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“Good history lesson”

May 18th National Cemetery
Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Gwangju
Attraction details
Gwangju, South Korea
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good history lesson”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Before coming to Gwangju, I tried to understand the Democracy Movement, but the little information available in English was confusing. The National Cemetery had a great 30 minute (free!) documentary with so much information, pictures, and video. It was shocking to see pictures of tanks in the middle of downtown Gwangju, but very humbling. Very few people were visiting the same day, so the attendant answered our questions about the movement as best she could. Well worth a visit!

Visited July 2012
3 Thank Katherine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Daejeon, South Korea
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Quiet Afternoon Reflection”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

The May 18th Park is a an all around good afternoon activity. There are many places to see including the temples, memorials, and a student center. There is quite a bit of history, but only a few of the signs were translated. You can get a good idea of what happened from the statues. There are parks, with the exercise equipment and a look out temple(?) if you walk up the hill by the student center. There is areas if you want to picnic and at least 2 fountain/ponds. There is a templestay you can also visit.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank SeungJa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
86 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Humbling Tribute”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

We were there for the anniversary in May, it was a humbling experience where you could feel the spirit of those who fought for freedom. I definitely walked away with a greater appreciation of what happened and how it changed the lives of people in S Korea.

Visited May 2012
5 Thank Colleen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gwangju, South Korea
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Interesting insight into a troubled past”
Reviewed March 11, 2012

The May 18th National Cemetery is perhaps the biggest must do for those visiting Gwangju. The city is known for the protests and massacre of 1980 and this cemetery stands as an excellent testament to those events.
The cemetery is easily reached from the Gwangju train station by taking the 518 bus from the road outside. A short walk from the bus stop then brings you to the museum. We were taken into and exhibition room and shown a video explaining the history of the uprising. Be warned parts of the film are extremely graphic and it is around thirty minutes long. It is however fascinating to watch the footage of the military and civilians clashing on the streets of Gwangju.
The movie is followed by a small exhibition that shows artefacts from the uprising, most of which like an exhumed skeleton and a blood soaked rock are pretty morbid.
After this you can wander around the cemetery itself at your leisure.
All in all this attraction is an important piece of regional and national history and is well worth making the journey from the city centre for.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Andrew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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