CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea —
On the peak of Geumsan, Republic of Korea, surrounded by ancient Buddhist temples, service members witness the untouched beauty that South Korea has to offer during the Korean Ministry of National Defense cultural tour.
Each month the MND invites service members on a free tour of the unique cultures around the Korean peninsula. This opportunity gives them something more than just physical objects to take back with them.
“The original purpose of the program was to build a stronger alliance between the U.S. and Korean militaries,” said Lee, Kyun trip organizer, spiritual force and cultural affairs officer, MND. “Now, we strive to give service members fond memories of Korea when they go home.”
This month’s excursion included kayaking in the South Sea, nighttime octopus fishing and traditional scarf dyeing along with visits to other cultural landmarks.
“This gives service members a way to get out and experience Korea,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Riki Renteria, human resources specialist, United States Forces Korea. “You meet new people, go to new places and really get to know the beauty of Korea.”
The trip joined service members from the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps on a journey to six of the nine Korean provinces. “Each area has its own individual culture and feel,” said Lee. “Everyone on the trip always seem to enjoy all the different facets of Korea."
From the food which was provided by local restaurants and villages to the traditional lodging, the outing makes every effort to display the authentic South Korean lifestyle. “You get to enjoy Korea in the same way the locals do,” said Renteria. “It’s an incredibly genuine way to experience the world around you.”
The MND makes every effort to create an unforgettable experience for those involved. Each trip aspires to make memories for service members to take home. “This is one of the best ways to go out and make memories in Korea that will last forever,” said Renteria. “Anyone who is offered an opportunity like this should take it.”
To request a seat on future cultural tours please email the USFK Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org