Heo Jun, a royal physician during the Chosun Dynasty, published a defining historical document about traditional Korean medicine in 1613 called "Donguibogam." It was designated by UNESCO in 2009 as part of its prestigious Memory of the World register.
Marking the 400th anniversary of the book's publication, a traditional medicine fair took place until Sunday in Sancheong, South Gyeongsang Province, which was the birthplace of Heo's teacher. The fair offered a variety of shows and hands-on experience.
The most popular spot was the main exhibition hall documenting the heritage of "Donguibogam" and its contents. Greeting visitors with the aroma of medicinal herbs, the exhibition hall presented a variety of medical information and highlighted the wisdom encapsulated in the ancient medical text. Life-size wax dolls at the entrance showcased traditional ways of preparing medicines with herbs and treating patients using acupuncture.
After the waxworks, a gallery nearby afforded visitors a deeper understanding of traditional medicine while giving them the chance to play games and watch educational videos. Foreign-language services were also available to explain the works on display.
In front of the main exhibition hall was a sculpture park, considered one of the top tourists spots in Sancheong. The 20-m high sculpture of a golden turtle, which symbolizes health and longevity, presented great photo opportunities. There were also pillars dotted about featuring descriptions of various medicinal herbs and their healing properties.
At another exhibition hall, traditional medicines from 21 countries including India and Mongolia were displayed. Visitors were allowed to get hands-on experience of unique treatment methods such as Indian scalp massages and Tibetan urine analysis.
Even though the fair has now ended, the facilities at the venue remain open to the public, including the path connecting the sculpture park with a windmill-shaped observatory. The 18-m-high observatory was illuminated by LED lamps in the evening, adding to the romantic ambience. The aromatic scents of various herbs along the path also helped refresh visitors' bodies and minds.
For more information on traveling in and around Sancheong, visit www.sancheong.go.kr or call 055-970-6000.