikers!)
- Samnyeon Sanseong (serial component of the mountain fortress nomination
(Fortress can be tricky to visit, I couldn't find the bus, I took a taxi)

I can't speak much for logistics to these locations, since they are part of my current travel plan when I return to Korea
Daegokcheon Stream Petroglyphs
Tongdosa Temple
Sosu Seowon
Buseoksa Temple

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