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Overview

Chungcheong is a land of rice paddies, ginseng fields, remote temples and rolling mountains. But despite its position in the center of the country, the region is largely overlooked by foreign travelers (with the exception of the Boryeong mud festival, an event which seems to attract every expat in the country). Admittedly Chungcheong's principal cities have little going for them, but visitors who take the time to explore the hinterlands will find themselves diving into a land steeped in history. The Baekje dynasty ruled over the area for almost seven centuries until 660 AD, and the resulting cache of treasure from buried kings now fills ...

Chungcheong is a land of rice paddies, ginseng fields, remote temples and rolling mountains. But despite its position in the center of the country, the region is largely overlooked by foreign travelers (with the exception of the Boryeong mud festival, an event which seems to attract every expat in the country). Admittedly Chungcheong's principal cities have little going for them, but visitors who take the time to explore the hinterlands will find themselves diving into a land steeped in history. The Baekje dynasty ruled over the area for almost seven centuries until 660 AD, and the resulting cache of treasure from buried kings now fills museums in Gongju and Buyeo — two former capitals — to the brim. Elsewhere lie Guinsa, a maverick temple that's surely the most ambitious in the land; Songnisan, a national park home to a huge golden Buddha; island after tranquil island in the Yellow Sea; and the Independence Hall of Korea, which leaves visitors in no doubt as to why Koreans generally harbor feelings of resentment for the Japanese.

Norbert Paxton
About the Expert

Norbert Paxton is the author of the Rough Guide to Korea and contributor to the Rough Guides to China and Vietnam.

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Norbert Paxton for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Avoid the summer, when the national parks are packed and sticky.