Korea Travel – Following the huge success of KBS drama “Descendants of the Sun (태양의후예), where the Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo (Song Song Couple) couple got together; we learnt that the imaginary country of Uruk was set in the city of Taebaek, South Korea. With the official divorce of the Song-Song Couple, the memories of this drama probably concluded as well. Apart from being a filming set, Taebaek is also a city for all seasons traveling in Korea, although I admit that it can be a little far out.
Filming site of Descendants of the Sun – Taebaek Hanbo Exhausted Mine (한보탄광)
The filming set, namely the military base, was set up in an exhausted mine from Taebaek Hanbo. The set was destroyed after the filming concluded, the place is still open to visit and one can see for example the military training site (which existed prior to the set because those are ruins of the mine’s buildings). In any case, this location has been transformed into kind of a tourist attraction, which also has a tourist booth in case you need help.
📍Gangwon-do, Taebaek-si, Tongdong-san 67-1 (강원도 태백시 통동 산67-1)
🚇 Nearest Station: Dongbaeksan Station (동백산역), Yeongdong Line / Mugunghwa Line
Taebaek Sunflower Festival (태백 해바라기축제)
What better representatives of Summer than sunflowers right? Flower fields are the best backdrop and props for the perfect instagram shot. From cherry blossoms and bamboo forests that Japan is infamous for, to sunflower field nearer to home in Thailand; you name it and South Korea seems to have it all.
Guwau Village (Taebaek, Gangwon-do) boasts of it’s endless fields of sunflowers (the largest sunflower patch in Korea), and plays hosts to the Taebaek Sunflower Festival. The festival takes place in about a 661,157㎡ filled with 300 species of wild flowers along with a sunflower field walking path and other hands-on program with wild flowers. However, the festival runs within a specific period (July – August), so you will need to time your trip accurately.
📍38-20, Guwau-gil, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do 강원도 태백시 구와우길 38-20 (황지동)
Taebaek Sangjang-dong Mural Village (태백 상장동 벽화마을)
Sangjang-dong Mural Village is located in an old mining neighborhood. The murals portray the joys and sorrows of the miners and their families. The colorful paintings allow visitors to easily see how hard the work was as well as how many people lived in the very near past. The village has been improved upon by residents who volunteered and shared their artistic talents to participate in Taebaek-si’s new village movement in 2011. The best thing about this place is, it’s “open” all year round through the seasons.
It doesn’t get much more “winter” than a festival centered around the beauty of snow and all that you can do with it. Check out the magnificent snow sculptures at this celebration of winter – the artists go all out and create intricate scenes using only snow, so they definitely put simple snowmen to shame. Apart from the snow creations, there are also plenty of concerts, performances, and opportunities to karaoke occurring throughout the town to keep the celebration going late into the night. Definitely add this festival to your list if you’ve made it through the holidays and you still can’t get enough of winter!
Of course, if you come during other seasons, you should also take in the marvellous views of Mount Taebak (태백산) all year round.