Tourism Ministry announces top 25 photo-friendly spots

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Tourism Ministry announces top 25 photo-friendly spots

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Clockwise from left: Mungyeong, North Gyeongsang; Daedeok, Daejeon; Suncheon, South Jeolla; Boryeong, South Chungcheong. Provided by the Tourism Ministry [JoongAng Ilbo]

Although the winter cold is only grudgingly loosening its grip this year, you can still spot the green buds appearing on the bare branches.

Those tantalizing hints of spring are putting the fever in people who’ve been cooped up all winter to get out and see some more green. They’re packing up their picnics and their cameras and hitting the road with their friends and family.

If you’re looking for some spots that make great spring destinations, then you should check out the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism’s list of “Green Photo-friendly Attractions of 2013.”

The list includes 25 destinations across the peninsula - six sites near rivers, lakes and reservoirs; six seaside spots and islands; and 13 places in mountains, valleys and hills.

The list is not only for tourists seeking places to go, but also for local governments, to tell them the areas with potential that lack facilities but could be developed into destinations.

“We got applications from local governments for sites that are scenic but their accessibility and eco-friendly facilities and equipment need improvement,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We received a total of 62 applications and we made the selection after reading the forms and conducing on-site inspections in consultation with experts in tourism, ecology and photography.”

So the 25 destinations will likely get a significant boost, as national and regional budgets will be allocated so that facilities such as observation decks, rest areas, trails and signs will be set up or improved.

The sites include famous tourist destinations like the Haeundae District in Busan, known for its beautiful beach; Jecheon in North Chungcheong, with its scenic lake and mountains; as well as Mungyeong in North Gyeongsang, home to Mungyeongsaejae, the historic mountain pass in the city.

Also featured are Yangyang in Gangwon, also known for its exquisite beach and Suncheon, South Jeolla, which features the world’s fifth-largest wetlands and is a favorite for sunset photographers. The latter is also hosting the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo this April.

Taean in South Chungcheong, which suffered a major oil spill off its coast in 2007 and has been suffering greatly in terms of tourism and environment, also made the list with a 6.5-kilometer (4-mile) trail called “Taebaegil,” or Taebae Road. The trail - boasting a view of about ten islands, golden sand beaches, huge mud flats and other sights - is attracting about 200,000 visitors every year, according to Taean County officials.


By Kim Hyung-eun [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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