Thinking about teaching English in Gwangju?
Gwangju, a metropolitan city, is Korea’s sixth largest city and is one of the major political and economic centers in Korea.
Gwangju is known historically and presently for its art and culture. Many famous Korean artisans originated from this city, so it is known around the world for this reason.
Gwangju has an ideal location, lying in between the west coast plains and the west sea, so it has access to a wealth of crops and fresh ingredients, which allows its citizens to have healthy living and eating practices. For locals, as well as those teaching English in Gwangju, know that the food there is known to be the very best that Korea has to offer and is often referred to as ‘the home of Korean food’ due to its vast variety of dishes.
Landmarks in Gwangju
Mount Mudeung: Mount Mudeung is an easy mountain to hike. Sitting 1,187m above sea level, the vista, which looks over Gwangju, is spectacular from anywhere on the mountain. Mount Mundeung also has many Buddhist temples as well as pavilions and summer houses.
Plaza in front of Provincial Office: This location is the symbol of the Gwangju Democratic Movement and was where citizen meetings were held during the movement.
Bingwoldang Pavilion and Hwangnyong River: Bingwoldang is a lecture hall where many famous scholars from, the Joseon period had attended. Along the Hwangnyong River, you will be able to find large groups of birds such as common herons and egrets.
World-Cup Stadium: Was voted as the most beautiful stadium by FIFA.
Chungjangno: Gwangju’s main shopping district has plenty of clothing and accessory stores, as well as restaurants (including fast food chains), bars and nightclubs. The streets are filled with young people every night of the week.
Sajik Park: Providing various sporting facilities such as badminton courts and an archery range, Sajik Park is a great getaway from the city life. Another attraction worth visiting is the shrine for the first Korean, Dan Gun, which is just outside of the park area.
Museums in Gwangju
Gwangju National Museum: Having a collection of over 40,000 pieces, there are 5 galleries to visit: the Prehistoric Gallery, the Sinan Marine Relics Gallery, the Pottery Gallery, the Buddhist Art Gallery and the Planned Display Gallery. Hours are from 9am-6pm Tues-Fri, 9am-9pm Sat and 9am-7pm Sun.
Gwangju Folk Museum: Exhibits on cultural aspects of Korea including the marriage ceremony section which explains the significance of each act and object used during the wedding. The museum also includes exhibits on fishing and kite flying.
Festivals in Gwangju
Gwangju Kimchi Festival: Gwangju is the host city to Korea’s most cultural food – kimchi. Every October visitors can get dirty by trying their hand at making Korea’s national dish. Gwangju has been hosting the Gwangju Kimchi Festival every October to promote the excellent quality of Korean traditional kimchi to the world.
The Gwangju International Film Festival: There are two concepts that make up the film festival: discovering new talent and rediscovering old talent. The GIFF allows movies to be seen that would otherwise not be allowed to be viewed in Korea. All films are shown at the Gwangju Megabox Theatre.
Transportation in Gwangju
Gwangju’s subway system, although small with one line, still makes travelling around the city easy and efficient.
If you are teaching English in Gwangju and want to get away for a weekend, you have two options for train stations with the KTX (high speed rail): Gwangju Station and Songjeong-ri Station. Songjeong-ri is connected to the subway network.
If you are planning on travelling by bus, you can head to the Gwangju Bus Terminal which is located in Gwangcheon-dong, Seo-gu, Gwangju city. By plane, head to the Gwangju Airport or Muan International Airport which serve the city for air travel.