The holiday villa (220 5677; cheongnamdae.com; adult/youth/child W5000/4000/3000; 9am-6pm Tue-Sun) of South Korean presidents overlooks Daecheong Lake. It was built by President Chun Doo-hwan in 1983. The gardens and lakeside setting are beautiful, but the villa is surprisingly modest. President Chun enjoyed skating on the pond, while President Roh Tae-woo liked the five-hole golf course. Beef was served to all the employees whenever he had a good round. President Kim Young-sam disapproved of golf because of its association with corruption, and the golf course hasn’t been used in recent years. President Kim Dae-jung planted the honeysuckle (the Korean word for it means ‘overcoming hardship’, which was his nickname) and built the thatched pavilion containing mementos from his hometown in Jeollanam-do. It’s thanks to President Roh Moo-hyun that the residence was opened to the public in 2003. All of the villa and gardens are open to the public, and you can even peep into the presidential bedroom.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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