Translating into “rice paddies and mountains” in Korean, Nonsan is a vibrant city with a rich Baekje Kingdom heritage. It’s home to the largest stone Buddha in the country and a museum showcasing the military history of the Baekje Kingdom, as well as the tomb of one of its most-loved generals.
Things to do in Nonsan
Discover Korea’s ancient military history at the Baekje Military Museum where period weapons, armour and artefacts are on display. Witness a reconstructed defence wall and learn how the Baekje Kingdom expanded its influence across south-west Korea between the 1st and 7th centuries.
Also of note is the Historic Site of General Gyebaek, which features the tomb of a prominent general during the Baekje Kingdom. It’s located near the battlefield of Hwangsanbeol where he fell in 660 AD at the hands of allied forces from the Silla Kingdom and China’s Tang Dynasty.
In the south-west of Nonsan stands the giant stone Buddha of Eunjin Mireuk, which was built in 958 AD under the reign of King Gwangjong. At over 18 metres in height, it’s the largest stone Buddha in Korea and an important pilgrimage site for local Buddhists.
The Buddha statue of Eunjin Mireuk is located within the temple complex of Gwanchoksa along the eastern slopes of Mount Banyasan. It features an immense hall decorated with murals and enshrines a triad of Buddha statues, as well as a stunning tunnel of cherry blossoms during the spring.
Getting around Nonsan
Nonsan is around two hours’ train ride south of Seoul and connected to surrounding towns and cities by regular buses. Nonsan is an easy destination to explore by bicycle with its array of designated paths.