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Suwon is a city of over 1,000,000 people just south of Seoul, South Korea. For me though, its most notable feature is the massive wall that once encompassed the entire city.
The Hwaseong Fortress was built in 1796 by King Jeongjo to house the remains of his father, Prince Sado, who had been murdered by his father King Yeongjo, who locked him alive in a rice chest after Prince Sado refused to follow his father’s order to commit suicide. I suspect it also helped serve to protect the city from the constant threat of Japanese invasions.
Macabre history aside, the Fortress is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its main advantage for fitness buffs though, lies in its usage as a running track. Roughly 5.7 kilometers of prime wall-top running and walking track will take you past pagodas and palaces, and give you a great view of the urban skyscrapers and sprawl that has now extended well beyond the boundaries of the Fortress wall. Not to mention, you get to run on top of a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
When you’re in Suwon, make sure you grab your walking shoes and head for some exercise at the Hwaseong Fortress.