Existing Recommded Courses

Arts & Cultur A Small but Certain Happiness in Seongnam


Learn Free Diving in Seongnam -- You Need Not Be Jealous of Mermaids

If you are tired of the same routine in life that makes you feel like a squirrel running around a treadmill, it’s time for a new challenge. It might as well be something that would make other people exclaim “Wow!” What about free diving, for which you can get basic level certification after just one day of lessons? This will be the moment you become a mermaid who cuts through the water with beautiful and graceful strokes. A 5-meter-deep pool will feel like a tropical ocean full of coral reefs. Numerous experience programs are available to visitors at the Temporary Palace of Namhansanseong Fortress. You can dress up as a king from the Joseon Dynasty. You can also enjoy the pleasure of stepping on the fallen leaves while taking a stroll along the fortress walls.


Travel Schedule

FunFun Dive Club → 5.79, 13 min by car → the Temporary Palace of Namhansanseong Fortress → 910m, 12 min on foot → Namhansanseong Fortress


1. FunFun Dive Club -- Feel the Calm Freedom in water



If you want to become a mermaid of the blue sea, what should you learn? It’s diving, not swimming. Swimming is the technique that lets a person move on the surface of the water or in shallow water. Diving lets you move quickly underwater in the direction you want to travel. There are two types of diving: diving with the aid of an oxygen tank and equipment, and free diving wherein you rely on your breathing capacity. A mermaid is not supposed to wear cumbersome equipment like an oxygen tank. The elegant, freely moving sport of free diving is what suits them.

I searched for FunFun Dive Club, which teaches free diving and scuba diving. The club provides training at 6 s, but most people go to Seongnam Sports Center in Seongnam, Arpia Sports Center in Yongin, or the Olympic swimming pool in Seoul. Trainees usually choose the one that is close to home or their place of work. Learning free diving involves 3~5 hours of training per day; at the end of the training program, you are given the Basic Free Diver’s license. First, in the theory part of the program, trainees will be taught about the definition of free diving; they are then taught stretching and breathing techniques as well as entering the water, including how to perform equalizing (technique for equalizing pressure). To qualify for the license, you must pass two tests: you must be able to hold your breath for at least 1 minute (called ‘Static’) and dive to touch the floor of a 5-meter deep pool. You must exhale with the intent of spitting out all the air in your lungs; and when you inhale, you must do so with the aim of filling your stomach with air first. Then you must hold your breath. Even those who have never done this kind of training can easily hold their breath for more than a minute. Of course, performing the static test underwater is more difficult, but with enough practice, you can succeed.

After the lesson on theory, you must change into a bathing suit and show up at the 5m pool. The diving equipment consisting of the diving suit, fins, and snorkel are supplied by FunFun Dive Club. After doing full body stretching, you must listen to the instructor and put on the equipment. At this point, you will enter the water. You will begin training by holding the instructor's hands and moving your fins back and forth while keeping your body upright. The instructor will then measure your static time and ask you to dive underwater and touch the bottom of the 5-meter pool. Depending on your ability as trainee, you will learn to dive head first until you reach the bottom or learn how to dive down gently to the bottom and swim freely without the assistance of a rope. During the dives, you must do equalizing to reduce the pressure on your ears. Otherwise, you could damage your eardrums. At first, you could be scared of the deep water, but you will soon get used to the water and find yourself enjoying the freedom of being in the water. Although it lasts only 1 minute or 2 minutes at the most, being underwater where outside noise cannot be heard will be a valuable time to reflect on yourself and learn where your limits lie.


Address: 584, Sanseong-daero, Jungwon-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do (Gwangil Building 4th Floor)

Tel.: +82-10-3514-5857

Fee: Dive experiencing program KRW 78,000, Basic free diving license program KRW 200,000


Website: http://www.funfunscuba.com 


2. Namhansanseong Fortress Temporary Palace: Try on a royal robe and become king for a day!



Temporary Palace was the temporary abode for the king when he had to leave the capital. Namhansanseong Fortress Temporary Palace was built to prepare for war as in the case of Ganghwa Haenggung and Bukhansanseong Fortress Haenggung. In the Manchu war of 1636  when the Qing invaded Joseon, King Injo sought refuge in Namhansanseong Fortress Temporary Palace where he was holed up for 47 days before he accepted defeat in humiliation.

Today, there are no traces of this sad history. Instead, the haenggung here has produced benefits; during a renovation project, the old building foundation, relics such as roof tiles, etc.  from the Unified Silla Period were uncovered. The haenggung consisted of the Hannamru (front gate), Woehaengjeon (main building in the center), Naehaengjeon (king’s sleeping quarters), Jwaseungdang, Jaedeokdang, and Iljakgak. Constructed at a high point on the haenggung grounds, Yiwijeong Pavilion offers a beautiful view. Most of the buildings are new because they were reconstructed. Note, however, that the old trees guarding the haenggung inside and outside are worth seeing since they are several hundreds of years old.

In spring and autumn, a performance of “Namhansijae” is held in the front yard of Woehaengjeon. As a martial arts performance given by performers dressed up as soldiers of the Joseon Dynasty, this performance is based on the martial arts described in <Muyedobotongji> mixed together with an interesting story. The next popular activity after Namhansijae is the royal costume wearing experience. The royal robes of the king, queen, princesses, and princes are available for the visitors to try on. The clothes come in different sizes to suit people of all ages from adults to children. Couples and families can have a great time pretending to be kings and princesses.


Address: 784-29, Namhansanseong-ro, Namhansanseong-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-746-2811

Opening Hours 10:00~17:00, Closed on Mondays

Admission: Adult KRW 2,000, Teenagers/Children (aged 7~18) KRW 1,000

Website: http://www.gg.go.kr/namhansansung-2



3. Namhansanseong Fortress: Walk with the Sound of Stepping on Fallen Leaves



In autumn, Namhansanseong Fortress is a pleasant destination for excursions and walks. The autumn descending on the forest makes it mellower, and the ground is covered with leaves of every color. The sound of your feet stepping on the leaves has a pleasant cadence. Namhansanseong Fortress was built during Joseon King Injo’s reign on top of the ancient ruins of Jusangseong Fortress, which was built during the Unified Silla Period. The total length of the fortress perimeter is 12.4 km. With the haenggung at the center, walking around in a circle from North Gate-West Gate – Sueojangdae Post-South Gate amounts to a distance of 3.8km, and it will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes -- just about right for a walk.

The main touring path is wide enough to be walked on by a group holding hands. The path paved next to the fortress walls is narrow, and some sections have stairs or decks, making walking a lot of fun. From this walking trail, the fortress walls are only as high as your waist or chest; outside, however, the walls are twice or three times the height of an adult and are robust-looking. Small gates bored through the wall like small holes to let people in and out look quite novel.

South Gate is the front gate of Namhansanseong Fortress. Based on size alone, South Gate is more majestic-looking than East Gate, North Gate, and West Gate. When you climb up to the South Gate pavilion, the entire Seongnam comes into view. If you stand at West Gate, Jamsil and Hangang River are below you. And from North Gate, Hanam is below you. After sunset, the night view from the West Gate area is also spectacular.


Address: 731, Namhansanseong-ro Namhansanseong-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do (Namhansanseong Fortress UNESCO Heritage Center)

Tel.: +82-31-743-6610

Website: www.gg.go.kr/namhansansung-2 


  1. 1.  Equipment needed for diving are provided by FunFun Dive Club, but you must bring your own bathing suit (rash guards are permitted) that you will wear underneath the diving suit as well as bathing cap, toiletries, and towel. It’s recommended not to drink coffee before coming because it the increase in your heart rate from caffeine could make you too nervous.

  2. 2.  Visitors to Namhansanseong Fortress haenggung can participate in programs that let them experience wearing royal clothing, book reading at the haenggung, tea drinking ceremony, traditional crafts, and virtual reality (VR). Depending on the day of the week or month, the program details can vary, so check the website before coming. The tea drinking ceremony program is scheduled for October, whereas kite flying and traditional games are scheduled for November.


    Public Transportation Information

    [Subway] Exit 2 of Sanseong Station on Subway Line 8. Take bus No. 52 at Sanseong Station/ Sinheungjugong Apt. Back Gate. Get off at Namhansanseong Fortress (last bus stop) The bus ride takes 25 minutes.


    Driving Information

    Heolleung-ro → Wirye Tunnel → Sanseong Station Intersection → Namhansanseong-ro → FunFun Dive Club