Ibike Korea People-to-People Program



Photo essay: Jeongseon to Taebaek

    (43mi, 70km) Beautiful valleys, a spectacular gorge, a couple passes.
Points of Interest: gold mining area, Caves (mining exhibit and limestone caverns), medicinal spring
  Chosok, paying respect to ancestors Family paying their respects to their ancestors on Chusok.  It is unclear whether Chusok comes more from Korean Buddhist tradition or Confucius tradition.  It is sometimes referred to as Korean Thanksgiving because families come together and enjoy a big meal. 

Ch'usok or Harvest Festival Day (15th Day of the Eighth Month by the Lunar Calendar) is one of Korea's major holidays, and the most generous in spirit. Also known a Han-Gawi. It is a day of thanksgiving for a good harvest. As on Lunar New Year's Day (Korea's other major holiday), families come home from all across the country to celebrate together. A feast is prepared and families hold memorial services at the family gravesites. Viewing the full moon is a feature of the evening, when the Koreans would say, "The sky is high and the horse is fat." Families traditionally received new clothes on this day but today they are more likely to wear customary Korean dress such as the han-bok. Faithfully they pay respects to their ancestors with wine, rice cakes, and newly harvested fruits and grains like chestnuts, jujubes, persimmons, apples and Korean pears. The day is not complete without the half-moon shapes rice cakes called songp'yon.

  Hwaam Gul Cave Hwaam Gul Cave (natural lime stone cavern and abandon gold mine):  The caverns were discovered during gold mining operations Between 1922-1945.  The old gold mine has been redeveloped with exhibits on mining, the history of the cave, processing the ore, uses of mineral (jewelry) and geology.  Separate exhibits are tailored to adults and children. Artistic license has been invoked to light the stalactites and the stalagmites of the natural cave.  At the base of the hill are a small replica of mining camp and folk museum.
  Hwaam Yaksu (mineral water) medicinal spring Hwaam Yaksu (mineral water) medicinal spring.  The legend: There was a man named Moon Myung-moo who lived in a small village called Loo Sol Dong.  In 1913 he had a dream where he saw two splendid dragons.  One was blue and other was yellow.  In splendor they were flying around the bottom of a huge boulder what is now called Dong-Ja.  Having awakened from the dream, early in the morning the man was very excited so he looked for the place that he dreamed about.  Thus, he dug around the foot of the boulder, Dong-ja.  When he dug he discovered a reddish colored bubbling fresh water spring. He drank the water by scooping it with his cupped hands.  It tasted refreshing as well as giving a new sense of energy.  Being joyous with his discovery, he went told everyone in the village.  Hwaam yaksu has been providing miracle water to everyone who just enjoys drinking refreshingly cool clear water as well as to those who experience such illness as gastritis, anemia and ophthalmic.
  Kobukbawi (Turtle rock) and Shinsunbawi (Wizard Rock).  Turtle rock is a tutelary god of the area. As turtle is expected to live over a thousand years, it is believed that if people take sincere care of this rock they can stay healthy and avoid unlucky years.
   scenic Dongdae River gorge scenic Dongdae River gorgeCycling through the scenic Dongdae River gorge.  There are almost no vehicles on the road, it is generally flat, and mile after mile it is very beautiful.
  chicken coup, rabbit hutch Chicken coup, rabbit hutch
  Buddhist grave pair, most likely of a husband and wife.
  Iron monument in Yeodun-ri to mayor Yi Gyuheon Inside this monument house are iron Seonjeongbi, Geumokcheomwon and Yeongsebulmangbi commemorative monuments.  A Seonjeongbi was a monument given by the people to a king/governor/mayor or anyone for doing a good job during his/her period of rule, especially during the Chosun Dynasty. This Seonjeonbi honors Yi Gyuheon who served as Mayor of Samcheok, 1835-1839. In 1837, when the people were suffering from a serious famine, he came to their aid by opening the government storehouse to the people.  Iron monuments are rare in this area. The Yeongsebulmangbi, a monument for a person - again, usually a ruler - as a demonstration of the people's prayers for a long life, is also for the Mayor.  The Geumokcheomwon commemorates of the residents who constructed the Seonjeongbi..
  Cabbage field Cabbage field: Second to rice, cabbage is probably the most common crop.
  Road up the valley.
  Taebaek TaebaekTaebaek's economy was historically based on coal mining.  Most of the mines are now closed.  The town is tucked between the hills.  To reduce sprawl a lot of the new residences are high rise.

Jeongseon Ulchin

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