Introduction

   Situated in the mid-western part of Korea, 160 km south of Pyongyang, it is a beautiful city with a long history. It was the old capital of Koryo (918-1392), the first unified state of Korea, for nearly 500 years. The town is on the Military Demarcation Line which divides the Korean peninsula into two parts, drawn by foreign forces.

   It is also home to Koryo Insam, a world-famous medicinal herb.

   The area of Kaesong is a singular tourist destination. In the area there are Panmunjom and concrete wall as well as many places of historical interest and scenic spots. Visits to them will offer a glimpse of the time-honoured history and developed culture of Korea and the tragedy of the divided Korean nation.

   In Juche 102 (2013), 12 historical relics and remains in Kaesong were registered as the World Heritage Sites.

   You can visit Kaesong by train or by car and it is better to travel along the Pyongyang-Kaesong highway. Halfway between Pyongyang and Kaesong there is Sugok Tea House for travellers and a few tunnels further on, you can see fossil footprints of a dinosaur 180 million years ago.

Tourist attractions

Ryongthong Temple

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   It is nestled at the Ryongthong Valley of Mt. Ogwan 10 km away northeast of Kaesong City.

   It is the holy place of the Korean Chontae Sect of Buddhism which was derived from Korean Buddhist circles and established and disseminated as an independent sect for the first time in Korea.

   The father of the Chontae sect is Uichon, the Great Priest Taegak (born on September 28, 1055, as the fourth son of King Munjong, fourth descendant of Wang Kon, founder-king of Koryo). His family name is Wang and given name Hu under the pseudonym of Uichon. He was titled Great Priest Taegak after his death.

   In the Ryongtong valley there are a tomb chamber of Uichon, a tombstone, a stupa and a hall for memorial services.

   It was built in the early 10th century and flourished in ties with Wang Kon’s family. It existed under the protection of the successive kings of Koryo for 700 years till the 16th century when it closed. The present temple was renovated in Juche 94 (2005).

   It covers an area of 60 000 square metres with Pogwang Hall, Junggak Hall, Sungbok Hall, Pojo Hall, Yongnyong Hall and Kyongson Hall.

   Displayed and preserved there are a lot of historical relics and remains like the monument to the Great Priest Taegak ,site of flagpole and Buddhist paintings.