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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Suwon - Step back in time
The farmers' dance as performed at the Korean Folk Village
The farmers' dance is one of many village attractions
Many South Korean cities like to play on their history, but none can match Suwon.

It is known as a city of culture and education, but tourism is set to have a greater influence in the 21st century.

The fortress town, the country's first planned city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Built in the late 18th century, the walls are laid out in a military style of the era and are viewed as an outstanding achievement in military architecture.

Area facts
Population: 900,000
Province: Gyeonggi-do
Location: 45 minutes south of Seoul
Local team: Suwon Samsung Blue Wings
Sights: Korean Folk Village

It takes more than two hours to walk the length of the city wall

Hwaseong fortress has earned a reputation as one of the most scientifically designed fortresses in the world.

The citadel was completed in 1796 by King Jeongjo in an unsuccessful attempt to make Suwon the nation's capital.

But the city is not entirely locked in the past, or within the walls.

Although it has a proud agricultural past, it has embraced industry and technology like any self-respecting South Korean city and now sprawls far beyond the old city limits.

It has also embraced tourism.

Suwon is the furthest afield from Seoul that many tourists reach, and the Korean Folk Village is the draw card.

It is a reconstructed village that gives visitors a glimpse into the past and includes performaces of traditional dances and weddings.

Festival fun
Suwon Galbi Festival
The festival includes a galbi - beef - cooking competition in late May/early June
Actors portray all aspects of the Josean Dynasty in a self-contained town that includes houses, government buildings and markets.

However, in an effort to woo the younger, less attentive or curious tourist, it has betrayed its roots and also features small rollercoasters in the amusement zone or Family Park.

That development counters Suwon's other major attraction - Everland.

To the north-east of the city, in Yong-in, Samsung have set up Korea's largest amusement park - the seventh biggest in the world.

The four parts of the park - Festival World, Caribbean Bay, Four Seasons Garden and the Everland Speedway - cater for all tastes.

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