Situated in Korea's far southeast, Gwangju is an ancient city that has long been economically and culturally significant. Because of its tradition of political dissent, Gwangju has seen its share of tragedy; in 1929, the city was the site of violent protests and demonstrations against the oppressive Japanese colonial government. Fifty years later, Gwangju was once again wracked by riots against the ruling military dictatorship of South Korea - which responded with lethal force.

Today, Gwangju is a pleasant, comfortable city that is known as the "Home of Delicacies" - and for good reason. Not only are its streets named for ingredients - Duck Street, Raw Fish Town - every fall, it hosts an annual kimchi festival. Its safe, friendly streets host a variety of attractions, from teeming markets hawking electronics to a lively restaurant, bar, and nightclub scene.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.


Learn how to make kimchi, the national dish of Korea, with a well-known local chef. This ubiquitous dish, in which a wide array of ingredients are pickled and preserved, varies by region. Due to Gwangju’s coastal location, fresh oysters and seaweed are often included in the fermentation process, along with chilies, herbs, radish and pear.

Naganeupseong Folk Village

Visit Naganeupseong Folk Village, which is centered around a 600-year-old fortress. The rustic village is still inhabited and there are over 100 authentic thatched-roof houses; while several are businesses, most are home to the roughly 85 families who live here. Tour the area with an architecture expert and learn more about traditional Korean architecture.

Rice Farming

Share a cup of tea or a meal with a rice farmer and his family to learn more about issues unique to agrarian life in present-day South Korea. This experience will illuminate the pressures that Korea as a whole faces, and also provide insight into why the Korean word for rice, bap, also means “a meal.”

Tea Plantations

Hike through Gwangju’s verdant tea plantations. While green tea is the primary crop of the area, Koreans also brew tea from persimmon leaves, mulberry leaves, pine needles, roasted barley, ginseng root, and other natural ingredients. Have a private tasting with the owner of the plantation, who will create a personal blend for you to take home as a keepsake of your journey.

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