Chungju is the second largest city of Chungcheongbuk-do (North Chungcheong Province) and noted for its annual October martial arts festival; it is also the home town of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It is a handy transport hub for various points in the mountains of central Korea.
One of those places is the small spa resort town of Suanbo, noted for the curative features of its mineral-rich, alkaline waters at a constant temperature of 53°C. Nearby is Mireuksaji, a small Buddhist temple built in the late Shilla or early Goryeo period. It features an ancient standing stone Buddha that was the main image of Sakyamuni and once part of the cave-styled main hall.
It is part of Woraksan National Park, named after its 1,094-metre mountain straddling the border between the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. The Woraksan Mountains are filled with valleys and beautiful waterfalls. There are ancient Buddhist sites, like Deokjusa Temple, possibly established by Princess Deokju, the last princess of the Silla Kingdom, in 586 CE and the Jecheon rock-carved standing Buddha, presumed to have been made during the time of the Goryeo Dynasty (918 - 1392).