Muju is located in the Sobaek Mountains in the center of South Korea. While Muju is infrequently visited for most of the year, the Firefly Festival invites thousands of tourists, primarily from within South Korea. Beyond the festival, Muju is famous within South Korea for the lively taekwondo scene, and is currently constructing a Taekwondo Park (to be completed 2013).
Muju County hosted the 1997 Winter Universiade.
Using Highway 35, Muju can be reached in as little as 45 minutes from Daejeon, or just over an hour from Jeonju (Highway 20 to Highway 35).
Any location within the town of Muju can easily be reached by a short walk. Nearby attractions (such as the ski resort, Bandi Land, Mt. Jeoksang, etc) are easily accessed via taxi (fares start at 2300 won).
There are a wide variety of trails that lead directly out of the city into the nearby mountains. These are not clearly marked, so ask a local or do some exploring.
- Mt. Jeoksang. The mountain itself is open all the time, although the road to reach the top is quite steep, and may be impassable at rare times during the winter. At the summit, there’s an enormous reservoir used to power the city and a Buddhist temple. Free.
- Firefly Bridge. Located in the center of town, the bridge is decorated with colored tiles, artistic renditions of fireflies, and is covered by lights that change color. Unfortunately, predicting when the bridge will be lit is next to impossible, as it is solar powered and will only light up when the capacitors have charged (during special events, however, the bridge will always be lit). Free.