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Gunsan Int'l Migratory Bird Festival to make birds of a feather flock together

Bird watchers eagerly await this annual event, a migratory bird festival in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do (North Jeolla Province), one of the havens of various kinds of migratory birds during winter. The area of the Geumgang (river) and Lake Geumgang near Gunsan is particularly known as a destination for migratory birds’ seasonal journeys.

The fifth "2008 Gunsan International Migratory Bird Festival" will take place from Nov. 19 (Wednesday) until Nov. 23 (Sunday), 2008 under the sponsorship of the City of Gunsan Government. In addition, a bird-watching tour program will be offered from Nov. 15 (Saturday) until Feb. 22 (Sunday), 2009. The main venues for the festival will be the Geumgang Bird Observatory and Lake Geumgang area.

This annual event, which will be held under the slogan "A Migratory Bird-Watching Tour with Your Family," will bring together children and parents, and foreign diplomats and their families, as well as many bird watchers. To give a sense of familiarity and a friendly atmosphere to the visitors, its organizers have created two character symbols, "Chang-i" (a Baikal teal) and "Kkami" (an oystercatcher).

With an opening ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. on Nov. 19 as momentum, this year’s bird festival will kick off and provide visitors with a rare chance to enjoy nature and elegant movements of innumerable numbers of migratory birds flying in flocks with pristine evening skies as backdrop. Visitors will be wowed by magnificent sights of flocks of nomadic birds dancing and moving in the sky in various formations.

This year’s festival is especially characterized by many eco-friendly programs for children and their parents. Throughout the event, young visitors can enjoy films, puppet shows, magic performances, as well as attend children’s study presentations.

Besides this, various exhibitions will give extra delight to visitors. Some exhibitions will showcase well-preserved natural environment, national birds of different countries, and eagles from the Mongolian Plains. Of course, guided bird-watching tour programs will be offered around Lake Geumgang. In a word, there will be programs galore.

Accommodation

1) Gunsan Ritz Plaza Hotel

Phone: 063-468-4681

2) Gunsan Walkerhill Tourist Hotel

Phone: 063-453-0005

3) Besides these two hotels, there are many moderately-priced motels located throughout the Gunsan area. If you want to soak up the unique local atmosphere, you can also find local houses for paid homestays in either of two villages -- KKanchimeol Village (http://bird.invil.org) and Ttularum Village (http://arum.go2vil.org).

How to Get There

1) From Seohae-an (West Coast) Expressway

Gunsan Exit ⇒ drive straight ahead ⇒ turn right at Hodeok Interchange ⇒ Provincial Road No. 29 ⇒ Haguduk (estuary dam) Junction ⇒ Geumgang Bird Observatory (about 6.5 km, seven minutes)

2) From Honam (Jeolla) Expressway

Jeonju Exit ⇒ Gunsan-Jeonju Motorway ⇒ Okseok Exit ⇒ Haguduk Junction ⇒ Geumgang Bird Observatory (about 1 km)

3) From Gunsan Railway Station

Gunsan Railway Station ⇒ Haguduk Junction ⇒ turn right ⇒ drive about 1.2 km straight ahead ⇒ Geumgang Bird Observatory

For more information, contact the Migratory Bird Ecology and Management Division, City of Gunsan Government (411-1 Seongdeok-li, Seongsam-myeon, Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, zip code: 573-843) or call 063-453-7213/4).

For website, click http://www.gsbird.co.kr (Korean only).


By Chung Myung-je
Korea.net Chief Staff Writer

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