An inaugural vehicle tour program to look around traces of the ancient Korean kingdom of Baekje took place last weekend, organized by the South Chungcheong Provincial Government. Participants visited major tourist sites that give a glimpse into the ancient kingdom.
In a congratulatory remark in the opening ceremony on Friday, Vice-Governor Kwon Hee-tae said the tour is designed to help participants appreciate the culture and history of the kingdom that existed 1,400 years ago in the area, through a blend of camping and diverse programs.
After the opening ceremony, 50 vehicles carrying over 200 people from across the country began their tour. They first visited a tomb in memory of armies who fought against Japanese oppression. They next headed for a farmers' market where they took part in auctions and went grocery shopping for dinner. The auctions were popular among the shoppers as the starting prices were discounted by 50 percent. They were particularly eager to buy premium Korean beef, for which Hongseong is famous.
The next stop was a vehicle camping site near the Geum River in Cheongyang. The visitors put up tents and prepared dinner using what they had bought at the market.
On the second day, they visited various heritage sites where they were able to deepen their understanding of the kingdom. In the morning, they left for Gongju, the kingdom's capital, to look around a museum and the tomb of King Muryeong. A guided tour was provided, filling them in on the past in a colorful fashion.
In the afternoon, they visited a heritage-themed park and Gungnamji, the nation's first artificial pond created during the Baekje period. Having watched a musical at the park, they wrapped up the day with some recreational activities at a lodge.
On the following day, the participants headed for a military museum in Nonsan, where they had fun playing pop quizzes that kept them up to speed on the kingdom's history and some trivial facts. Wrapping up all the programs, the visitors said it was a refreshing tour and the perfect tonic for their hectic lives in the city.