Dae Jeon is the capital of Chungnam Province, South Korea. This is a large city conveniently located just 50 minutes from Seoul. Dae Jeon’s moment in the limelight came in 1993, when it hosted the Taejeon International Expo which drew 14 million visitors. The Expo Park is still the main tourist attraction, but most surely not the only one. Visitors are urged to take “science tours” that showcase the city’s leading role in South Korea’s development as an R&D powerhouse in the science and technology sectors. Dae Jeon also highlights what it calls the “Eight Magnificent Sights” tour that includes the Expo Park, five mountains, a lake, and a spa. If you intend to follow this itinerary, start by booking a car for hire in Dae Jeon right now.
You can start with the Expo Park, since it is the most popular attraction in town. Besides, you also get to see the nearby National Science Museum, Currency Museum, and the Daedeok Research and Development district. It makes for a nice mini-museum tour within the self-guided science tour. Get a car for rent in Dae Jeon and continue to the Daejeon Observatory, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
If you are not a science geek, then you can leave the science tour behind after the Expo Park and head out on your own tour of the “Eight Magnificent Sights” of Dae Jeon. The Expo Park is one of the magnificent eight, so that leaves you with the magnificent seven. The most famous of them all is Sikjangsan Mountain, said to be Dae Jeon’s guardian and protector. The other four mountains are Mt Bomunsan, Mt Gubongsan, Mt Jangtaesan, and Mt Gyejoksan. The seventh site is the historic Yuseong Spa, whose waters are said to have magical healing powers. The last of the magnificent eight is Daecheonghosu Lake, created when the Deacheon Dam was built. It is now the perfect spot for bird watching to see white herons and other migratory birds.
There are more than two dozen fairly decent hotels available for visitors in Dae Jeon. If you want to drill down to the top five hotels, your list must include the Daelim Hotel, Hotel Adria, and the Toyoko Inn Daejeon. Finally, Hotel Interciti and the Sheraton Hotel rounded up the top five hotels.
You could follow the crowd and head for Seoul, Incheon, and the DMZ beyond just like any other tourist. But a better way to get to know the real South Korea is to get into a car and follow the coast. Book your car rental in Dae Jeon right now and plan for a coastal drive from Sinduri beach and Taeanhaean National Park in Taean all the way to Seoul. You can stop along the way at Ansan and Incheon to spend some time on the beaches. Interesting inland detours along the way include the cities of Hwaseong and Suwon in Gyeonggi-do province.
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