2019.9.5 Travel Calendar
Muju, North Jeolla
Through Sept. 8 Fireflies, known as banditburi in Korean, were ubiquitous in Korea several decades ago, but disappeared from many parts of the country during industrialization. The insects are now considered a symbol of a clean environment. The 22nd annual Firefly Festival in Muju offers a firsthand look at the environment through such activities as an exploration tour to see wild fireflies. Various modern and traditional art performances, including folk plays, will be offered, as well as rafting and chances to catch trout with one’s bare hands.
For detailed information, visit the website at www.firefly.or.kr or call (063) 324-2440.
Sept. 7-15 Lee Hyo-seok (1907-1942) was one of the most famous Korean novelists of the 20th century. The highland town of PyeongChang is famous as his birthplace and for the gorgeous buckwheat flowers that cover the land in autumn. The festival commemorating the novelist, the author of “Buckwheat Season,” offers various programs in the buckwheat village. Programs include performances of traditional folk plays, re-enactments of traditional marketplaces, performances of traditional and modern music and dance and writing contests. Visitors will also have a chance to taste local specialty dishes made from buckwheat flour.
For more information, call (033) 335-2323~4 or go to www.hyoseok.com.
Andong and Hahoe Village, North Gyeongsang
Sept. 27 to Oct. 6
For centuries, the mask dance has been used to indirectly criticize the yangban class, or the ruling elite of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), by the common people.
Direct criticism of the yangban was strictly forbidden at the time, so people satirized the yangban from behind masks, developing the craft into various forms of mask dance with regional variations.
Visitors to Hahoe Village, one of the two Korean villages recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, can see the village’s Confucian cultural characteristics.
For more information, call (054) 841-6397~8 or visit the website at www.maskdance.com.
Buyeo, Gongju and Nonsan, South Chungcheong
Sept. 28 to Oct. 6
This festival, one of the oldest cultural festivals in the country, highlights the golden days of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. - A.D. 660), an ancient Korean kingdom located in the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula. Baekje was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla. This year’s festival will feature nearly 100 events, including parades, a memorial ceremony for the four great kings of Baekje, folk games, exhibitions and traditional Korean music and mask dance performances.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.baekje.org or call (041) 635-6980.
Agoda, one of the world’s fastest growing digital travel platforms, shared the top overseas destinations for Korean travelers during the Chuseok holiday (From Sept. 12 to 14) based on its booking data. Taipei, famous for its traditional culture and gastronomy, scoops the top overseas destination, with Fukuoka, Tokyo, Osaka, and Bangkok all making the top five destinations. Other top destinations include Da Nang, Shanghai, Okinawa Main Island, Bali, and Cebu.
This year sees Shanghai, Bali, and Cebu enter the top ten list of popular overseas travel destinations for Chuseok. Shanghai is not only famous for its unique cultural attractions such as the Bund, Yu Garden, and New Heaven and Earth, but surprisingly, also as a place to learn about and experience Korean history, including the site of the Korean Provisional Government. Meanwhile, in Bali, the “Island of the Gods,” is a great place to enjoy marine sports including surfing, or volcanic hiking, as well as enjoying the tranquility of the rice paddies fields around Ubud.
Cebu, which slips in at number 10, is an idyllic spot, blessed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, making it the ultimate haven to relax.
Kyoto, Sapporo, and Hong Kong slipped out of this year’s Chuseok top ten.
Marriott International, all-inclusive platform
Between 2022 and 2025
Responding to consumers’ growing desire for premium, worry-free vacations, Marriott International announced it is launching an all-inclusive platform to serve this increasingly popular vacation segment. The company also announced that it has signed contracts with hotel developers who plan to build five new all-inclusive resorts, investing more than $800 million and demonstrating their confidence in Marriott International’s scale, loyalty platform and operational expertise.
The resorts are expected to open between 2022 and 2025.
Marriott International plans to further expand its all-inclusive portfolio in popular, leisure destinations worldwide with a mix of new-build properties and conversions of existing resorts, including properties currently in the Marriott International portfolio. The new platform will provide the company’s 133 million Marriott Bonvoy members the option to earn and redeem points for this convenient, pay-one-price concept. Marriott International’s newly signed management contracts are expected to deliver five all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean and Latin America that, combined, would offer more than 2,000 rooms.
The planned resorts include: 650-room Autograph Collection resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2022, as well as four spots in NIA, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
Mexico spots include 240-room The Ritz-Carlton resort and 400-room Westin Hotels resort expected to open in 2023 as well as 300-room Autograph Collection resort and 500-room Marriott Hotels resort, anticipated to open in 2025.
* Most of the travel calendar information is culled from the Yonhap News Agency and written by Korea JoongAng Daily.