The visit was organized by the SPDG, a nonprofit affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to promote the fortress ― South Korea’s most recent UNESCO World Heritage listing ― and to find out how people from overseas saw it.
It was also promoted as a forum to encourage expat bloggers and photographers to meet and network.
|Expat bloggers listen to explanations by Choi Ha-kyung during a tour of Namhansanseong in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, Saturday. (Philip Iglauer)|
“I chose Namhansanseong because of its world heritage status and also because Namhansanseong is also a beautiful area to take pictures,” said Choi Ha-kyung, president of the SPDG.
The tour included a photography workshop session in which experienced photographers from among the bloggers coached their peers for an hour at the site.
Choi also provided some explanation of the fortress’ history.
“Namhansanseong was a really tragic place for King Injo, where he surrendered to the Qing Dynasty (of China),” he explained.
A similar event will invite bloggers, journalists and photographers to explore Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on June 13, and Choi said he planned more blogger tours in the future.
“I would like to have that kind of opportunity not only at Suwon Hwaseong but also several other places next year,” he said.
Choi said that his group would run a photo contest among the bloggers, to find the best photos taken on the two trips.
As well as activities for bloggers, the SPDG runs lectures, concerts and activities for other groups of foreign residents, such as foreign students, residents associations and women’s organizations.
One such event will be a concert featuring traditional Korean music, as well as performances of traditional music and dance from other countries in early September. The winners of the bloggers’ photo contest will be announced at the concert.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)