Seoul has been the capital of Korea since the 14th century. The heart of Seoul is the old city, named Joseon Dynasty city. The main tourist attractions are: the Tonggunung tombs Chonsugongbang, Changkyong Palace, Pomun-s Temple, Toksungung Palace and The Secret Garden in the Changdok Palace. By the Han riverside you can see the newer and wealthier areas of Gnagnam-gu. The World Trade Center is also located in this area and it is the converging point of many important expositions and conferences. COEX Mall is the largest indoor shopping and entertainment center in the region.
Busan Metropolitan City, also known as Pusan is the largest port city in the Republic of Korea. Surnamed the summer capital of Korea, it attracts tourists from all over the country to its six beaches. Take in the view from Pusan Tower in Yongdusan Park and visit the Yi Sun-shin statue, the fish market (best seen 6-7 am) the U.N. Cemetery (where fallen U.N. soldiers from the Korean War are buried) and the Municipal Museum. Dongnae Oncheon is a natural spa area with many baths, tourist hotels, restaurants, clubs and shopping areas. Daytrips include Haeundae which has casinos and a spa); Kumgang Park (beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring); and Pomosa, a 7th-century temple area. Pusan is also the departure point for Cheju island.
Located in the southwest sea of the Korean peninsula, Cheju island, known as a place of fantasy or mystery is the largest island in Korea. Cheju seems a world away from the mainland even though it's relatively easy to reach is an hour flight south of Seoul or an overnight ferry ride from Pusan, Mokpo or Wando. Its temperate climate, natural scenery, and beaches make it a popular tourist destination, a perfect place to spend a romantic gateway. The main attractions are: Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon waterfalls, Mountain Halla, Hyeobje cave, Hyeongje Island. Depending on seasons, there are several festivals like: penguin swimming contest in winter, cherry blossom festival in spring, midsummer night beach festival in summer, horse festival in autumn.
Gyeongju is a major tourist destination in eastern South Korea, due to the city's status as a center of Silla heritage. Many Silla sites are located in Gyeongju National Park. These include the Royal Tomb Complex, the Cheomseongdae observatory, the Anapji pond, and the Gyerim forest. The Gyeongju National Museum hosts many artifacts from the Silla kingdom. The grotto of Seokguram and the temple of Bulguksa were the first Korean sites to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1995. In addition, the ruins of the old Hwangnyongsa temple, said to have been Korean's largest, are preserved on the slopes of Toham Mountain. Various Silla-era stone carvings of Buddhas and bodhisattvas are found on mountainsides throughout the city, particularly on Namsan.
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