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DESTINATION FOCUS


In fact, there is an amazing variety on of- fer here in the fifth largest port in the world.


INCHEON Korea’s other major port and gateway to vibrant capital Seoul, Incheon is a major city in its own right and home to Incheon International Airport, one of the largest in the world and the country’s key entry point. It is also dotted with numerous islands and islets that make the sea-going ap- proach a must-see on your Korean sojourn. It lies in a strategically important position for trade and cultural exchange with sea routes connecting to the rest of the world, especially nearby Chinese cities, hence it is often linked on many China itineraries. The Airport, stunning 15-mile Incheon


Festival, celebrating the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. Not only can visitors take part in ceremonies dating back hun- dreds of years, but the festival also features entertainment from all over the world, including kite-flying, martial arts and dar- ing horse-riding. The scenery and beaches make it a


natural draw for much of the region, hence it is busy year-round, but the natural won- ders are ideal for visiting by a ship-organ- ised excursion, including Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon waterfalls, Mount Halla, Hyeobje cave and Hyeongje island. Hallim Park is another major draw, on the east of the island, while Manjanggul is one of the longest (and most visited) lava tubes in the world, along with Manjang Cave. Depending on the season, Jeju hosts many


festivals especially for tourists, including a penguin swimming contest in winter, cherry blossom festival in spring, the midsummer night beach festival and Jeju horse festival in autumn. A place for all seasons? You bet.


BUSAN The country’s second city and principal port, it is located in the south-east on the Korean Strait facing across to Japan, hence it features on many itineraries that also include Japan.


Set atop and amid a series of fairly steep hills, Busan (formerly Pusan) affords some wonderful ocean-backed cityscapes, not dissimilar to Hong Kong, and is famous for its seafood, antique shops and beaches. Be sure to check out the likes of


Haeundae Beach district with its carnival boardwalk, and Gwangalli Beach with its renowned cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as Hallyosudo Waterway and its picturesque islands.


42 WORLD OF CRUISING I Winter 2011-12


“Korea is a MODERN, DYNAMIC country still in touch with its ROOTS AND TRADITIONS”


Other must-sees include scenic and


historic Taejongdae Park with its own Lookout and great sea views, and Jagalchi Market, an amazing mix of fresh fish stalls and restaurants selling the local delicacy, Hoe, a raw fish dish. The Pusan Aquarium and Museum should also feature on your ‘To do’ list, along with historic temples like Beomeosa, one of Korea’s leading urban temples, and Chungnyeolsa Shrine. The National Mari- time Museum of Korea is also due to open here in May 2012, the first of its kind in the country and another good reason to visit.


Bridge and skyscrapers of the Free Econom- ic Zone of Songdo have changed the city landscape in recent years and one of the best ways to tour is by using the Incheon City Tour, which covers the three major areas of the downtown, the airport area, and Ganghwa island – full of 19th


century


fortress history and Buddhist monasteries. More must-see attractions include Wol-


mido Island, with its coffee shops, restau- rants and parks; the Korean Traditional Gar- den in Wolmi Park; and the modern history of the Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation (Municipal Museum), built to commemorate the UN Forces landing led by General MacArthur during the Korean War, with its three-dimensional diorama.


YEOSU The country’s newest port, this south-west hub features some magnificent terrain and attractions old and new, notably Dolsando- daegyo Bridge, a 500-yard suspension bridge linking the mainland and Dolsando Island. Dolsan Park, next to the end of the bridge, has excellent views of the har- bour and a replica of one of Admiral Yi’s revolutionary iron-clad turtle ships – a 17th


century maritime phenomenon. But perhaps the most obvious draw


here is Boseong Green Tea Plantation, the oldest and most unique tea garden in Korea, with impeccable teas produced on 100,000-acre farm that afford fabulous views of the South Sea. 


MORE INFO: Check out these websites: www.gokorea.co.uk and www.english.visitkorea.or.kr. Yeosu also hosts Expo 2012 next May-Aug or http://eng.expo2012.kr/main. html. In the UK, call 020 7321 2535 or email London@GoKorea.co.uk; for cruises to Korea, contact The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677 or www.cruiseline.co.uk.


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