Royal Asiatic Society offers Gangwon Province excursions

The Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch is running two overnight excursions to Gangwon Province destinations in the coming weeks.

A trip to Mount Seoraksan will run from Oct 25-26. The tour will leave at 8 a.m. and begin with some afternoon hiking to Biryong - or "Flying Dragon" - waterfalls, the site of some of the mountain's most quintessential fall scenery.

There will be a short trip to Shinheungsa Temple, before dinner and an optional dip in the Cheoksan local hot springs.

The second day will offer two choices: hiking or spa. The hiking option will involve a climb to the top of Ulsanbawi Rock, with less energetic hikers offered an easier option. A trip to one of the mountain's peaks by cable car will follow. The spa option will take in Waterpia spa resort.

An excursion to Gangneung will follow from Nov. 1-2, with a tour of buildings listed as cultural treasures. The group will also stay the night in one of the most important of them, Seonkyojang, the 18th-century estate of Gangneung's most important aristocratic family.

The tour will be guided by Peter Bartholomew, who has lived in Korea for 43 years and lived at Seonkyojang from 1968-72.

The first day will include visits to Gangneung Gwan-a, the Joseon era centre of provincial government, as well as an early 15th-century Confucian academy, the 19th-century aristocratic pavilions by Gyeongpo Lake and a nearby shamanistic shrine.

Rounding off the day, the tour group will look around Gyeongpodae Pavilion, a 17th-century pleasure pavilion with historical, cultural and literary significance.

After an in-depth walking tour of the Seonkyojang estate on Nov 2, there will be a period of relaxation, with tea and traditional Korean rice cakes in its lotus lake pavilion.

Trips can be reserved through