Gwangju is Korea's fifth largest city with a population of 1.4 million, with a reputation for exquisite food thanks to the rich harvests in the mild southern part of the Korean peninsula. But the World Cup city has other attractions, too.
There is a long-cherished tradition of the arts and of a certain liberty of mind and democracy that is associated with Gwangju. This tradition has most recently been captured within the framework of the Gwangju Biennale, an arts festival growing in renown around the world.
Gwangju travel, South Korea Tourist Attractions
To stage a World Cup of culture that will be commensurate with its image as a city of arts, Gwangju links the World Cup matches with the fourth edition of the Biennale. Fans visiting the games from abroad will be fascinated to witness authentic performances including the distinctive style of traditional farm music known as Gwangsan Nongak as well as Gossaum Race, a loop fight played by the full moon.
There are also a variety of sightseeing programmes for foreign tourists, linking the spectacular Dadohae ("Many Islands Sea") National Marine Park with other popular places in and around Gwangju.Venice
Occupying a surface of 330,000m2 in the new Gwangju tourism city centre area, the Gwangju World Cup Stadium is a football-only stadium.
But while it is keen to continue supporting traditional values, Gwangju is also rapidly developing into a future-oriented community where past and future co-exist in harmony. The Gwangju travel city has approached the new millennium buoyantly, especially with its encouragement of the cutting-edge photonic industry and with its continuing development of the humanistic culture and arts.
Thus the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan comes at just the right time to provide Gwangju with a golden opportunity to show the world South Korea Tourist Attractions just how genuine, how deep-rooted and how rich its cultural heritage really is.