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Getting ready for your city tour

Nov 13,2017
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What is most important in a day tour is the visitor’s physical strength. If one thinks the tour as merely taking a brief stroll, they will soon find out that they are wrong during the tour. Make sure to dress according to the weather, and prepare sunglasses or hats for the blazing sun. Guides all agree that high heels are not recommended and flat shoes would hurt after just an hour. It is best to abstain from heavy drinking the night before, and to have breakfast before a morning tour. Shin Ji-seon of Wolharang, Garden Culture Institute, said, “The days when I provide rice cakes or snacks during the morning tour, people seem to be much active.”

When the guide provides a wireless transmitter, an earphone is provided as well. However, it might not fit as comfortably as visitors’ own earphones if they have to wear it for about two hours. So it is recommended for visitors to bring their own.

Tourists can select a course that suits them the best. Although Gyeongbok Palace, Deoksu Palace and Changdeok Palace were all built in Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), a tour of Gyeongbok Palace centers on King Sejong while at Changdeok Palace, it is more about the kings of late Joseon, and at Deoksu Palace, about King Jeongjo.

Among the “Alley Walking Courses” that Jongno District provides, Bukchon, Sejong Village and Buam-dong are especially popular. The route can be modified in accordance to the participants’ interests and strength. The tour guide is selected randomly and it is free of charge. The tour can be registered at tour.jongno.go.kr.

The guide also recommends a book for participants to read ahead of the tour, or to read it as a review afterwards.

Kim Byeong-ae, who explained the “literature of the backstreet,” always carries a book in order to enhance her explanation.

Lee Yong-gyu, who walked along Gyeongbok Palace, recommends books that share related facts, and Shin of Wolharang, suggests a book about gardens and their history.

BY LEE HYUN [hong.youkyoung@joongang.co.kr]