MENTION South Korea and most will think of visiting cultural and heritage sites or drama filming sites like Nami Island and Gyeonggi-do.
However, if you like Korean brands like Samsung, Hyundai and Nongshim, you may want to consider visiting their factories and galleries when you visit the country.
Visiting factories may not be as boring as some may perceive because this is the chance to know about the company and their latest products before it reaches Malaysian shores.
In his welcoming address, Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) strategic tourism product team director Kim Dong-ll sees potential in industrial tourism.
“Previously it was through invitations from companies to their business partners, hence we would like to have a system to enable people (other than business partners) to contact the companies that they are interested in visiting,” he said to a group of journalists from Malaysia, Germany, Thailand and Japan who were taken on an Industrial tourism familiarisation trip.
The first stop was SK Telecom’s T.um in Seoul.
T.um is SK Telecom’s Information & Communication Technology (ICT) experience centre where visitors can experience the today and tomorrow of telecommunication technology and services. It utilises smartphones to provide visitors with a guide of South Korea’s cutting edge ICT services.
Guests are given a smartphone embedded with a specially designed programme and a Zigbee USIM card (SK Telecom’s self-developed chip) to guide them throughout the tour.
The visitor’s experience at the centre is further enriched as the smartphone can perform dynamic interactions with the displayed items.
T.um is divided into two exhibition halls: Play Dream, which provides a guide into the future of ICT services; and Play Real, which allows visitors to experience technologies and services currently offered by SK Telecom
For more info, visit tum.sktelecom.com/eng
Reservations must be made at least one week prior to the visit via T.um office.
Samsung D’light gallery was equally impressive.
Here you can find the latest Samsung electronic products, some of which have yet to reach Malaysian shores.
For more info, visit www.samsungdelight.com
Sansawon Gallery (Baesangmyeon Brewery)
Soju aficionados and alcohol-enthusiasts will not want to miss out on a trip to the brewery in Pocheon City, Gyeonggi-do.
Called the sool gallery, Baesangmyeon Brewery’s Sansawon Gallery provides a 101 on Korean traditional liquor.
At the tasting corner, we sampled various Korean liquor such as Makgeolli, which is fermented boiled rice and wheat.
You can try your hand at making your own Korean traditional liquor — “sool” at the home brewing class.
Take a stroll around the Sansa Garden where traditional distilled liquor mature in large jars and appreciate the open scenery. Sansawon means a garden of Sansa (Mayflower) tree. Here you can find Sansa trees that are the basic ingredients for Sansachun, the representative brand of the Baesangmyeon Brewery.
For more info, visit www.sansawon.co.kr
Samsung Raemian Gallery
If you are interested in green technology, then a visit to the Raemian gallery is a must on your itinerary to South Korea.
The gallery may not seem relevant unless you are a potential house-buyer but the eco-friendly features will blow your mind away.
The exhibition halls have been featured in Time magazine and the ABC news, and has become a must-visit place for VIPs and experts from various fields.
Aside from industry players; architecture, engineering and interior design students will surely find this gallery fascinating and inspiring.
Log on to www.raemian.co.kr for more info.
Nongshim (Asan Plant)
Fans of spicy Korean instant noodles and Korean food products will enjoy a trip to Nongshim.
At its Asan plant, we were taken on a tour around the factory where the popular instant noodles are produced.
A visit to the factory will not be completed without a food tasting session where visitors will get to sample Nongshim’s noodles.
For more info, visit eng.nongshim.com
Next, we made our way to Pohang Steel Works in Pohang, situated in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
At the Posco Museum, visitors can learn about steel manufacturing and the history of the company via a video of the struggles of its pioneers. Then, take a tour of the steelworks on a bus.
For more info, visit www.posco.co.kr
Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI)
HHI set the record for building the largest shipyard in the world in the shortest period of time (two years and three months). Visitors can visit the museum and shipbuilding site.
For reservations, log on to www.hhi.co.kr
Hyundai Motor Company (Ulsan Plant)
If you drive a Hyundai, you’d be interested to know how your car is manufactured.
There, visitors will be shown a PR video and introduction of the plant introduction before visiting Plant 3 and the loading dock.
Everyone interested in cars and Hyundai Motor Company is welcomed.
For reservations, visit pr.hyundai.com
Renault Samsung Motor (Busan plant)
Many Malaysians will know Samsung as an electrical and electronics brand but in South Korea, the company also manufactures cars.
Renault Samsung Motors is a member of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Renault Samsung Motors and its Busan plant produces 300,000 units a year.
To know more, visit www.renaultsamsungm.com
Find out how petroleum is produced at SK Energy’s Ulsan plant. At the SK Energy Gallery, learn about the company’s history and how petroleum is generated and developed. The site tour takes you on a tour to the oil refinery, petroleum producing plant, and environmental pollution prevention facility among others.
For more info, visit www.skenergy.com
While the industrial tourism is targeted at industry players and students studying relevant courses, tourists are also welcomed to visit some of the said facilities.
Take note that registration is needed before visiting some of the plants and photography is phohibited at some of the places.
For details, visit the KTO office in Menara Hap Seng, Jalan P.Ramlee, KL. (Tel: 03-2143 9000)
The Industrial Tourism Familiarisation Tour was organised by KTO.
Did you find this article insightful?