By Wu Jinhua
Photos = Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
An event to enjoy winter at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae is slated for next month.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Nov. 28 said it will jointly hold from Dec. 6-11 the tour “Night Walk at Cheong Wa Dae” with the Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Visitors can explore on a winter evening the compound’s main building, wide-open gardens Daejeongwon and Sojeongwon, and former presidential residence as well as Nokjiwon, the most beautiful garden in the facility, and the Hanok (traditional architecture) reception building, Sangchunjae.
The highlight “Path of Healing,” which runs from the presidential residence to Sangchunjae, has lights installed on each tree so that visitors can feel like they are walking under the stars.
King Sejong Room in the main building, where the Cabinet used to hold meetings, will be unveiled for the first time through restoration to its original form before the room’s official public debut.
The tour will be held daily from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m. The number of daily visitors is capped at 2,000.
Tickets are available from Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. on the pop-up screen of the Cheong Wa Dae website (https://reserve.opencheongwadae.kr). Admission is free and one person can reserve up to six tickets.
By Israa Mohamed
The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Nov. 6 said the route of self-driving buses traveling from Cheonggyecheon Stream to Sewoon Shopping Center in Seoul’s Jongno-gu District from Nov. 10 will be extended to Gwangjang Market.
The extension to the famous traditional market will lengthen the roundtrip distance on the route from 3.2 km to 4.8 km.
“We decided on the extension despite many jaywalkers and motorbikes on the section causing difficulties for self-driving buses since we judged that autonomous driving technologies had been confirmed through repeated operations,” the city said.
Since their launch last year on Nov. 25, the three high-tech vehicles have run the route 3,894 times for a combined distance of 12,461 km while carrying 4,027 passengers.
From Nov. 9, self-driving bus service between Cheong Wa Dae and Gyeongbokgung Palace will be temporarily suspended. The city said, “We plan to resume running the autonomous buses from March next year after conducting internal screening of the self-driving system.”
Such buses running on both routes are free to ride but fares will be charged from next year.
Deputy Mayor for City Transport Yoon Jong Jang said, “The city will continue expanding its operation of self-driving buses in the future by actively using our accumulated data.”