Jirisan Trail is a 300 km–long walking trail connecting the three provinces (North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and South Gyeongsang), 5 cities and counties (Namwon, Gurye, Hadong, Sancheong, Hamyang), and about 80 villages in 16 townships around Jirisan Mountain. It was established in 2011 by restoring and connecting old paths in the area in a large circle.
Nogodan Peak, which is 1,507 m–high, is considered to be one of the three greatest peaks of Jirisan Mountain, along with Cheonwangbong Peak (1,915 m) and Banyabong Peak (1,734 m). It is a part of the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range. Since the Silla period, it has been considered as a sacred place, used as a training site for Silla’s Hwarang order and as a site of rituals. Around the 1,100 m to 1,200 mark lies a plateau covered by an expansive daylily field, which was used as a summer vacation spot for Westerners who lived in Korea between the opening of commerce and World War 2. Like many other peaks in Jirisan Mountain, Nogodan Peak is renowned for its powerful silhouette and foliage, and the breathtaking view from the peak.
Located in Hwangjeon-ri, Masan-myeon, Gurye-gun, Hwaeomsa Temple was founded in 544 CE by the monk Yeongi. It was named after the Avatamsaka Sutra. The cultural and historical value of the temple complex is evident in the numerous artifacts maintained by the temple, including four National Treasures, seven Treasures, one Natural Monument, and two Local Monuments, along with the renowned Gakhwangjeon Hall. The temple is also notable for its interesting layout: starting from the Iljumun Gate, the next gate of Cheonwangmun Gate lies about 30° to the northeast, a contrast to the Geumgangmun Gate of the west.
A blast of cool water from Surak Falls is enough to clear even the most sweltering summer heat. The volume of the waterfall remains gentle enough that one does not have to worry about muscle pain or damage to eardrums. Indeed, locals say that a massage from the waterfall is beneficial to one’s health by mitigating neuropathic pain and postpartum afterpain.
Gwanghallu Pavilion, Namwon
Gwanghallu Pavilion was designated as Treasure 281 of Korea on January 21, 1963. The pavilion has the characteristic Paljak (hipped-and-gabled) roof, and was made famous by the classical folk tale Chunhyangjeon. It was renamed from its original name of Gwangtongru Pavillion by the Joseon-era scholar Jeong In-ji.
Hwagae Market has always been a bustling fifth-day market. The village of Hwagae lies on the confluence of Jirisan Mountain’s waters with Seomjingang River, and the Hwagae Market lies on the border between South Gyeongsang and South Jeolla Provinces. Before the Liberation of Korea, it was one of the five largest markets in the country. Today’s Hwagae Market is renowned for its cherry blossoms in spring, along a road that connects Hwagae Market with Ssanggyesa Temple. One can find traditional market fare like soup, acorn jelly, malt candy, and regional specialties like mountain herbs and green tea. Hwagae Market is also home to one of the few remaining old-style smithies in Korea, which offers handmade gardening tools like Korean sickle and Homi
Green Tea Plantation in Boseong
Boseong County is Korea’s largest producer of tea and is also known as the center of Korean tea culture. Even today, Boseong County accounts for 40% of the total tea production in Korea.
Seomjingang Train Village
Located in Oji-ri, Ogok-myeon, Gokseong-gun, South Jeolla Province, Seomjingang Train Village is home to a restored steam train, which runs along a 10 km stretch of tracks between the old Gokseong Station (Train Village) and Gajeong Station. A slow ride on the steam locomotive is the best way to enjoy the greenery and the flowers that bloom along the Seomjingang River.