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Central Region of South Korea
The province encompassing Chungcheongbuk-do and Chungcheongnam-do lies in the western center of the peninsula. Chungcheongbuk-do is the only landlocked province. With the completion of the government complex in Daejeon and the newly opened international airport in Cheongju, the provincial capital of Chungcheongbuk-do has grown rapidly into not only a strategic heartland of the domestic economy but also an international gateway for the mid-region of Korea.
Daejeon is situated about two hours by car south of Seoul, a major train junction for the Seoul-Busan and Seoul-Gwangju-Mokpo lines. It is rapidly developing into one of Korea's major scientific centers. Expo Park, the site where the Daejeon Expo '93 was held, has been renovated and converted into a public science park.
Buyeo, the final capital of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C.-A.D. 660), features the comprehensive collection of the Buyeo National Museum which houses about 7,000 relics from the Baekje period.
Mt. Gyeryongsan, one of the nation's five most famous mountain sub-ranges, is located in the province with the Geumgang River flowing alongside. As the original center of Baekje culture, the area abounds with unique cultural artifacts and historic relics.
In addition to the natural scenic sites provided by numerous peaks and saddlebacks along the ridgeline of the Sobaeksan Mountains, there is a wealth of National Treasures and historical places as well. These include the Seven-Story Stone pagoda, iron flagpole of Yongdusa Temple, Palsangjeon wooden Pagoda, Sangdangsanseong Fortress, Hyeonchungsa and Yi Chungmugong Chungnyeolsa Shrine. Moreover, many other celebrated temples, statues, national parks and hot springs are waiting to be discovered.
Chungjuho Lake offers a variety of delightful water sports in the mountainous area of central Korea. Cruise boats ply between Chungju and Danyang allowing passengers to enjoy stunning views of Danyang-Palgyeong, the "Eight Scenic Wonders." Gosudonggul cave captivates visitors with its glistening stalactites in all shapes and sizes. Chungju orchards are one of the main sources of excellent quality apples in Korea. Yellow tobacco is also a specialty of this region, while its ginseng has gained a worldwide reputation.