South Korea is renowned for its beautiful palaces and historical Unesco sites, but what you might not be aware of is that some of these venues are open to the public for private events.
Spacious outdoor sites have become immensely popular in South Korea these days due to their vast and well-ventilated space to accommodate social distancing requirements.
The post-pandemic era might seem to be in the fairly distant future but it is never too early to start planning for your corporate function abroad.
Known as the Land of the Morning Calm, South Korea’s long and rich history is a cultural heritage that continues to inspire us today.
The venues in this category are situated in places where you can witness the origins of South Korea’s contemporary culture, state-of-the-art IT industry, and even the country’s resilience in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gangneung Ojuk Hanok Village in Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province:
Before hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, Gangneung was best known for the Gangneung Dano-je Festival, designated by Unesco as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
The Gangneung Ojuk Hanok Village is a complex of modernised “hanok” (traditional Korean house) lodgings where guests can experience local traditions, watch traditional games, and go on eco tours.
For MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) purposes, there are meeting rooms where people sit on the floor Korean-style, and an outdoor space where receptions can be held against a backdrop of the scenic village.
Next to the village is Ojukheon, once the home of Yi I – the most prominent Korean Confucian scholar of the Joseon Dynasty – and his mother Shin Saimdang whose images can be found on 5,000 won and 50,000 won notes. The name is derived from “ojuk” (dark bamboo), which still thrives in the area.
The Gwanno traditional mask dance, part of the Dano-je Festival, is performed on weekends, and the Gangneung Nongak (a form of farmers’ music) Centre is nearby.
Gyeongju National Museum in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province:
Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57BC-935AD), the first dynasty to unify the Korean peninsula. The entire city is a veritable open-air museum, and the Gyeongju National Museum is a good place to start exploring.
The artifacts exhibited at the Silla History Gallery, Wolji Gallerys and Silla Art Gallery are exquisite works of art that visitors new to Korean history can appreciate. The museum’s outdoor space features some 1,100 objects that originate from historic temples and palace sites. They help recreate the ambience of ancient Gyeongju in a space that can be used for outdoor events.
Other MICE facilities include a 250-seat theatre-type auditorium; Sumukdang Hall which overlooks a picturesque pond; and numerous seminar rooms. It is 13.8km from Singyeongju Station on the KTX line.
Much of South Korea’s unique national sentiment and shared ethos come from her natural environment. The landscape changes with the seasons, and each season evokes a distinct emotional response.
These unique venues, nestled within their natural surroundings, offer visitors a place to rest, relax and revive both mind and body.
Nodeulseom in Seoul:
Hangang River cuts across Seoul from east to west, creating beautiful natural scenery within a large cosmopolitan city. Nodeulseom, one of the alluring islets on the river, is a special place. It is connected to both sides of the river by a footbridge that runs parallel to the Hangangdaegyo Bridge.
The west side of the islet is home to the Nodeul Live House performance venue and Music Lounge Ryu as well as a book cafe, natural grounds, and other exclusive sites for memorable parties and receptions.
Above all, the islet boasts superb views of the river and city. The multipurpose hall and seminar rooms on the east side adjoin the natural habitat of a local species, which creates a feeling of being in a quiet forest. People often unknowingly stop to admire the view here, making it a unique backdrop for business events.
Spirited Garden in Jeju:
Jeju Island is a vacation destination popular with visitors from around the world. The Spirited Garden with its native bonsai plants and thematic gardens has long been a popular attraction.
The garden director, Seong Beom-yeong, first started cultivating the land in 1968, which was then covered with rocks and thorn bushes. He now oversees seven themed gardens over an area of about 40,000sqm.
Among them, the Secret Garden has been used to host MICE events. With its colourful lighting, the venue is nothing short of spectacular at night. The list of dignitaries who have graced the garden include former Chinese presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, former New Zealand prime minister James Brendan Bolger, and novelist and Nobel laureate Mo Yan.
South Korea is the venue for your next overseas business networking event. To find out more about Korea MICE, go to www.koreaconvention.org
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