Compiled by royal physician Heo Jun in 1613, "Donguibogam," a historic medical encyclopedia, was designated by UNESCO as part of its prestigious Memory of the World register in 2009.
To mark the 400th anniversary of its publication, Sancheong in South Gyeongsang Province will hold a traditional medicine fair from Friday to Oct. 20. The fair offers a variety of shows and hands-on experience that will appeal to older visitors and young children alike.
◆ Wax Dolls for Kids
Visitors with children are recommended to take a look at the main exhibition hall documenting the heritage of "Donguibogam" and its contents. It attracts kids' interest from the entrance with wax dolls and the aroma of medicinal herbs. After the waxworks, another gallery comes into view dealing with medicinal knowledge and highlighting the wisdom encapsulated in the ancient medical text.
Children can also have fun playing outdoors on a field bearing the sculpture of a golden turtle, which symbolizes health and longevity, a statue of Heo Jun, and a two-storey observatory. There are pillars dotted about featuring descriptions of various Korean medicinal herbs and their healing properties so that the kids can learn while they play.
◆ Health Check-Ups for the Elderly
For the elderly, the fair offers a more healing experience. Visitors can get a medicinal examination from a herbal medicine doctor and enjoy other services like acupuncture, moxibustion and a special massage that touches on the body's meridian pathways -- all for free. In addition to this, they can experience a foot bath customized to their specific constitution as identified by time-honored medical practices.
Traditional medicines from 21 countries including India and Mongolia will be also displayed, allowing visitors hands-on experience.
◆ A Special Path for Lovers to Tread
Those who come with their boyfriend or girlfriend are encouraged to stroll along a path filled with a diverse range of herbs including Siberian chrysanthemum. These are said to help discharge toxic chemicals from the body and replenish energy levels.
Midway along the path, they can stop at a deer farm to relax and feed grass to the animals. There is also an observatory in the shape of an 18 m high windmill that affords views of the site. The most romantic time to visit is in the evening, when it is illuminated by LED lamps.
◆ A Feast of Herbal Dishes
Another highlight of any visit to the fair will involve sampling a range of herbal dishes. Sancheong is home to a host of edible plants that grow on two of its most famous mountains, Mt. Jiri and Mt. Wang.
Before the arrival of western medicine, Koreans integrated many of these into their diets with a view to preventing disease. A course meal here consists of over 30 side dishes and costs less than W10,000 (US$1=W1,110).
For more information, call 055-970-8600 or visit http://www.tramedi-expo.or.kr.