Top 10 Things to do in Gunsan, South Korea

December 12, 2017 Marianna Hollaway

Gunsan (Korean pronunciation: [kun.san]) is a city in North Jeolla Province, South Korea. It is on the south bank of the Geum River just upstream from its exit into the Yellow Sea. It has emerged as a high-tech manufacturing industrial city and an international trade seaport that is approximately 200 km southwest of Seoul on the midwest coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Restaurants in Gunsan

1. Eunpa Lake Park

9, Eunpasunhwan-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54146, South Korea
Excellent
54%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 68 reviews

Eunpa Lake Park

Reviewed By D M - Tucson

There is a large, well lighted maintained dirt/asphalt path around the lake with music on portions of it. The scenery is incredible especially in the fall and spring. On Saturday nights in the warmer seasons there is usually a few live bands at the two small amphitheaters they have set up. The bridge in the evening is lit up in many colors and there are spectacular views of the surrounding city towers. It is a excellent place to walk or slowly ride a bike. There are city bikes for rent at several spots. There is also a paddle boat rental, you can cruise around in a duck shaped paddle boat. At sunset the bugs, especially mosquitoes can be overwhelming certain times of the year (I got over 80 bites on both legs once!), use anti mosquito spray or wear long pants. The locals will be covered head to toe at times. Once it is completely dark there are less bugs.

2. Dongguksa Temple

16, Dongguksa-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Excellent
27%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 58 reviews

Dongguksa Temple

Reviewed By kjmagnuson - Los Angeles, California

Gunsan is the location of some of the best-preserved Japanese colonial architecture in Korea. For much of Post-WWII Korea, Japanese buildings have been routinely demolished, often with fanfare. It is perhaps understandable considering the brutal Japanese rule Korea suffered under for 35 years. Suprisingly, Dongguksa has survived.
Yet, for visitors finding themselves in Gunsan there are several Japanese buildings worth visiting. Even during difficult times of hardship, life continues. Gunsan's colonial architecture is a perfect window into how Japan saw themselves (Liberator of Asia), and the reality (Colonial ruler). At Dongguksa we can explore a Japanese style temple that is still active. This is the only Japanese temple that remains in its original condition in Korea. The temple is only about 100 years old, the layout is elegant and fairly modest. The Korean Buddhists who run the temple today have chosen to preserve the Japanese style structure for its historical value.
Within Gunsan there is the Japanese Customs House, built in "western" fashion. A wealthy Japanese merchant built his sizable compound, which is a rare, perfectly preserved Japanese house. There is also a Japanese bank and lighthouse. From these structures we can see how Japan tried to assimilate Korea into Japan itself, moreover we also witness Japan attempting to modernize Gunsan as a port city. The juxtaposition of Japan, the perceived "beacon of modernity in Asia" and the "brutal colonizer" is nowhere so apparent as in Gunsan. For if we study the history, Gunsan port was built primarily to import Korean rice and other goods to Japan (virtually with no benefit to local Koreans). How did this modernize or help Korea at the time?
Dongguksa is worth a visit. It is something just not found in 21st century Korea. Japanese buildings that have actual historic value are few and far between in Korea, most have fallen to decay or the wrecking ball. Enjoy this authentic Japanese temple, and venture to see some of Gunsan's rich colonial history. The lesson is an important one.

3. Japanese-style House in Sinheung-dong (Hirotsu House)

17, Guyeong 1-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Excellent
21%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
44%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 96 reviews

Japanese-style House in Sinheung-dong (Hirotsu House)

Reviewed By kjmagnuson - Los Angeles, California

Gunsan is not really on anyone's tourist map. Frankly, there is not much to see here. However, it should be noted that Gunsan above else provides the inquisitive visitor with a plethora of historical sites related to the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). The Old Gunsan Customs House and Donguksa Temple both in addition to Hirotsu House, are perhaps some of the best preserved buildings from that period.
To provide clarity, I am not celebrating the Japanese colonial period, but it is without question a significant era of Korean history. Gunsan became a key port for Japan during the early 20th century. Gunsan today is rather sleepy compared to the role it played during Japanese control of Korea.
Hirotsu House is an excellent example of a Japanese merchant home built during this period. The structure and compound are well-preserved. I commend the caretakers for preserving the structure despite ambivalent attitudes throughout Korea toward the preservation of ANY Japanese buildings. The garden is pleasant, and the woodwork is of high quality. Taken together with several other Japanese built properties in Gunsan, one begins to get a real sense of this port city under Japanese rule.

4. Old Gunsan Custom House

49-38 Jangmi-dong, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea
Excellent
9%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
42%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 33 reviews

Old Gunsan Custom House

Reviewed By kjmagnuson - Los Angeles, California

This 115 year structure is of European design, a often common preference by Imperial Japan when constructing official government buildings. The survival of any Japanese building (of significance) from the Colonial period is quite exceptional. The Old Customs House has played a central role in the story of Japanese Colonialism in Korea.
One of the buildings primary functions was as a gateway for Korean goods to be transferred to Japan (particularly rice). The exploitation of Korea by Japan (and some pro-Japanese Koreans) is evident for any visitor of historical Gunsan.
For me the building (now a small museum) is a great starting point for visitors in Gunsan, specifically those who have historical curiosity. The building is quite small, but taken together with the other Japanese Colonial structures in the city, they provide a lasting picture of Pre- WWII Gunsan.

5. Gunsan Modern Architecture Exhibition Hall

214, Haemang-ro, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54026, South Korea +82 63-450-6110
Excellent
23%
Good
54%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 21 reviews

Gunsan Modern Architecture Exhibition Hall

Reviewed By Bob D - Gainesville, Virginia

Just a little something different in the city center. Park was a challenge but can be found. Several other tourists roaming. Good pictures

6. Gunsan Modern History Museum

Gunsangeundaeyeoksabakmulgwan 240 Haemang-ro, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54021, South Korea +82 63-454-7870
Excellent
56%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Gunsan Modern History Museum

The Museum of modern history of Gunsan. The cost is 3,000 won for adult which is total package. If you want only museum, you just pay 2,000 won. It open from 09:00 to 18:00.

Reviewed By Karl-Styner

근대역사교육의 도시 군산에 자리한 군산의 근대문화 및 해양문화를 주제로 하는 특화 박물관이자 지역박물관으로서 방문객들이 군산의 역사와 문화를 체험 할 수 있는 공간이다.
3층으로 구성되어져 있으며, 해양물류관, 어린이 박물관, 수장고, 근대자료규장각실, 근대생활관, 기획전시실 등으로 구성되어 있다.

7. Jinpo Maritime Theme Park

32, Naehang 2-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea +82 63-445-4472
Excellent
10%
Good
54%
Satisfactory
26%
Poor
5%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 19 reviews

Jinpo Maritime Theme Park

Reviewed By D M - Tucson

A small display of military aircraft and a couple of small ships. A few tanks and transport armored vehicles. Interesting but not much here. Kids can climb on and inside several of the vehicles.

8. Gyeongamdong Railroad Town

14, Gyeongchon 4-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54033, South Korea
Excellent
30%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
28%
Poor
7%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 14 reviews

Gyeongamdong Railroad Town

In the past, there was railroad from station to post, but after Japanese colonial era this place was abandoned. Nowadays, the city hall is trying to make the sights. Although the trains are not utilized, you can walk the railroad and borrow korean style School Uniform.

Reviewed By Addie S - Pasir Ris, null, Singapore

It took a while figuring out how to get here from Seoul. There are no trains apparently so i had to go to Express Bus Terminal station to take a bus to Gunsan. It costs 12,800 KRW and its at Gate 8. The journey takes about 3 hours.
You can easily get a map from the terminal in Gunsan. You might want to ask if you are lost.
The village is quaint. Lots of photo op can be done along the way. The snacks sold are really old school. Take your time as you walk along the track.

9. Statue of Peace

Dongguksa 16 Dongguksa-Gil | Dongguksa Temple, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54114, South Korea
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Statue of Peace

Reviewed By 동근 김 - Gunsan, South Korea

2015.8.12.
2017.9.29. 현재 30개의 평화의 소녀상이 있다.
군산은 9번째 소녀상이며, 입상이다.
동국사 경내에 있으니 겸사 겸사 볼 수 있다.

10. Teddy Bear Museum Gunsan

37, Guyeong 7-gil, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do 54022, South Korea +82 63-446-9000
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Teddy Bear Museum Gunsan

Gunsan Teddy Bear Museum is the center of adventure for Teddy and Friends who visit the vanished Tessuno! Taking the present and the past look of more than 20 countries, the main characters of various love stories recorded in history are represented as teddy bears.

Reviewed By 동근 김 - Gunsan, South Korea

입장료를 지불할때는 아깝다.
하지만, 테디 인형과 사진을 찍고 있는 나를 볼때 하나도 아깝지 않다.
그리고 마지막에 기념품으로 인형을 사고 있는 나를 발견하게 될 것이다.
제주도에 있는 테디베어 뮤지움만 가봤지만, 군산 테디베어 뮤지움도 추천할 만합니다.
할인 신용카드나 인터넷 구매는 미리 찾아보고 오세요.
커플과 아이가 있는 가정에게는 강추 입니다.

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