We started our day with a tour of a cosmetics factory in Cheonan (cool robots in the warehouse). From there we traveled about an hour away to Sejong, a planned city that was just built within the last 5 years. The idea was to relocate the capital from Seoul so there are something like 15 governmental agencies here. Korea is very densely populated (600,000 in Cheonan) and this city was built in former farmland to accommodate half a million people. We saw an amazing calligraphy exhibit in the National Library and had lunch in the rooftop restaurant overlooking... get this... the performing arts center set in the middle of a lake.
From Sejong we made our way to Buyeo for a quick boat trip up the river to a temple dedicated to the 3 wives of the last king of Baekje and his 3000 ladies of the court that threw themselves from the cliff at the site to preserve their honor from being compromised by the conquering Silla army somewhere around 600 AD.
Wow, 3000? Apparently “King Euija” is used as slang for playboy today.
We had a quick visit to the Buyeo National Museum dedicated to the archeological history of the Baekje civilization where we saw about a unique gilt bronze incense burner, a beautiful piece and a Korean National Treasure.
Our day was completed with a reception and dinner with members of the Cheonan City Council. We were warmly welcomed and shared a delicious meal while getting to know about each other.