The Son of Gumi's Homecoming()

The Son of Gumi's Homecoming



Gyeongsangbuk-do Tour Reporter: Lalien Guillen Park

The city of Gumi (구미), in terms of population, is the second largest city in the North Gyeongsang province (경상북도).  Located alongside Nakdong River (낙동강), it has an estimated population of 430,000 people living in 2 towns (읍: eup), 6 townships (면: myeon), and 19 neighborhoods (동: dong).
View of Gumi City from the Peak of Geumo Mountain
Having more than a thousand companies employing over 80,000 workers, Gumi City can be considered as South Korea’s industrial center.  Major companies such as LG Display and Samsung Electronics are based here along with other companies producing various products such as textiles, rubber, plastic, metal, fibers, electronics and so much more.

However, do not be mistaken to think that the city only has nothing but industrial complexes.  Gumi city is also a haven for some important natural and historical sites; and a hometown to some distinguished personalities.

The Geumo Mountain Provincial Park (금오산도립공원), just a walking distance from Gumi Station, is more than just a well-known hiking destination.  It is a place where history is written on its beautiful mountains. The must-visit sites in the park are the Daehye Waterfall (대혜폭포), Haeun Buddhist Temple {해은사), Yaksaam Hermitage (약사암), Doseon Cave (도선굴) and National Treasure No. 490 Ma Ae Cliff Buddha (금오산 마애볼).  The provincial park is also a great place for enjoyment and learning as it has a campground, an amusement park, a lovely walking path around a lake, and a learning hall called Gumi Zero-Carbon Education Center.

The most significant person from Gumi City is probably the late President Park Chung-Hee . Despite all the political controversies he was involved in, no one can deny the fact that he was the founder of Saemaul Movement, also known as New Community Movement. The movement motivated people to voluntarily help the nation advanced from the devastation left behind by the Korean War.  Many nurses, miners and other workers were sent overseas and their tax revenue was a huge aid to the country’s dying economy.  Others donated their possessions and properties while others devoted their time and energy in constructing roads, bridges and other infrastructures. The success of the movement was the key to Korea’s quick breakthrough from poverty caused by the terrible war.

Another prominent person from Gumi is the Hallyu star Hwang Chi-Yeul (황치열).  He is a musician, singer, and a songwriter who competed with other performers in the fourth season of a Chinese TV program, I Am A Singer.  He made it until the final round and although he failed to get the first rank, he totally won the hearts of both Chinese and Korean audience.  Since then, he has appeared in a lot of music shows and TV programs such as Mnet’s I Can See Your Voice, Immortal Songs: Singing in the Legend 2, Radio Star, I Live Alone, Knowing Bros, and Happy Together.

His road to success wasn’t an easy one, making him to almost give up many times.  But his dream of becoming a singer and to sing in front of many people was his greatest motivation to keep on going.  He has been dubbed as the Son of Gumi and his hometown is couldn’t be any more proud of him.  The city commemorated Hwang Chi-Yeul by having his handprint and footprint plaques installed on the busiest street in the city downtown, Munhwa-ro (구미 문화로).

In Geumo Mountain Provincial Park, there is also a statue of hands holding a microphone with his signature engraved on it.

Hwang Chi-Yeul is an inspiration to everyone, a beacon of hope not to give up and to continue chasing after their dreams even in difficult times. Therefore, it is no wonder that he was chosen and appointed as North Gyeongsang PR Ambassador (경상북도 홍보대사).

Last July 8th, Hwang Chi-Yeul attended his appointment ceremony held in Geumo Mountain Provincial Park. It was also attended by important people including the city mayor and the North Gyeongsang Province governor.

Of course, present in the event were the fans who gave all their support and love for the Gumi-born Hallyu star. There were also international fans who flew all the way from Singapore and China to attend the said event.

He thanked everyone for the trust given to him as the North Gyeongsang PR Ambassador.  After the appointment ceremony, he, along with the government officers and fans walked around Geumo-san Ollegil.  At the end of the walk, he spent time taking pictures with his loyal fans whom he referred to as his “wings”.

Hwang Chi-Yeul seemed genuinely happy throughout the event.  He looked truly at home in Gumi.  Although it was hot and humid that day, his charming smile never faded even once. He must have felt really good to be back home again.

Tourist Sites Information

Ma Ae Cliff Buddha (금오산 마애볼)

Designated as National Treasure No. 490, this 5.5 meter-tall figure of Buddha was believed to be carved on the natural rock cliff dated back to Goryeo Dynasty, around the middle of 10th

Yaksaam Hermitage (약사암)

Located near the peak of the mountain, this active Buddhist temple was said to have been created to pay tribute to Saint Ulsang’s attainment of nirvana.

Doseon Cave (도선굴)

It was named after the Buddhist monk Doesan who reached nirvana state in this cave back in Shilla Dynasty.

Geumo-san Ollegil (금오산 올레길)

This 2.4 km walking path around the lake is everyone’s favorite in Gumi.  People come here to enjoy either a leisure walk or an exercise walk regardless of days, time or seasons.  However, it is most beautiful in spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

How to Get There

On foot

From Gumi Station, head for the back exit and take a 5-minute walk to the main road. Cross the road until you reach the stream.  Follow the stream leading to Geumo Mountain Provincial Park.

By bus

Only Bus Number 27 goes up to Provincial Park and the time interval is quite long.

By taxi

From Gumi Station, it will take more or less than 5 minutes to arrive in Geumo Mountain Provincial Park.
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