Seoul, South Korea
Millennium Destinations participated in a fact-finding trip to the South Korean city of Gangjin, South Jeolla Province, with the purpose to design a new tour, in the footsteps of Hendrick Hamel.
Hendrick Hamel (1630 – 1692) was a Dutchman who lived in Korea for over 13 years after he survived a shipwreck on Jeju Island in 1653, together with 35 crew members. After being taken to Seoul for detention, they were transferred to Gangjin (Byeongyeong) in 1656 and stayed there for seven years before being dispersed to other cities. Hamel finally escaped Korea from Yeosu in 1966 with seven of his mates. After he returned home, he wrote an account of his experiences, ‘the Journal of Hendrick Hamel’, the first book on Korea published in Europe.
The fact-finding trip introduced several sites connected to Hamel’s life in Gangjin, including the Jeolla Byeongyeong Military Fortress, formerly used to defend the southwest part of the country for over 500 years, and now a construction site for the Dutch Village Project; the Hamel Memorial Museum and its surroundings, including a 500 year old Gingko tree, and finally Suin-sa, a Buddhist temple which hosts the remains of three temples located in Suin mountain, which must have been frequently visited by Hamel and his Dutch friends.
Other participants of the tour included: H.E. Mr. Paul Menkveld, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Korea, Amb. Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, local officials and media representatives.