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Great escapes for autumn weekend getaways

The Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex in Jecheon, North Chungcheong. Provided by the organizers

Jecheon offers much more than herbal medicine - it is also a great escape for an autumn weekend getaway. 

Located approximately two hours from Seoul, the scenic mountains and lakes of Jecheon are an ideal place for a single day or overnight trip. 

For history buffs, Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex is a one-stop tourist spot containing cultural heritage buildings and artifacts from the region before it was flooded in 1985 for Chungjuho Lake. Noteworthy are Hanbyeokru Pavilion, Seokjo Yeoraeipsang Buddha, Paryeongru Pavilion, Geumanmru Pavilion, Geumbyeongheon Hall, Eungcheonggak Pavilion and the Cheongpung Confucian School. 

The Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is 3,000 won ($2.70) for adults, 2,000 won for youths and 1,000 won for children. For more information, visit (Korean). 

If you want to see the trees, the best place to do it is from up top. Mount Bibong by Cheongpung Lake is an ideal place to take in the fall foliage while paragliding. Mount Bibong is one of the most sought after site for paragliders and hang gliders in Korea. The annual paragliding national championships have been held at the location since 2008. 

On Mount Bibong (531 meters above sea level), visitors can take a monorail halfway or 1.2-kilometers up the mountain. Due to the narrow hiking path, city officials built the monorail in 2006. An extension will take visitors to the peak starting late next year. 

With the inaugural Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo, Jecheon City invested 100 million in the development of the area with the aim of making it one of the top tourist destinations in the region. 

Monorails are available daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Paragliding costs are from 90,000 won to 200,000 won. For more information, visit (Korean) or call (043) 642-3326. 

How to get there: Express buses from Seoul to Jecheon take approximately two hours and are available at Gangnam Express Bus Terminal and Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. Free shuttle buses for expats are available from Tuesday to Sunday from Gwanghwamun, central Seoul. To reserve a space on the bus, visit,

Trains are also available from Seoul Station and Cheongyangri Station and take three hours and twenty minutes and two hours and twenty minutes, respectively. 

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