What To Expect
Travel to Suwon to explore Hwaseong fortress from the 18th century. Although relatively small in scale, it is well acknowledged as the best structure of its kind ever built in Korea. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its unique value, a 5.74 kilometer long fortress is parapeted with crenels and merlons and highlighted by four main gates, lofty observation towers, command posts, floodgates, sentry posts, gate guard platforms, crossbow platforms, beacon tower, and secret gates leading down to the dark labyrinths.
The two remaining observation tower named Gongsimdon, meaning "tower with empty interior", are among the most distinctive structures among all facilities of the fortress. A walk through the whole fortress could take several hours but it is well worth making a short walking tour to enjoy the splendor of the fortress.
Your tour starts at the Paldalmun gate that sits in the middle of a busy main road. Following the stairs up you will encounter with a lookout tower sitting on the turret that extends a short distance perpendicularly from the wall. The rampart runs on a flat terrain and you will see the area outside to the north and east. After the sentry post sits beacon tower with its five chimneys for making different signals with fire and smoke: one for peace time; two when the enemy has been spotted; three when the enemy is approaching; four when the enemy has made its way into the city; and five when combat has started.
As you move on you will see more sentry posts, turrets, Changyongmun gate, a crossbow platform, a gate guard platform, an observation tower, a secret gate, and an exquisite L-shaped pavilion with an ornate roof. The pavilion stands on a hill with beautiful willow trees overlooking a lotus pond with an artificial islet. Below the pavilion sits northern floodgate, a stone bridge with seven arched sluices topped by an elegant open pavilion and brick-built parapet. After a short walk from here you will finally reach Janganmun, the north gate of the fortress.
Next, visit Anseong brassware museum featuring the history of brassware, production process, variety of products categorized by different manufacturing methods, and brassware utensils used at different occasions. Chiljangsa temple is less colorful, but houses several cultural assets and hold four interesting legends originated from a true history.
You will enjoy a traditional Korean court dance along with a shaman dance, a drum dance, a crane and a phoenix dance, a fan dance and a mask drama is also included in your tour. And lastly, you will enjoy Namsadang performance staging for two hours from 18:30. It is a very causal performance of rhythmic drum beats, puppet show, acrobatics, tightrope walking and plate spinning.
Baudeogi was a nickname for Kim Am-deok, an orphan girl who was left abandoned on a rock and found by the Namsadang Troupe in 1847. She was raised by a group of male acrobats who taught her to dance on a rope and perform acrobatics. She proved to be a brilliant student, surpassing most of them and becoming the first and only female leader of the legendary Troupe. Baudeogi mesmerized people with her amazing feats and performances until she died of pneumonia at the tender age of 23.
Then be ready for a late night return to Seoul.
Royal Court Dance
Full coverage of transportation
Lunch and dinner
Optional activity costs
Tips and gratuities
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2 days / 1 night
2 days / 1 night
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12 hours and 30 minutes
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