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Things to Do in Jeonju

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Soswaewon Garden

The Soswaewon Garden in South Korea dates back to the 1500s when it was constructed by Yang Sanbo. A stone and mud wall surrounds the garden, with three inscribed stone and wooden panels built into it, including a board at the entrance displaying Kim Inhu's poem praising the garden.

The garden itself is a scenic spot — a mixture of nature’s work and artificial features that blend well together. Amid the landscape are a pond, two pavilions, and a bamboo grove. Elsewhere, a variety of different types of trees line both sides of a stream, and translucent water flows down the foot of the garden walls.

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Taekwondo Park

The Taekwondo Park in Muju, South Korea, opened in April 2014. It’s a unique site where Taekwondo practitioners from all over the world come to compete and train, and where visitors come to learn more about this popular martial art. It also celebrates the history, culture, and spirit of the sport with various activities and events aimed at the more casual visitor.

The sprawling grounds of the park contain the T1 Arena (the main stadium that seats 5,000 spectators), the Taekwondo Museum, a Sculpture Garden, and an observatory reached only by monorail.

There’s also an Experience Center, designed to encourage the park’s visitors to become more involved in Taekwondo. At the center, visitors can try out some basic training and techniques for themselves, including taking part in some virtual sparring using motion detection technology.

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Tapsa Temple
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Lee Gapyong, a retired scholar and hermit living in Maisan Mountain created some 120 pagodas from neatly piling stones on atop another. According to local lore, Lee Gapyong built the structures by himself over the course of three decades during the late 1800s, collecting stones by day and stacking his pagodas by night.

Only 80 of these structures remain — each with its own distinct size and shape — and they’re what make Tapsa Temple famous. Built without the use of mortar, these towers of natural stone have stood for over a century. The largest pagodas measure an impressive 30 feet (9 meters) tall.

The temple and its collection of pagodas sits beneath a cliff on Maisan Mountain inside Maisan Provincial Park, creating a bizarre temple landscape quite different from anything else in Korea.

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