Nicknamed the “City of Jewellery”, Iksan lies on the Okgu and Keumman Plains backed by the rugged peaks of Mount Cheonho and Mount Mireuk. It’s home to historic palace complexes and royal tombs, as well as the ruins of what was the largest Buddhist temple of the ancient Baekje Kingdom.
Things to do in Iksan
Admire relics from the Baekje Kingdom and the art of Korean jewellery makers at the Iksan Jewelry Museum. The outstanding collection also includes highly-prized gemstones, ancient fossils and life-size dinosaur skeletons that offer a glimpse into Korea’s distant past.
Want to see one of the oldest stone pagodas in Korea? Visit the Mireuksa Temple Site where the remains of the largest Buddhist temple in the ancient Baekje Kingdom are located. Items excavated from the temple site are now on display at the Mireuksaji Museum, together with exhibits detailing the advanced architectural skills employed in the temple’s construction.
Nearby lie the Ssamgneung (Twin Tombs) of Iksan, two stone chambers that were unearthed during an excavation survey in 1917. Learn about the lives of their occupants, King Mu and his wife Queen Seonhwa, with the large Daewangmyo royal tomb extending a staggering 30 metres in diameter and five metres in height.
Spend an afternoon wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed palace ruins of Wanggung-ri, which date from the early-7th century. In addition to its five-storey stone pagoda and ancient remains, the archaeological site includes a museum displaying relics excavated from Wanggung-ri.
Getting around Iksan
Iksan is over an hour’s drive south of Seoul and just over two hours from Incheon International Airport, with both buses and trains making the journey. Buses are available throughout Iksan and travel to the surrounding archaeological sites.