Known as “The City of Filial Piety”, Suwon is the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The city lies 30 kilometers south of Seoul and is one of the most prosperous of the capital’s satellite cities, as well as a major educational center.
Photo courtesy of Ray_from_LA:
Defend against invaders in Hwaseong Fortress – built by King Jeongjo during the Joseon Dynasty between 1794 to 1796, this fortress is the most advanced during its time and was supposed to cement the cityâ€™s position as the new capital. It is made of bricks unlike other Korean fortresses made of stone, with the help of the first Korean crane. There are 4 gates:Â Paldalmun, Changganmun, Hwasomun, and Changnyongmun. A wall was also built around the city especially to protect the tomb of Jeongjoâ€™s father; travelers can traverse the length of this wall and enjoy a view of the surroundings at the highest points, such as Seonamgangnu. Hwaseong Fortress has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Relive your childhood in Everland – Considered the 5th most popular theme park in the world, Everland is the Disney of South Korea. There is a water park called Caribbean Bay, a motor race track called the Speed Way, Home Bridge, Glen Ross Golf Club, Art Museum, and a Transportation Museum among other attractions.
Take archery lessons in Dongbuk Gongsimdom â€“ Underneath the northeastern-facing long-distance observatory is an archery range where visitors can take lessons with a traditional Korean bow and arrow.
Marvel at the royal palace of Hwaseong Haenggung â€“ this is the palace where Jeongjo stayed whenever he visited his father. This site is recognizable as the setting for popular tv shows and movies such as the box-office hit â€œThe King and the Clownâ€. Events like the â€œ24 Martial Artsâ€, which features various weaponry and horseback fighting, are also held here.
Photo courtesy of The Chosun Bimbo:
Ring The Bell of Hyowon – located at the summit of Mt. Paldal, this bell commemorates the filial devotion of King Jeongjo to his father. Visitors must ring the bell three times: the first in thanks for the love from one’s parents, the second for the hope of happiness in the family, and the last in prayer for self-improvement. To get to the Bell of Hwoyon, take bus no. 11 or 13 from Suwon subway station and get off at the foot of the mountain, then climb up to the peak.
Watch the beautiful game at World Cup Stadium – Boasting an incredible 43,000-seat capacity, this stadium was the venue for one of the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup. It is now the home of the Suwon Blue Wings of the K-League.
Fill up on Galbi – Suwon is known for its galbi, a dish of extra-large beef ribs that surpasses regular galbi that is marinated and grilled over a charcoal fire. It is celebrated during the annual Suwon Galbi Festival, around late May or early June.
Parade around during the Suwon Cultural Festival – A historical procession is held throughout the city which recreates King Jeongju and his men as they visit his father’s tomb, a ceremony involving 1,500 men as well as many horses. This is followed by a Citizen’s Parade. Massive floats shoot out fireworks, while traditional dance shows, food festivals and colorful bazaars entertain the thousands of spectators. The whole event lasts 6 or 7 days around October 10.
To get to Suwon from Seoul, take the subway blue line going south to Cheonan. You may also take the commuter train, which is faster and more affordable.