Gwangju is famous for its Mudeungsan Mountain which is a mountain with 1,187 meters of elevation, being part of the Sobaek Mountain range. Gwangju is the sixth largest city in South Korea, being a designated metropolitan city under the direct control of the Home Ministry of the central government. Historically known as Muju, the current name Gwangju came from the Korean words 'gwang' which means light and 'ju' which means province. Since the ancient times during the Three Kingdoms Period, the city has already been an important administrative center, and the importance continued till the present day when it became the capital of South Jeolla Province before the province office's moving to Namak in Muan County. In the present day, the city is well-known for its variety of cuisines that are also rich in taste.
Gwangju Airport is the main airport in South Korea that is serving the Gwangju city and nearby areas. It is located in Gwangsan District, which is about 4.4 kilometers away from the city center of Gwangju and 11 kilometers west of the city downtown. Established in 1948 with commercial flights starting from 1950, it has been handling about 1.99 million passengers over 13,546 aircraft movements as of 2018. The airport has two terminals that are meant for passenger and cargo distinctively. At an elevation of 12 meters, the airport has two runways, both are 2,835 meters long and are made of concrete. Being the hub of Air Philip, one may be able to go to Gwangju from Manila via flights provided by Asiana with a budget around 26,082 pesos. However, this may change in the future as Gwangju Airport is planned for closure when the nearby Muan International Airport becomes more established.
Muan International Airport is a more recent airport that is opened in 2007 that serves the cities of Gwangju, Mokpo and Naju. Owned and operated by Korea Airports Corporation, it is located in Muan County, Jeollanam-do, which is about 46 kilometers away from Gwangju. With a single runway that is 2,800 meters long and is made of concrete, the airport has already served nearly half a million passengers as of 2018. It has replaced the nearby Mokpo Airport and is the now the secondary airport serving Gwangju, having to replace the Gwangju Airport over time gradually. There are also flights from Manila to this airport provided by Asiana with a budget around 40,693 pesos.
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The off-peak season is during the winter season, especially around December in which it is cold and dry. For the bargain hunters, this could be good news as the prices will go down. Peak season in Gwangju is during the springtime especially in April and May, in which the costs of accommodation and flight will surge. Undoubtedly the best time to visit Gwangju is around April to June, which is the ending of spring and beginning of summer where the weather is much milder.
Gwangju is said to have a humid subtropical climate which implies hot, humid summers and generally cool winters with higher precipitation in summer than in winter. The annual rainfall is about 1,391 millimeters with 124.4 rainy days; July and August typically being the wettest months. Snow is much rarer and does not happen heavily with 31 snowy days on average. There are about 2,136.3 sunshine hours annually with a relative humidity of 69.5%. The temperature can go up to 38.5 degree Celsius record high in July to as low as -19.4 degree Celsius record little in January.
There are a lot of festivals you can look forward to enjoy in Gwangju similarly as a local would. To begin with, the two most significant events that are organized in Gwangju would be the Gwangju Biennale and Gwangju Kimchi Festival. The Gwangju Biennale is a contemporary art festival held every two years for three months straight, typically featuring more than 500 artists from 60 countries. In the years where the Biennale is not held, the Design Biennale is organized in its place instead. Moving on, Gwangju Kimchi Festival is happening every October for five days straight with a lot of market stalls being set up and performances such as folk music and hanbok fashion show to be seen.
Mudeungsan National Park – Previously known as Mudeungsan Provincial Park, the park comprises of the Mount Mudeungsan and covers an area of 75.45 square kilometers. It is the 21st national park in South Korea, being granted the status since 2012.
Soswaewon – Also known as Sosaewon, it is a Korean garden that is located in the Nam-myeon, Damyang County. It has been around since the middle Joseon Dynasty around the end of the 1520s, with the design having incorporated traditional Korean style with clean waters from the valley to flow into the lake.
Gwangju National Museum – A national museum that has been opened to the public since 1978, it features a variety of cultural art heritage that was inherited over the ages from around the region.