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[Travel Bits] Festivals, sights across Korea

By Choi Si-young

Published : April 19, 2024 - 09:01

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Deoksugung musical tour

A “mini-musical” and a violin-cello duo performance, along with refreshments like coffee and madeleines, will be the highlight of nighttime tours of Deoksugung, set to run from May 1-3 -- exclusively for foreign nationals.

Performances will take place at the palace’s Seokjo Hall, the first Western-style stone building in Seoul built in 1910. Tours, each limited to 18 people, will take place three times a day. Reservations for the 90-minute tour are required and can be made at creatrip.com.

The same tour will be available for the general public from April 16 to May 25, with reservations available at ticketlink.co.kr.

Changdeokgung ‘gugak’ tour

Nighttime tours exclusive to foreign nationals are taking place April 27-28 and May 2-3 at Changdeokgung. The tours will include “gugak,” or traditional Korean music, and dance performances.

The performances will take place at the palace’s Nakseon Hall and will be accompanied by refreshments. Six tours will take place daily -- three starting at 7 p.m. with another three starting at 8 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at creatrip.com.

The general public can join the tours Thursday through Sunday from April 11 to June 2. Reservations can be made via ticketlink.co.kr.

Changgyeonggung tour with ‘Map of East Palaces’

Free guided tours of Changgyeonggung will be offered every Sunday through May 12. The tours will be based on the “Map of East Palaces,” a 19th-century painting that depicts Changgyeonggung and Changdeokgung, two adjacent palaces that share the same garden. In the late Joseon period, the two palaces were often collectively referred to as the East Palaces, reflecting their location east of the Cheong Stream.

During the hourlong tours that start at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., a guide will make stops at various points in the Changgyeonggung grounds, explaining the history behind the halls and structures.

The first 20 visitors to arrive at the Okcheon Bridge just past Changgyeonggung’s main gate will be able to join the tours. For more information, visit english.cha.go.kr.

Water Light Festival at Daecheong Park

The Daedeok Water Light Festival will run through May 6 at Daecheong Park, located in the Daedeok District in Daejeon.

The park will be lit up from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A wide range of performances will be staged, including traditional Korean music, classical music, poetry readings and busking.

Admission to the Daedeok Water Light Festival is free.

For updated performance schedules and more information, visit daedeok.go.kr.

Guided Han River tour

Free tours that make stops at historic sites near and around the Han River will run through November.

Tours will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, with each tour lasting about two hours. Reservations need to be made five days in advance for individuals and a month in advance for group tours. Reservations can be made via visit-hangang.seoul.kr.

Text messages will be sent when reservations have been completed or if a tour is canceled. Each tour requires at least three participants and good weather without rain or fine dust to set off.