In the alluring city of Iksan, where every moment gleams like a precious gem, an expedition into relaxation and tranquillity eagerly awaits. Iksan stands on the brink of evolving into the esteemed ‘5 Million Tourist City Iksan,’ dedicated to offering visitors both respite and distinctive experiences.
By capitalising on its abundant tourism assets and unique cultural offerings, Iksan is developing an innovative tourism ecosystem to set the pace for domestic travel trends. With a primary focus on elevating ‘long-stay tourism,’ the city advocates for night-time attractions and skilfully incorporates cultural and artistic components with a variety of local resources, thereby resulting in the creation of the distinctive ‘Iksan-style tour.’
Welcome to Iksan, where modernity seamlessly intertwines with ancient heritage!
Iksan proudly embraces a blend of modern and ancient cultural legacies, showcased by the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Baekje Historical Areas. This remarkable site preserves the echoes of dreams and accomplishments that trace back over 1,400 years to the reign of Baekje’s King Muwang. Immerse yourself in the entirety of Iksan with the exclusive tour
Welcome to Iksan
Where Modernity Seamlessly Intertwines with Ancient Heritage!
Iksan proudly embraces a blend of modern and ancient cultural legacies, showcased by the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Baekje Historical Areas. This remarkable site preserves the echoes of dreams and accomplishments that trace back over 1,400 years to the reign of Baekje’s King Muwang. Immerse yourself in the entirety of Iksan with the exclusive tour.
Explore the Serenity of Iksan in One Go
Nestled in the Jeollabuk-do province in the east central region of South Korea, Iksan is conveniently positioned a mere 70 minutes from Seoul via the KTX (Korea Train Express). For first-time visitors to Iksan, consider taking the Circular City Tour, a comprehensive exploration covering all your sightseeing needs in one go. This tourist-friendly bus offers a comfortable and convenient exploration of the diverse charms of Iksan, guiding you through historical, natural and cultural landmarks.
The primary route is a circular journey commencing from Iksan Station, passing through the Headquarters of Won Buddhism (a modern Korean Buddhist religion), Gosrak (offering experiences in the making, tasting and purchase of Gochujang (red chili paste), vinegar and more), Prison Set, Mireuksa Temple Site, Archaeological Site in Wanggung-ri, Gem Museum and finally returning to Iksan Station.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 8, 2015, during the 39th Committee session, the Baekje Historic Areas bring the heyday of Baekje to life, transforming into a captivating tourist destination.
Nestled beneath Mount Mireuk, the ancient grounds of Mireuksa Temple were established by the 30th King Mu of the Baekje Dynasty, showcasing the splendid culture and spirit of the Baekje Dynasty. This temple site is believed to exemplify the most advanced architectural and cultural skills of Baekje, Silla and Goguryeo. It encompasses cultural assets spanning from the Baekje Dynasty to the Joseon Dynasty.
The Mireuksa Temple Site is distinguished by its two main features namely the stone pagoda (Mireuksaji Seoktap) and the flagpole supports (Mireuksaji Dangganjiju). These elements provide an awe-inspiring view of the sunset, making it a beloved location for photographers.
Recognised as National Treasure No. 11, the Mireuksaji Seoktap is the largest and oldest stone pagoda in South Korea, symbolising Iksan’s cultural legacy. Following an extensive 20-year restoration effort, the 14.24-meter pagoda proudly stands as the west stone pagoda, revealing its original beauty. Presently featuring six tiers, it is believed to have originally possessed nine tiers. The east stone pagoda, towering at a majestic height of 27.67 meters with nine stories, underwent meticulous restoration in 1993, aligning with historical records.
Additional surviving landmarks include the flagpole supports, recognised as National Treasure No. 236, situated to the south of the stone pagodas. These poles, standing at a height of 395 centimeters, are believed to date back to the Unified Silla period (AD 676-935) and are strategically positioned 90 meters apart from east to west.
In the daytime, indulge in the essence of Baekje with the ‘Yoga Here’ programme. Set against the tranquil backdrop of Mireuksaji, this outdoor yoga experience offers a unique opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. It invites you to breathe in the fresh air, connect with nature, creating a special moment of serenity in the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Iksan.
As night falls, Mireuksa Temple becomes renowned for its stunning night view, open for viewing without any time restrictions, allowing visits even after events conclude.
The Iksan World Heritage Media Art Festa, offering a unique world cultural heritage experience set against the night sky, was successfully held for a month from September 9 to October 9, 2023. By integrating Mireuksaji Temple, the Media Art Festival unfolds a mesmerising evening in Iksan. It features a media facade that incorporates the latest technology while preserving the scenic beauty of cultural heritage.
The city designed this festa as a ‘place of intuitive world heritage experience,’ utilising visual and digital technology to convey heritage through convergence media art. This approach combines cultural heritage, nature and information and communication technology (ICT), providing a holistic experience instead of relying on a direct historical explanation.
To immerse yourself in the spirit of Baekje culture, which flourished in 7th-century East Asia under the rule of King Muwang, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wanggung-ri Historic Site is indispensable. This historic site is where the royal palaces of Baekje were situated during the Three Kingdoms era.
On September 17, 1998, the Archaeological Site in Wanggung-ri earned the designation of Historic Site No. 408, encompasses an expansive area of 216,862 square meters. This site features diverse structures and artifacts dating from the Baekje dynasty to the unified Silla period. Under the scrutiny of the Cultural Heritage Administration since 1989, this site is recognised as the largest relic of the Baekje Dynasty, alongside the neighbouring Mireuksa Temple site. Notably, artifacts were discovered within the rectangular-shaped fortress that encloses the Wanggungri five-story Stone Pagoda holds the distinction of being National Treasure No. 289.
This historic site provides a comprehensive insight into the architecture of the Baekje Dynasty royal palace, showcasing the king’s administrative and residential quarters, the iconic rear garden, the Wanggung-ri five-story stone pagoda, an expansive restroom and artisanal spaces. It is widely recognised as a leading educational center for historical studies.
Have you ever imagined the five-story stone pagoda in Wanggung-ri transforming into a golden tower? This mesmerising moment of wonder can only be truly appreciated when experienced in person. Embark on an intelligent exploration of the mysteries surrounding the Baekje Dynasty royal palace using cutting-edge technologies, including VR and holograms, at the Baekje Royal Palace Museum!
The ‘Baekje Wanggung Thousand-Year Star Camp’ invites an exclusive overnight stay at the Baekje royal palace. This one-night, two-day event promises a unique healing experience beneath the moonlight, providing a delightful escape for those seeking a break from their daily routines.
Structured as a camping-style experience, the Thousand-Year Star Camp includes engaging events such as the Wanggung Olympics, a ceremony for the Thousand-Year Starlight Festival, and a Thousand-Year Wish-sharing event on the first day. On the second day, participants can enjoy witnessing the sunrise at the Baekje royal palace, engaging in healing yoga, and leisurely exploring the stories of Mireuksa Temple. The diverse programmes available provide a mystical experience, connecting participants with the rich history of the Baekje era.
Would you believe that a prison is open to the public? Indeed! The Iksan Prison Set offers a unique opportunity exclusively in Iksan, Jeollabuk-do!
The Iksan Prison Set is Korea’s only prison set, repurposed from a closed school. Originally an elementary school for children, it has undergone a remarkable transformation into a prison setting that authentically mirrors reality. Often used as the backdrop for prison scenes in Korean dramas and movies, this facility is designed to replicate an actual courtroom, visitation room and prison.
Visitors can embark on a distinctive adventure by renting prison guard uniforms, prisoner attire, and judge robes to fully immerse themselves in the experience. With every detail thoughtfully arranged, various photo zones are available for capturing special memories in this unique prison setting.
Experience a cool summer evening at the Iksan Horror Hologram Festival, held exclusively at the Iksan Prison Set during summer nights. Immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind nationwide horror festival that seamlessly blends immersive horror content with engaging interactive encounters. Taking place in an authentic prison, this extraordinary event promises rich and highly engaging content for a thrilling and spine-tingling horror experience.
Discover the Hidden Serenity
Did you know about the hidden sanctuary in Iksan? Agape Garden, a nature-friendly arboretum covering more than 30,000 square meters, is designed to promote the well-being and contented aging of its elderly residents. Cultivated by Father Seo Jung-soo, a dedicated Catholic priest, for over five decades, this garden earned the distinction of becoming the 4th private garden registered in Jeollabuk-do in March 2021. It has recently opened its doors to the public, inviting visitors to experience its tranquillity for the first time.
Notably, the English-style formal garden and the towering Metasequoia promenade create an enchanting ambiance. This garden has become a favoured destination for natural healing and relaxation. From the entrance, the hinoki tree’s fragrance offers a purifying experience for the mind, while the delightful scents of flowers, including plum blossoms, tulips, magnolias, and poppies, accompany visitors throughout the seasons. As you walk along the path, you’ll traverse the Goryeo Yeongsan Red Tunnel and the Peacock Liquidambar Tree Path. The breathtaking sight of Metasequoia trees, planted in 2-3 layers to form a grand wall-like landscape, has enchanted tourists, establishing its reputation as a distinguished healing space.