Kaesong Old Quarter

North Korea is probably one of the remote destinations in the world that offer great natural parks and it is almost completely unexploited by tourism. The months of June to September offers break from the icy winters of North Korea with average temperatures between 23 and 29 degree Celsius. For people who are fond of snow, North Korea is a haven for ice-skating and other winter activities.

Today, Kaesong Old Quarter has about two hundred thousand residents but eight hundred years ago, its population was near to four times when it was still the capital of the Koryo Dynasty. Kaesong used to be an extravagant, wealthy and sophisticated metropolitan area that was filled with Buddhist nobles. However, it was neglected for centuries and three major wars left the metropolis in ruins. Nowadays, there are a few relics and museums in Kaesong Old Quarter that present various significant artifacts and depict the history of the city.

In 992, the Songgyungwan Neo-Confucian College was built and it was rebuilt after the invasion of Japan in 1592. The college is home for the Koryo Museum that holds Buddhist relics and pottery. In special occasions, Confucian ceremonies are reenacted in the Museum for visitors. Kaesong is now a modern city that has wide streets but it is of trivial interest compared to Keasong Old Quarter where houses with traditional roof tiles are in between the main road and the river. Furthermore, the town is where the Sonjuk Bridge is located, which was built in 1216 as well as the Songin Monument, built to honor Chong Mong-ju, a Neo-Confucian hero. The Tomb of King Kongmin, who reigned between the years of 1352 to 1374, is located just out of the Keasong Old Quarter. The King’s tomb is luxuriously adorned with traditional granite, making it one of the famous tourist attractions in the area.

Visiting North Korea can be quite a challenge so it is probably more appropriate for experienced travelers who are looking for a different kind of adventure. With its severe weather especially during winter, it is recommended to make your trip during the spring or the early fall or late summer. These seasons offer impressive and gorgeous skies as well as breathtaking blooming flowers and the magnificent colors of autumn.

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