When someone hears the words “traveling to a coastal city”, they imagine white sand, beautiful beaches and lots of nature. Samcheok is a city with has all of it, but in addition to that, there are also places, where you can learn about the history & culture of Korea and better yourself in many different ways. During my last visit to Samcheok, I have visited one of those places and it is the Samcheok National Museum.
Samcheok National Museum is not actively promoted at a travel destination in Smacheok and it is usually being buried under all of the “more fun” attractions, such as cable car, rail bike and even the Imax cave experience located just across the road. Therefore, I decided to give it a visit, as I was already in the area. Additionally, the visitation of the museum is free of charge, so if you are a budget traveler, it could be a great option for you, especially if you have an extra hour to kill before your bus back to Seoul, just as I did.
Samcheok National Museums’ exhibition room is divided into 3 sections: prehistoric history, the period of The Three Kingdoms and Joseon dynasty. The artifacts, collected and stored in the museum, show that people lived in the Gangwon area long before the modern history remembers. Old tombstones, fishing and hunting tools, water containers and even ancient books and documents related to the administration of the Joseon dynasty are displayed throughout the permanent exhibition halls.
Even though there are some details, that were impossible to preserve in the original states, Samcheok National Museum has model exhibitions, all from the mode of life, to folk games and various festivals, mostly from the Joseon era.
On your way to the second floor, you can see the Samcheok Symbol of relief, which expresses Samcheok city’s willingness to move forward with the development of the city, remembering its’ history at the same time. In represents the united will of Samcheok people to an ideal future based upon various cultural assets and a rich history.
In the center of the museum, there is also a natural garden, more like a terrace, where you can breathe some fresh air and appreciate the architecture of the museum. I would recommend leaving it as the last stop of your visit.
Even though the Samcheok Museum is small in size, it is informative enough and a silent place to spend some time. I visited on a weekday afternoon and there were only a few people inside. I loved the feeling of being able to look around in silence, take my time and soak into the history of Korea. One of the main reasons why I like visiting national museums in different cities is to see the different perspectives of each region and even though they all have a fair share of similarities, they are all very unique.
The museum is open daily from 9:00 to 18:00 and you can visit there free of charge. For the winter season, I would recommend going there after the sunset, as 1 hour before the closing time would be enough for a brief visit.