* February 15, 2008: Jeollanam-do's Slow Cities.
* March 24, 2009: "Jeollanam-do is a little slow."
* April 10, 2009: "Pretty flowers in Jangheung, Wando."
* December 28, 2009: "Slow City" island in Shinan working hard to stay slow.
The Korea Tourism Organization has a little bit about Cheongsan-do:
The island is 50 minutes by ferry from Wando Terminal. It was first publicized through Sopyonje, a Korean movie highlighting the tradition of [pansori], a Korean traditional opera. In his search for filming locations, film director Im Kwon-taek wanted a traditional village that was still untouched by modernity. It is said that he gave his approval immediately after visiting Cheongsan-do. As seen in the movie, the island offers a trip back in time along narrow, winding roads, low stone walls, and green terraced rice fields.
You'll find more information about the festival, including a small program, on the official festival site, though it's in Korean and not very helpful. The main attraction is the scenery and the slow concept it markets, and I shared a few pictures off the wire in last year's festival write-up:
And some pictures of foreigners who'd be my classmates at Chonnam National University later in the year:
Last year I wrote that even though one of the pictures had the headline "청산도 체험하는 외국인," but for many Koreans, Cheongsan-do is just as 신기한. Rural Korea has become rather exoticized---a concept I explored further here and here---to the extent that some deny to foreigners that it even exists, and one of the most popular TV shows of the past couple years could feature celebrities acting goofy in fish-out-of-water situations there. In my earlier posts on Jeollanam-do's slow cities I asked whether they were being deliberately slow, or whether their pace of life was just a consequence of so many Koreans choosing not to live in these places, and if the new designation would paradoxically attract a ton of people.
This festival spans several weeks, and is one of two fairly big island festivals in Jeollanam-do this coming weekend. The other is a tulip festival in Shinan county from the 16th through the 25th. The Wando county page says there are four ferries a day to and from Cheongsan-do. On the official festival page you'll find, in Korean, information about buses on the island by clicking on the "Tour" tab and choosing the last option. Choosing the first one will get you walking course information, again in Korean.