Daily Destination: Chungju, South Korea
Athletes are going all out — in unison — during the World Rowing Championships, now underway in Chungju, South Korea. From Aug. 25–Sept. 1, crews are racing through dozens of heats leading to finals in boats containing from one to eight rowers.
Chungju — last year the site of the Asian Olympic Qualification Regatta — is better known for a martial arts festival held each October. It’s also where U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spent his childhood.
Set amid hilly terrain and with warm, humid summers and cold, dry winters, the town right in the middle of South Korea (Chungju means “center”) has long been a fruit-growing capital. Rowers are splashing out the championships at Tangeum Lake, a reservoir that was a hub for recreation long before the crews came to town. The biggest news of the competition may be the weather: the race schedule was changed at the last minute when organizers got word of a downpour heading their way.
The surrounding park lands are known for bird watching and nice views of the lake and surrounding tree-covered hills. Live theater venues also draw visitors in summer.