Kunsan, South Korea

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kunsan, South Korea

Region: Jeollabuk-do

Geographic Coordinates: 35.983300, 126.717000
Temperature Range: -20.0°C to 40.0°C (-4°F to 104°F)
Climate: Kunsan has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters, and experiences typhoons in late summer to early autumn.
Population: 275155
Language: Korean

Kunsan is a city located in the North Jeolla Province of South Korea. It is situated on the coast of the Yellow Sea and has a population of approximately 300, 000 people. Kunsan is famous for its beautiful beaches, Delicious seafood, And rich cultural heritage. One of the most popular attractions in Kunsan is Gunsan Modern History Museum. The museum showcases the history of Gunsan during its modernization period from 1899 to 1945. Visitors can learn about how Gunsan transformed from a small fishing village into a bustling port city. Another must-see attraction in Kunsan is Dongguksa Temple.

This ancient temple was built during the Silla Dynasty and features stunning architecture and intricate carvings. Visitors can also enjoy peaceful walks through the surrounding forested area. For those interested in nature, Saemangeum Seawall offers breathtaking views of both land and sea. Spanning over 33 kilometers, It is one of the longest seawalls in the world and provides an excellent opportunity for hiking or cycling while enjoying stunning views. Kunsan’s local cuisine includes fresh seafood dishes such as grilled mackerel or squid soup with rice cakes known as Ojing-eo Sundae.

The city’s famous Gomtang beef soup made with slow-cooked beef bones has also become increasingly popular among tourists. In addition to its cultural attractions, Kunsan hosts several annual events that draw visitors from all over South Korea. One such event is The Gunsan International Film Festival, Which takes place every October showcasing films from around Asia. Overall, Kunsan offers visitors an opportunity to experience South Korea’s rich culture while enjoying breathtaking natural scenery along with delicious local cuisine making it a must-visit destination for travelers looking for an authentic Korean experience!

Important Landmarks

  1. Gunsan Modern History Museum
  2. Wolmyeong Park
  3. Gunsan Saemangeum Seawall Observatory
  4. Dongguksa Temple
  5. Eunpa Lake Park
  6. Geumgang Estuary Barrage
  7. Gogunsan Island
  8. Gunsan Seonyudo Island
  9. Jinpo Maritime Theme Park and Marina
  10. Jeonbuk National University Museum of Art

Primary Industries

  1. Kunsan, South Korea is a city that is well-known for its industrial and agricultural sectors.
  2. The major industries and businesses in Kunsan include:
    • Shipbuilding, which is one of the primary industries in Kunsan. The city is home to several shipyards including Hyundai Heavy Industries.
    • Agriculture, with the city producing rice as well as fruits and vegetables.
    • Manufacturing, which thrives with the production of electronics, machinery, textiles and other goods.
    • Defense, which plays a significant role in the city’s economy with Kunsan Air Base serving as a major base for the United States Air Force in South Korea.
    • Tourism, which also contributes to the economy of Kunsan due to its proximity to Yellow Sea which makes it an appealing destination for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts alike.
    • Education, with several universities located either within or near Kunsan such as Kunsan National University and Chonbuk National University’s Jeonju campus.
    • Healthcare, which plays a crucial role in serving both local residents of Kusan as well visitors from neighboring areas with multiple hospitals and medical facilities available within the city.

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Kunsan: It was a major battle during the Korean War that took place in July 1950. The United States Marine Corps defended the city against North Korean forces.
  2. General Douglas MacArthur: He visited Kunsan during the Korean War and established an airbase there for American troops.
  3. Admiral Yi Sun-sin: He was a famous naval commander who defeated Japanese forces in several battles during the Imjin War (1592-1598). There is a statue of him in downtown Kunsan.
  4. Jeong Yak-yong: He was a renowned scholar, philosopher, and politician from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) who lived in Kunsan for some time.
  5. Kim Jong-pil: He was a former Prime Minister of South Korea who was born in Kunsan.
  6. Cho Yoon-sun: She is a former Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea who also hails from Kunsan.
  7. Ssangyong Cement Industrial Complex explosion: It occurred on November 22, 1997 when an explosion at a cement plant killed over 50 people and injured hundreds more.
  8. Goguryeo tombs: There are several ancient tombs from the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BC – AD 668) located near Kunsan that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Kunsan National University Museum is a museum that showcases the history and culture of Kunsan and its surrounding areas.
  2. Gunsan Modern History Museum displays the modern history of Gunsan, including its development as a major port city during the Japanese occupation.
  3. Dongguksa Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the mountains near Kunsan, known for its beautiful scenery and traditional architecture.
  4. Wolmyeongdong Natural Temple is another Buddhist temple located in a scenic mountain setting, with beautiful gardens and hiking trails.
  5. Gunsan City Hall is an impressive building constructed during the Japanese colonial period, now serving as an important cultural center for the city.
  6. Seonyudo Park is a beautiful park featuring a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge, with walking paths and picnic areas.
  7. Janghang Culture & Arts Center is an arts center featuring exhibitions, performances, and workshops focused on traditional Korean culture.
  8. Jeonbuk Art Center showcases contemporary art from Korea and around the world.
  9. Jeonju Hanok Village is famous for its traditional Korean houses (hanok) which have been preserved since Joseon Dynasty era.
  10. Gyeonggijeon Shrine – A historical shrine dedicated to King Tae-jo who founded Joseon Dynasty.

Sports Teams

  • Kunsan does not have any professional sports teams.
  • However, there are recreational and amateur sports teams in the area including:
    • Soccer
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Baseball
  • The Kunsan Air Base also has various intramural sports leagues for military personnel stationed there.

  • Cultural Events

    1. Kunsan International Film Festival: This annual event features a diverse selection of international films and attracts filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts from around the world.
    2. Kunsan Cherry Blossom Festival: Held in April each year, this festival celebrates the arrival of spring with beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom. Visitors can enjoy food stalls, traditional performances, and cultural activities.
    3. Kunsan Air Base Open House: The US Air Force base in Kunsan hosts an open house every year to give visitors a glimpse into military life and showcase aircraft displays.
    4. Jeonbuk Traditional Music Festival: This festival celebrates traditional Korean music with performances from local musicians as well as international acts.
    5. Kunsan National Gugak Center Performances: The National Gugak Center is dedicated to preserving traditional Korean music and dance. They regularly host performances showcasing various styles of gugak (traditional Korean music).
    6. Kunsan International Jazz Festival: Jazz enthusiasts can enjoy live performances by local and international jazz musicians during this annual festival held in September.
    7. Korea Food Expo: This expo showcases Korea’s diverse cuisine with food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and cultural events.
    8. Danoje Festival: Celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (usually June), this festival features traditional games such as ssireum (Korean wrestling) and tightrope walking along with other cultural activities such as mask dances.
    9. Janghang Cultural Festival: Held annually in October or November, this festival celebrates the rich history of Janghang-gun district through various cultural events including folk games, concerts, parades, and more.
    10. Korea Queer Culture Festival: Held annually since 2000 to promote LGBT rights awareness among Koreans while celebrating diversity within Korea’s LGBTQ+ community through street parade, exhibitions, talks, etc.


    • Ganjang Gejang (Soy Sauce Marinated Crab) – a dish made with fresh crabs marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices.
    • Sundubu-jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew) – a spicy stew made with soft tofu, vegetables, and seafood or meat.
    • Jjimdak (Braised Chicken) – a dish made with chicken braised in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices.
    • Naengmyeon (Cold Buckwheat Noodles) – a cold noodle dish served with broth or vinegar-based sauce.
    • Dakgangjeong (Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken) – crispy fried chicken coated in sweet and spicy sauce.

    Some popular restaurants to try these dishes include:

    • Gyeongju Sikdang – known for their ganjang gejang
    • Hwaro Hyang – specializes in sundubu-jjigae
    • Sinseon Seolleongtang – famous for their seolleongtang (ox bone soup)
    • Yeongyang Center Jjimdak Alley – serves delicious jjimdak
    • Mulnaengmyeon Bang – known for their naengmyeon

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Kunsan National University Arboretum
      2. Geumgang Park
      3. Kunsan City Sports Complex
      4. Dongjin River Bike Path
      5. Janggok Park
      6. Sosohaean Beach
      7. Gyeongam Citadel
      8. Wolmyeongdong Natural Recreation Forest
      9. Jeonbuk Zoo and Botanical Garden
      10. Kunsan Air Base Golf Course


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