• Matthew Oh

6 Historical and cultural sites near Camp Humphreys, South Korea

You don't need to be in Seoul to experience South Korea's rich culture and history! Here are some interesting attractions within two hours driving distance from Camp Humphreys, the largest American installation in the Pacific.

1. Hyeongchungsa

Hyeonchungsa is the shrine of Admiral Yi Sun Sin, South Korea's famous naval hero whose revolutionary tactics defeated Japanese invaders in the 16th century. This beautiful park contains the admiral's childhood home, memorials to Yi and his family, a museum, 4D theater, and so much more! It's also a lovely place for a photoshoot, and some high school seniors choose to take portraits here. Hyeonchungsa is located in Asan, about half an hour away from Humphreys.

2. Independence Hall

A forty-five minute drive from Humphreys, Cheonan is the birthplace of many major players in the Independence movement during the Japanese occupation of Korea, hence the location for the Independence Hall of Korea. Similar to the U.S. National Mall, this park is home to monuments and seven museum galleries that share the story of the March First movement and other symbolic struggles for freedom during one of Korea's darkest times.

3. Cheongnamdae

Formerly a retreat for South Korea's presidents, Cheongnamdae is now a tourist attraction that commemorates the country's leaders. Tour the presidential villa, see artifacts from each of Korea's presidents, or hike one of the park's many scenic trails. If you're up for a climb, observatories throughout the park's hills offer an amazing view of Daecheongho Lake. Located in Daejon, about an hour and a half away from Humphreys, Cheongnamdae is the perfect site for a weekend day trip.

4. Hwaseong Fortress

This impressive fortress was built during the Joseon dynasty in the 18th century. Explore the temporary palace of King Jeongjo, walk the walls and gates that surround the center of Suwon, wander a museum of the era, or witness a martial arts demonstration at one of Korea's most notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city of Suwon is about half an hour from Humphreys.

5. Baekje Cultural Land

The Baekje Kingdom dominated the southwestern part of the peninsula throughout the 1st to 7th centuries, and their influence extends all the way to Japan and China. Experience life in ancient Korea within this massive recreation of a Baekje city. Complete with an interactive museum, five storied pagoda, royal capital, castle, and peasant village, Baekje Cultural Land is perfect for a day trip, located about an hour and a half south of Humphreys.

6. Oeam Folk Village

Looking for something quick to do? Oeam Folk Village is a relatively small but very authentic recreation of an ancient rural Korean town. Cultural activities, displays, and food make this a nice short trip down the road to Asan.

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