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Moon Shines in Shilla

Posted September. 03, 2003 23:27,   


This year`s Chuseok holidays will continue for five days, three days at least. And holiday travelers will be able to enjoy peaceful and beautiful night in Shilla, a city of 1000 thousand years, circling around the old towers and listening to Korean traditional music. Marking the one of the year`s biggest holidays, Hong Kong is hosting the Mid-Autumn Lantern Celebration, donning streets with lamps with all colors. Here are some tips for holiday travelers.

◇Moonlight in Shilla = Experience moon-shining nights in Shilla. When the full moon appears in the night sky in Shilla, the remains of the ancient kingdom in the city begin to reveal their scenic beauty under the moon. Travelers can join such events as circling the tower and dancing in a circle. After moving their bodies, they then sit for Korean rice cakes and green tea and listen to Korean traditional music performed lively.

The ˝greeting the moon in Shilla˝ event will be held on Sept. 13 to mark Chuseok holidays. The organizer will continue selling tickets of the event through Sept. 10. △˝Greeting the Moon˝ from 5:00 p.m. through 11:00 p.m. = Sightseeing (Anap Pond and Hwangryong Temple) – Buhwang Temple (circling around the tower) – Hwangryong Temple (Korean traditional music, tea and rice cakes) △1,2000 for adults and 10,000 for kids - dinner, sightseeing, music and snack and drink included. △For reservation, visit the Shilla Culture Center Web site (www.silla.or.kr) or call 054-774-1950 △Hyundai Hotel Gyeongju will offer a special discount for those participating in the event at 80,000 won for one-night stay (tax included, a discount for breakfast buffet).

◇Night Fishing Scene and Moon Greeting in Ulreung-do = When the squid-fishing season comes around at this time of the year, fish flowers begin to appear on the water off Ulreung-do. The flowers are in fact lights from fishing boats that go out at night to catch squids. Travelers can see the white lights-dotted sea from Chusan Family`s pensions located on the hillside of Cape Songgot (meaning an auger). The scene will be just magnificent if you take a cable car at Donong to go up there to Manghyang-bong Observatory.

Ulreung.com (www.outdoor7.co.kr), a traveling agency specializing in Ulreung-do tour, is offering ˝Three Color Tour,˝ marking Chuseok holidays. Travelers will experience two beauties of the island – fishing boats and the full moon at night. △Buses will leave for Ulreung-do at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 11. △Tour will include Juk-do, Taeha Lighthouse, a round trip of the island, moon greeting and night fishing scenes, and meals such as seafood bulgogi and steamed rice & sea mussels. △325,000 won per each. △For reservation, call 1544-7644

◇ Like in Korea, the mid autumn day is as important as the New Year`s Day in China. The Chinese eat round rice cakes as we have `songpyeon,` crescent-shaped Korean traditional rice cake. The Chinese rice cakes are known to have been made to hide a round robin among the Han race who fought against the Mongo race in the 14th century.

In the lotus lantern festival for the mid autumn day held in Hong Kong from September, people can taste the Chinese round rice cakes that look like many different shapes such as rabbits, fish, and airplanes, and have lotus roots, sesame, and jujubes inside. The most interesting event is the Lantern Wonderland where lotus lanterns of every color are decorated along the streets of Causeway Bay and Victoria Peak (schedule for Sept. 7 through 16). The Fire Dragon Dance from Sept. 10 to 12 is also expected draw attention. There are other exciting events for September, including the lotus lantern exhibition, carnivals, and parades.

The Korean office of the Hong Kong Tourism Association. (www.discoverhongkong.com/kor/).

Meanwhile, Hanatour introduces a special package, leaving for Hong Kong on Sept. 10 and returning on Sept.12, for 849,000 won. (Tel. 1577-1212)

◇ Special tourist packages for holidays are on sale. Dong-a Travel sells remainder seats for a five-day Bangkok and Pattaya tour leaving on Sept. 6 and 9 for 379,000 won and 664,000 won, respectively. A five-day tourist package in the Philippines leaves on Sept. 13 for 474,000 won. The six-day tour in Beijing and Mt. Baekdoo is sold for 179.000 won. (Tel. 02-777-8100)

Tourbaksa also presents a variety of cheap holiday tour packages, ranging from 229,000 won to 599,000 won. A five-day spa tour package in Kyushu, Japan, leaves on Sept. 7 and 10 for 399,000 won. Another package leaves on Sept. 9 and 10 for Osaka for 399,000, including round airfare and accommodation. For more information, call 02-730-6166.