Summer in the Beauty of Eunpyeong Hanok Village

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The architectural beauty of hanok structures continues to awe visitors to Korea, with many people including a trip to a hanok village on their itinerary. If you’ve already been to Bukchon Hanok Village or Jeonju Hanok Village but still want to see more, then plan some time in Eunpyeong Hanok Village! Despite being located within Seoul, this village maintains a slower, quieter ambiance where you can truly appreciate the beauty of hanok along with the majestic Bukhansan Mountain.

Eunpyeong Hanok Village
Eunpyeong Hanok Village was founded at the foot of Bukhansan Mountain in December, 2014. Rather than restoring old hanok houses like most villages do, the area was completely created from scratch, becoming the largest neighborhood of new hanok houses in the metropolitan area. The area has plenty of attractions to fill a half-day itinerary, from walking along forested trails on Bukhansan Mountain to visiting a temple and museum before enjoying a break at a café or restaurant with an amazing view.

Jingwansa Temple
Jingwansa Temple is one of four major temples located around Seoul.


The temple offers many facilities to learn about Buddhist culture, including temple stay, temple food, and traditional culture experience halls.


The walking path, Baekchowon-gil, starting from the temple entrance is highly recommended. The path is named after Monk Baek Chowon, who hid the Korean flag and other patriotic materials during the Japanese colonial period. The path passes a beautiful valley flowing out of Bukhansan National Park.

Eunpyeong History Hanok Museum
Eunpyeong History Hanok Museum is dedicated to promoting the history and hanok culture of Eunpyeong-gu through exhibitions as well as lectures and hands-on programs. The building was also selected as a beautiful representative building of Seoul in 2015.


The museum is largely divided into the Eunpyeong History Hall on the second floor and the Hanok Exhibition Hall on the third floor. The hanok hall shows the changes in hanok structures over time, showing plenty of examples of modern hanok. The Eunpyeong History Hall shows the history and culture of the region where Eunpyeong Hanok Village currently stands.


Many visitors enjoy getting a closer look at the materials used to construct hanok, as well as the science behind the flooring of hanok buildings, such as the ondol (underfloor heating) and maru (wooden floor). The museum holds approximately 7,500 items related to the area’s history and representative cultural heritages.

Hanok cafés and restaurants with a view
One unique aspect of Eunpyeong Hanok Village is that there are hanok tea houses and restaurants with upstairs seating for a panoramic view of the entire village. While they aren’t super high up, the floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to see the beautiful tile rooflines up close with a fantastic backdrop of Bukhansan Mountain.


Take a moment to relax from wandering through the village over a traditional drink and snack or even a full meal. No matter which shop or menu you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a pictureperfect table and view.

Eunpyeong Trail
If you enjoy hiking and trekking, you’ll definitely want to check out Eunpyeong Trail! There are five courses total, with courses three and four passing Jingwansa Temple and Eunpyeong Hanok Village.


Course four in particular is great if you enjoy hiking, as it connects with sections of the Bukhansan Dulle-gil Trail. The wooden deck also passes the natural habitat for boreal digging frogs, an endangered species.


 
 
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Following BTS to Traditional Places

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K-pop group Bangtan Boys, more commonly called BTS, hasn’t let their international fame cloud their Korean roots. In the past, they filmed a music video at Gyeongbokgung Palace while dressed in hanbok, and even appeared on an NBC talk show wearing hanbok. In Korea, they visited many traditional places, creating a wonderful tour course for BTS fans looking to follow in their footsteps.

Korea Furniture Museum
BTS made an appearance in a recent episode of “You Quiz on the Block,” filmed at the Korea Furniture Museum. They aren’t the only celebrities to have visited this attraction. The guestbook includes famous international figures such as Xi Jinping, Brad Pitt, and Martha Stewart!


The Korea Furniture Museum is a unique museum that collects and displays Korea’s traditional wooden furniture. Items are grouped according to their location and use in traditional houses, as well as by material, and region of origin.


The museum takes up ten traditional houses on a hill in Seongbuk-dong that have been restored over fifteen years. By touring the museum, you can also learn about the basic structure of hanok houses, including their typical interior design, flower-patterned lattice work, chimney, and front yard.
Admission to the museum is strictly limited to those with a reservation, and tours are led by a guide, lasting approximately one hour. Through the guided tour, you can learn more about the Korean housing culture, harmonizing the furniture and nature. The museum is a great way to learn more about the beautiful traditional culture of Korea.

Awon Museum & Hotel
Awon Museum & Hotel was a filming location of the 2019 BTS Summer Package. In the film, the members of BTS also visited nearby attractions like Soyang Oseongje House and Uibongsanseong Fortress, quickly raising their popularity. The house itself was originally built in Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, but was move to the current location within Wanju Oseong Hanok Village.


Despite the move, the 250-year-old house still maintains the dignity of a scholar’s lifestyle from the Joseon era.
Awon Hotel can largely be divided into four spaces, including Cheonjiin – Manhyudang Hall, which was used for the cover image of 2019 BTS Summer Package.


The other spaces are Sarangchae – Yeonhadang Hall, Anchae – Seolhwadang Hall, and Byeolchae – Cheonmokdasil Room. Each area is open to touring, taking photos, and even spending the night in.
The ground below Awon Hotel is the Awon Museum, displaying modern art in the Oz Gallery. The gallery also serves a limited menu of teas and coffee. For more leisure, you can walk in the bamboo forest growing behind the hotel.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
If you’re a BTS fan, then you have to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace! They recorded a large performance here!
BTS recorded in front of Geunjeongjeon Hall of Gyeongbokgung Palace, registered as National Treasure No. 223 and the main building in the palace. Their performance, wearing traditional hanbok, was recorded for an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC in September of 2020.


After performing “Idol” in front of Geunjeongjeon Hall, they also performed “Mikrokosmos” in front of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion. Their performance was made even more spectacular thanks to the use of hundreds of drones. The pavilion appears to float atop the pond around it. It is especially popular in spring, when the weeping cherry trees around the pond are in bloom.


In May of 2015, BTS also performed before a brightly lit Heungnyemun Gate for a KBS music show. At that time, they were jokingly referred to as Heungtan Boys.

Korea House
Korea House also has connections with BTS. The cover image for the BTS edition of the Billboard magazine was taken here at Nogeumjeong Pavilion. In addition to group photos, they also took individual photos here.


Korea House is a multicomplex promoting all types of Korean traditions, from traditional food to performing arts, and even traditional wedding ceremonies.


Visitors can try a royal table d’hote, watch traditional performances, and even participate in cultural programs.


 
 
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Explore Ikseon-dong, a Hidden Treasure in the Bustling City

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Ikseon-dong has become a must-visit neighborhood in Seoul. The maze-like streets of Ikseon-dong hold treasures in the form of cafés, restaurants, and handicraft shops with unique concepts and designs operated by young artists and entrepreneurs. Ikseon-dong has enough to see and eat to fill a half-day of touring!

11AM – The charm of 101 years of history, Ikseon-dong Hanok Village
Ikseon-dong Hanok Village, first established in the 1920s, offers a unique mix of modern and traditional elements. The narrow alleyways are lined with uniquely decorated shops and cafes as they twist and turn. It’s no surprise that these alleyways are referred to as “photo zones” as the colorful shops make the perfect backdrop for photogenic moments. The shop signs and one-of-a-kind murals can also help you find you way within Ikseon-dong Hanok Village.

12PM – Lunch break overlooking hanok rooftops at 2storey_house
2storey_house is a French restaurant that overlooks the surrounding hanok village from the second floor terrace. The chef was trained at the famous French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, and makes classic French dishes using ingredients available in Korea. Try unique combinations such as cream pasta featuring bacon and oyster mushrooms, or squid ink risotto with monkfish and French salsa sauce.

1PM – Café with a view, Cheongsudang
Wander the streets of Ikseon-dong long enough and you’ll come across a small pond with stepping stones, lined with tall bamboo and round yellow lanterns. The path leads to Cheongsudang, a café designed with the concept of an Asian garden. In addition to the interior design, the café’s menu items are also popular. Enjoy stone pour-over coffee, made using stone drippers, or the Castella and fromage cake, baked in square-shaped pottery.

3PM – Get rid of stress at Ikseon Shooting Club
Part of the charm of exploring Ikseon-dong is stopping in to enjoy the shops. At Ikseon Shooting Club, you can relieve stress while also winning prizes! This indoor shooting range provides a variety of BB gun types that feel just like their actual model. Each gun type has a set point goal and if you get over the target goal, you win a prize!

4PM – Sala Daeng BANGKOK, a slice of Thai paradise
For dinner, fly to Thailand. Just kidding! You can enjoy Thai food in Ikseon-dong at Sala Daeng BANGKOK, famous among tourists. The restaurant looks like a resort straight out of Bangkok, decorated with rattan furniture and green plants around a central swimming pool. The menu includes Korean remakes of Thai cuisine for a unique dining option. If you’re looking for the full experience, be sure to order the Sala Daeng Special three-tier tray, coming with dinner and dessert!


  
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City Exploration to the heart of Seoul, Jongno

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Jongno 3(sam)-ga, Seoul ranked third in “The 49 coolest neighbourhoods in the world” for 2021, selected by the English travel magazine Time Out. What charms does this place, which draws the world’s attention and attracts an entire generation, hold? Jongno is the heart of Seoul, where Korea’s past and present, seniors and juniors, and retro and refined styles coexist.
Today, we’d like to explore the charming area of Jongno 3(sam)-ga!

Gwangjang Market, a Traditional Korean Market
Located in Yeji-dong, Jongno-gu, Gwangjang Market demonstrates the energetic daily lifestyle of Koreans. As Korea’s first permanent market with about 100 years of tradition, it houses numerous textile wholesalers and retailers of hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) material, curtains, and bedding. It has recently become more famous for its unique food street serving small gimbap, mung bean pancakes, and beef tartare. The savory aroma of food draws passersby into the market.

Taste of Korea at Gwangjang Market
When entering Gwangjang Market, you will easily find beef tartare restaurants. We highly recommend trying the “chopped live octopus and beef tartare” dish, a combination of beef tartare and finely chopped live octopus. This delicacy is characterized by the savory taste of egg yolk mingling with the soft beef tartare and chewy octopus. The dish’s Korean name, nakji tangtangi, originates from the sound of chopping (tangtang) octopus (nakji) with a knife.
Kkoma gimbap, highlighted in Time Out, is also known as mayak gimbap, literally meaning “drug gimbap,” because once you taste these addictive rolls with the mustard dipping sauce, you’ll never want to stop eating them. In addition, japchae, a combination of various vegetables, meat, and glass noodles, is a festive dish usually eaten on special occasions because of its complex and time-consuming cooking process. However, this delicious dish is readily available in Gwangjang Market for a reasonable price.
We also recommend mung bean pancakes (bindaetteok) and griddlecake with sugar filling (hotteok). While the griddle cake filled with sugar and nuts is a sweet dessert-like snack, the mung bean pancake, made with mung bean dough, green bean sprouts, and pork, is perfect for hungry tourists and best enjoyed with drinks. The latter has a long tradition and is the most popular food at Gwangjang Market.

Attractive Walking Spots along Seosulla-gil
Once you’ve appeased your hunger in Gwangjang Market, let’s discover more of Jongno’s hidden charms while digesting another delicacy! Seosulla-gil, the western stone wall road surrounding Jongmyo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a beautiful walking spot with a cozy and peaceful atmosphere. Behind the stone wall, a large old tree’s verdant branches offer a shady resting spot in the summer and become tinged with autumn colors in the fall. While walking along the 800-meter-long road and observing the stunning scenery, you will pass by traditional crafts workshops, jewelry multishops, cafés, pubs, and other interesting shops where you can stop and rest at your leisure.

Strolling along K-Crafts Street
Do you know that the citizen identification tags and ornamental hairpins that appeared in Netflix’s popular K-zombie series “Kingdom (2019)” were made in a traditional handicraft workshop in Seosulla-gil? Also known as a K-crafts street, Seosulla-gil is home to many similar shops. We’d like to introduce you to Space 42, where you’ll find diverse jewelry crafts. This cultural complex offers various products from rising Korean jewelry designers. Its first floor has a jewelry multishop, while the second floor houses a lounge and experience booth where visitors can try their hand at making jewelry.

Enjoying Food and Drinks in Hanok
If you want to take a break from walking around Seosulla-gil, we advise you to visit Café Sasa for a delicious coffee or Seoul Gypsy for an alcoholic drink. Café Sasa, designed like a hanok, was featured in Time Out for its savory mugwort latte. In addition, the Seoul Gypsy, a remodeled 1950s hanok decorated in a unique pub style, boasts experimental microbrews and exotic dishes, including Vietnamese chicken and Thai salad.

Getting a Sense of Traditional Culture
The Seosulla-gil walking tour’s last course lets you discover the beauty of Korean traditions. Korea Saekdong Museum, featuring a traditional hanok-style and modern interior, displays Korea’s old clothing culture. The Korean word saekdong means “clothes with multicolored stripes.” The museum exhibits traditional wedding clothes and children’s clothes for celebrating their first anniversaries made of these colorful, striped clothes. In addition, you can purchase various modern accessories, such as mugs and pouches, made with the colorful stripe design in the museum shop.

Major Gourmand Alleys of the Newtro Culture
Jongno is home to numerous food streets, ranging from old restaurants in Meat Alley and Pocha Street to Ikseon-dong Café Street, which incited Korea’s newtro craze. Let’s explore these gourmand alleys that attract people of all ages, from seniors to hipsters!

Meat Alley Packed with Well-Established Restaurants
Many long-standing pork restaurants serving grilled pork belly and pork skirt are situated along Meat Alley, next to Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station, Exit 6. These old restaurants each have their specialties, and Tongdwaeji Jip, known for its huge cauldron lid–grilled pork belly, is no exception. Grilled pork belly, considered Korean soul food, has become a popular dish among foreigners and is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. You can enjoy pork belly and kimchi grilled over a hot cauldron lid and wrap them in lettuce or perilla leaf. If you want to properly appreciate trendy Korean food culture, we recommend that you end your meal with fried rice made with kimchi and cheese.

Delicious Dessert in Ikseon-dong
Ikseon-dong Café Street is a popular place among the youth to find exciting desserts. The hanok café “Cheong Su Dang” is known for its delicious desserts, such as soufflé castella, which is made upon order, black sesame cake, and pour-over coffee made from millstoneground coffee. This café is also a famous photo spot thanks to its interior design. Its entrance is embellished with a bamboo lamp and stepping-stones, emphasizing Asian beauty, while its nature-friendly interior is decorated with moss and rocks.

Food Stalls at Night
If you walk toward Nagwon Arcade from Exit 3 of Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station on Subway Line 5, you will find food stalls lining the roadside. In Pocha Street, you can try Koreans’ favorite snacks, such as mussel soup, grilled chicken feet, grilled sea eel, and green onion pancakes, served with alcoholic drinks on a street table. Along with Gogi Alley, Pocha Street also came highly recommended in Time Out. If you want to experience Korean night culture, this is the perfect place to end your Jongno travels.
 

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Spring Blossom Paths in Seoul

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With the arrival of spring come beautiful blooming flowers, including cherry blossoms, forsythias, and azaleas. Even in Seoul, a large city filled with skyscrapers and cars, there are places to enjoy the sight and scent of spring blossoms. If you are eager to discover a different side of Seoul, visit some of the following parks to be greeted by blossoming spring flowers.

Seoul’s Central Park, Seoul Forest

Recognized as one of Seoul’s premium city parks, a magnificent sight of giant cherry blossom trees can be found at Seoul Forest. Visitors to the park are welcome to enjoy a light walk or a picnic under the gently fluttering cherry blossoms. Don’t miss your chance to see deer and observe butterflies at the Ecological Forest while at the park.

Seoul’s Central Park, Seoul Forest

Cheerfully colorful, Children’s Grand Park

Starting from the entrance, Children’s Grand Park is filled with blossoms of all kinds, from deep pink azaleas to tulips of all shades. The park is one of the most stunning parks during springtime when the large cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. In addition, other attractions such as the zoo and the botanical garden found within the park offer more to see, making the park a perfect picnic spot. Snacks for sale can be found at every corner and full meals are also available at the park’s cafeteria.

Park

Straight out of a fairy tale, Seokchonhosu Lake

Every spring, Seokchonhosu Lake boasts a splendid view of approximately 300,000 cherry blossoms and wild flowers in bloom. In particular, the sight of Lotte World appearing to float in the middle of Seokchonhosu Lake creates a fairy tale-like picture. The annual Seokchonhosu Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is also held here, offering various events and programs for visitors to enjoy.

Straight out of a fairy tale, Seokchonhosu Lake

Closest to the sky, Haneul Park in World Cup Park

Haneul Park, located within World Cup Park, offers amazing views of the city as well as beautiful flowers and interesting sculptures. Man-made structures and facilities are limited within the park, as it was formed as a restoration project to preserve the ecological environment. Visitors are recommended to prepare a few drinks and snacks in advance before visiting. Colonies of forsythias can be found along both sides of the trekking paths, creating the mood to enjoy spring to its fullest.

Closest to the sky, Haneul Park in World Cup Park

A romantic getaway, Noeul Park in World Cup Park

Noeul Park offers a pleasant sight of forsythias and royal azaleas in early spring and changes its colors to lovely shades of purple around May to June when the irises are in bloom. In addition, the metasequoia tree-lined path is often sought-out by couples as the trees that stretch down both sides of the walking path create a romantic mood perfect for a relaxing stroll. The park is also famous for its sunset view, with many visitors coming in the late afternoon hours.

A romantic getaway, Noeul Park in World Cup Park

Peaceful flowers, Seoul National Cemetery

The cherry blossoms cultivated at Seoul National Cemetery resemble willow trees with their branches hanging down towards the ground as they age, giving one an image of a waterfall of flowing flowers. Although Seoul National Cemetery is popular for its fascinating cherry blossoms, other spring blossoms such as forsythias and fringe trees serve as welcoming sights. In addition, the annual Seoul National Cemetery Spring Blossom Event is held every April, offering various entertaining and educational programs.

Peaceful flowers, Seoul National Cemetery

A pleasant walking path, Samcheong Park

Located in the center of Seoul, Samcheong Park is well-loved by the local community due to its convenient location and various facilities nearby, including cultural centers and restaurants. Thanks to the scenic view the walking trail offers, many visitors are drawn to the park to enjoy the sight of cherry blossoms and forsythia flowers, as well as the refreshing spring atmosphere. After taking in the beautiful blossoms, stop by Samcheong-dong Café Street!

Representative attraction of Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream

Representative attraction of Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream

Located at the center of Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream is a top tourist attraction that serves as a relaxing space for both nearby office workers and tourists. Sansuyu (cornus fruit) flowers, canola flowers, and plum blossoms welcome spring as they bloom along the 11 kilometer-long stream, while a line of white fringe tree flowers offer an excellent sight by decorating both sides of the nearby walking path.

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)
 
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Day Trip to Euljiro, a Rising Hotspot in Seoul

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The area of Euljiro is full of history and trendy locations right in the heart of Seoul. The area is centered around Sewoon Plaza, a large commercial building built in the 1970s. As unique and trendy shops began opening alongside the old printing factory, lighting, and tool stores, this hot place received the name “hipjiro,” a combination of the words hip and Euljiro. Here is a charming tour course perfect for a day trip to Euljiro.

10:00 AM Euljiro Alley Tour
The Euljiro tour can start from any station connecting to Cheonggyecheon Stream on the Seoul Subway Line: Eujiro 3(Sam)-ga Station, Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Station, and Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station. Wherever the trip begins, visitors can reach all the major spots of Euljiro by following the countless alleys. The Euljiro area has an ironwork alley, lighting alley, and nogari (dried pollack) alley, making for a great sightseeing trip. Another method is by entering any alley and shop to each liking.

10:00 AM Euljiro Alley Tour

12:00 PM Bowl of Pyeongyang Naengmyeon
The area of Euljiro is also famous for its countless Pyeongyang naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles) restaurants. The cold and unique flavor of the soup is a special trait of Pyeongyang naengmyeon. The noodles go especially well with meat. Each store has a variety of selections from bulgogi to suyuk (boiled beef slices), pyeonyuk (boiled pork slices), and much more.

12:00 PM Bowl of Pyeongyang Naengmyeon

14:00 PM Cup of Coffee in a Nostalgic Cafe
Fragrant coffee and sweet dessert are a must during travels. The Euljiro area has common coffee shops as well as unique cafés with a different vibe. In particular, Coffee Hanyakbang is popular among not only locals, but also tourists. This café specializes in pour over coffee. Just like its name Hanyakbang, which refers to an old-fashioned pharmacy dealing with medicinal herbs, the interior of the café is decorated with old cabinets inlaid with mother-of-pearl, vintage record players, and antiques giving it a unique retro look.
Across the street from Coffee Hanyakbang is a bakery shop that specializes in cake and chocolates. Hyemindang used to be the location of a medical facility called Hyeminseo during the Joseon period. The antique interior design from that period is the biggest characteristic of this shop.

14:00 PM Cup of Coffee in a Nostalgic Cafe

16:00 PM Look around Sewoon Plaza
Sewoon Plaza is Korea’s first mixed-use commercial building and used to be a popular electronics department store. The building has Sewoon Electronics Department Store, Cheonggye Arcade, Daerim Arcade, Dasisewoon Plaza, and more. The building is famous for being the filming location for Korean dramas “Vincenzo (2021)” and “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016). In particular, Cheonggye Arcade and Daerim Arcade have cafés, bookstores, and restaurants that are popular on social media. At Geumjiokyeop, visitors can find posters, books, and goods from old popular films. Horangyi is a recommended coffee shop with old school vibes.

16:00 PM Look around Sewoon Plaza

18:00 PM Wrap up the Day at a Wine Bar
To wrap up the Euljiro tour, how about spending some time at a charming wine bar or pub. The wine bars in Euljiro have retro entrances but the interior design is completely different. Each bar has its own characteristic. There is one wine bar named Le temple that serves delicious dishes made with Jamόn, cheese, and fruits. Some have LP bars playing the classics, like at Pky and The Edge, and some, such as eulijiok and Le temple, have live DJ performances.
Euljiro Nogari Street is perfect for beer lovers who want to enjoy beer and nogari at an affordable price. People sit on tables along the alley and enjoy the summer night.

  • Some stores subject to closure due to social distancing.
18:00 PM Wrap up the Day at a Wine Bar
18:00 PM Wrap up the Day at a Wine Bar

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)
 
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Suncheonman Bay, Nature’s Gifts of Garden & Sunset

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Every November, the expansive field of reeds at Suncheonman Bay takes on a golden hue. Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve is home to the largest colony of reeds in Korea, and it is yet another perfect way to enjoy autumn and early winter by taking leisurely romantic strolls around the park. In addition, Korea’s first national garden, Suncheonman Bay National Garden is nearby, drawing in an overwhelming number of tourists. With an epithet “garden from heaven,” experience the unique nature and beauty of Korea’s most outstanding eco-system and protected wetland – Suncheonman Bay!

Suncheonman Bay, Nature’s Gifts of Garden & Sunset

Gardens from around the world gathered as one, Suncheon Bay National Garden

Suncheon Bay National Garden, opened for the international Suncheon Bay Garden Expo, is the first National Garden in Korea. A wide variety of themed gardens can be found meticulously lined up at the garden. Autumn in particular is lively, with thousands of chrysanthemums in every shade, mirroring the field of reeds in the bay.
There are two entrances found at the east and west sides of the garden. The East Gate leads to Suncheon Lake Garden, World Garden and Metasequoia Path while the West Gate brings visitors to the Korean Traditional Garden, Suncheonman Bay International Wetland Center and other nearby attractions. Visitors may choose to start their excursion from either entrance. As the park is fairly large and spacious, visitors can board the sightseeing bus (adults 3,000 won) that operates around the park.

Suncheon Bay National Garden – Suncheon Lake Garden
Suncheon Lake Garden was designed by world famous landscape designer Charles Jencks during his stay in Suncheon. This garden displays the city in miniature size, including replicas of the mountains surrounding the city made into smaller hills. In a reversal of elements, the lake in the center of these hills serves as the city of Suncheon, while the wooden deck above represents Dongcheon Stream winding its way through the city. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk or climb up the hills; the view of Suncheon Lake Garden from the hill peaks is quite stunning.

Suncheon Bay National Garden – Suncheon Lake Garden

Suncheon Bay National Garden – World Garden
The World Garden is made up of garden styles from various countries, including Thailand, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and China. It is an interesting experience to compare and appreciate different aesthetics presented by each nation. The Chinese Garden features a pond and pavilions, while the Turkey Garden represents the culture of the Middle East. The Dutch Garden and French Garden have models of their famous windmills and Palace of Versailles, respectively. Walking through each garden will offer visitors a chance to experience the visual differences in cultures from around the world.

Suncheon Bay National Garden - World Garden

Suncheon Bay National Garden – Metasequoia Path & Participation Garden
The Metasequoia Path is the most popular trail at the garden among couples. The trees were originally slated to be cut down in order to expand the highway system, but were moved to the garden to live out the rest of their lives.
The Participation Garden displays artworks designed and created by various cities, companies, and individuals in Korea, creating a feeling of visiting an art gallery. The recycling garden features aluminum cans hanging on a fence, being repurposed to hold flowers instead of drinks. The seed bank also showcases many plants, symbolic of the International Seed Bank, where seeds of every type are saved in order to replant the world should an extreme disaster take place.

Suncheon Bay National Garden – Metasequoia Path & Participation Garden

Dream Bridge
The Dream Bridge, designed by installation artist Kang Ik-joong, was created by reusing 30 container boxes. The walls of the bridge are decorated with more than 140,000 vivid paintings created by children from around the world. All those who cross the bridge can feel a strong desire to protect Suncheonman Bay and the world’s natural environment.

Dream Bridge

Korean Traditional Garden
Korean Traditional Garden’s palace garden reproduces the elegant and beautiful Huwon areas of Changdeokgung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace. The noblemen’s garden shows a glimpse of the atmosphere in which ancient noblemen relaxed and studied with nature by their side. Lastly, the garden of hope focuses on a motif of folk beliefs. One can see many stone towers, created with the tradition of stacking a stone while making a wish in order for the wish to come true.

Korean Traditional Garden

Lungs of the Earth – Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
Suncheonman Bay is one of the world’s top five coastal wetlands, and is by far Korea’s most beautiful natural landscape. The seemingly endless field of reeds surrounded on three sides by mountains and open to the sea on the fourth is something not easily seen in the world. Moreover, Suncheonman Bay was registered with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in January 2006. The wetland serves as home to an array of migratory birds including species like hooded crane, Saunders’s gull and more.

Lungs of the Earth - Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve

Enjoying Suncheonman Bay in autumn
The Suncheon Literature Hall features the works of authors Kim Seungok and Jeong Chae-bong, both from Suncheon. Handwritten manuscripts, books, and daily living items from both writers are on display. The building was constructed as a traditional thatch-roofed house, harmonizing with the nature of Suncheonman Bay.
As soon as you enter the main gate of Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve, green lawns and ponds greet you before reaching the reed fields. As soon as you cross Mujingyo Bridge, your journey through the dancing fields of reeds begins. It takes approximately 40 minutes to walk along the path until you reach Yongsan Observatory. Relaxing views of vast fields and picturesque landscapes accompany you throughout your journey.
Visitors can comfortably stay above the mudflat where the reeds grow by walking on the wooden deck that threads its way across and around the bay. The field of reeds are beautiful in the day time but be sure to head up to the observatory before the sun sets, as you won’t want to miss out on the spectacular view over the plain’s horizon.

Enjoying Suncheonman Bay in autumn

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)


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Five Ways to Enjoy Seoul Forest

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Seoul Forest, located in the middle of the metropolis, is a natural space where you can enjoy the charms of both a forest and the Hangang River. Originally the royal hunting grounds during the Joseon period, the land was used for a golf course and horse race track before being converted into the current park in 2005. The park offers many ways to enjoy a relaxing time here through all four seasons!

Seoul Forest is beautiful in all four seasons, with cherry blossoms and tulips in spring, hydrangeas and poppies in summer, and cosmos in fall!
The most popular photo spots during spring and summer are the Metasequoia road, and area around the lake in the park.

Enjoy a picnic
On nice days, a picnic in the park is perfect! Just pick a tree to spread out your picnic map to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in Seoul’s central park.

Five Ways to Enjoy Seoul Forest

Go for a bike ride
The fastest way to get around Seoul Forest is by renting Ddareungi, a public bike rental offered by Seoul Metropolitan Government. You can even ride all the way to the nearby Hangang Park if you want!

Five Ways to Enjoy Seoul Forest

Relax in a cafe
The first thing you’ll see upon exiting Seoul Forest Station on the Suin-Bundang Line are blue shipping containers! These big boxes make up UNDER STAND AVENUE, a popular attraction around Seoul Forest. The containers have been converted into all kinds of shops, from cafés to design products and even clothing. The street space often serves as the venue for concerts by indie bands.
Another great place to go for coffee in the area is Seongsu-dong Café Street. The area is filled with famous coffee shops, from Korea’s first Blue Bottle Coffee to Center Coffee and Halff Coffee, operated by skilled baristas.

Five Ways to Enjoy Seoul Forest

Hike up Eungbongsan Mountain
Located just a short walk from Seoul Forest, Eungbongsan Mountain is the perfect place to look out over the Hangang River and downtown Seoul. Despite its name, Eungbongsan is more of a hill than a mountain, making for an easy trek up. The mountain is most popular in spring, when the slopes seem to glow with bright yellow forsythia.

Five Ways to Enjoy Seoul Forest

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)


 
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Fresh buckwheat aroma at Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village

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Every autumn, buckwheat flowers blossom throughout Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun. At the peak of the blooming season, you can enjoy the beautiful and romantic scenery of the snow-white fields of buckwheat flowers in the village. The village is also the setting of well-known Korean author Lee Hyo-seok’s story “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom,” and thus PyeongchangHyoseok Cultural Festival is held here every September to commemorate the novel.
Even during the non-seasonal period of the buckwheat flowers, Bongpyeong is always ready to serve. Be sure to visit Lee Hyo-seok Memorial Hall or stop by for some memilguksu (buckwheat noodles), memilmuk (buckwheat jelly), or memilkkotsul (buckwheat blossom liquor).

Fresh buckwheat aroma at Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village


• ‌Address: Lee Hyo-seok Memorial Hall, 75-25, Hyoseokmunhwa-gil, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
• ‌Lee Hyo-seok Memorial Hall

  • Operating hours: October-April 09:00-17:30, May-September 09:00-18:30 (Last admission 30 minutes before closing) / Closed Mondays, January 1, the day of Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) &Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)
    • ‌Admission: Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers 1,500 won / Children 1,000 won
    • ‌Website: http://www.hyoseok.org (Korean only)

Discover Korea’s History in Pyeongchang, Jeonggangwon&Woljeongsa Temple

Korea Traditional Food Culture Experience Center, Jeonggangwon

Jeonggangwon (Korea Traditional Food Culture Experience Center) was established in order to preserve, research, distribute and promote the values and merits of traditional Korean food culture to the world. The hanok-style buildings of Jeonggangwon include a food museum, as well as a hanbok experience and cooking lessons. A restaurant that offers traditional hanjeongsik (Korean table d’hôte) is also available. The beautiful hanok buildings, garden, and hundreds of jangdok (traditional Korean crock) gathered together are especially popular among international visitors.

Korea Traditional Food Culture Experience Center, Jeonggangwon


• ‌Address: 2010-13, Geumdanggyegok-ro, Yongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
• ‌Operating hours: 09:00-19:00 / Closed the day of Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) &Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)
• ‌Fees: Free admission to Food Museum / Hanbok experience 8,000 won / Separate fees apply for hands-on activities
• ‌Website: http://www.jeonggangwon.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Temple within a forest of fir trees, Woljeongsa Temple

Woljeongsa Temple boasts a history of over one thousand years, making it a proud cultural site in Pyeongchang. Although many cultural assets were destroyed during the Korean War and then later reconstructed, visitors can still sense the strong coexistence of Odaesan Mountain’s nature with Woljeongsa Temple’s dignity and spirit.
Woljeongsa Temple has many national treasures, including the octagonal nine-story stone pagoda. Other national treasures that have been excavated are preserved in Woljeongsa Museum, a definite must-see if you are visiting the temple. From the entrance of Woljeongsa Temple, a separate road leads off to a path through a dense fir tree forest. Not only magnificent in appearance, walking through this pathway filled with fir trees can be equally relaxing and refreshing to one’s mind, making it a popular destination among the locals.

Temple within a forest of fir trees, Woljeongsa Temple


• ‌Address: 374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
• ‌Admission: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers 1,500 won / Children 500 won
• Website: woljeongsa.org (Korean, English)

More Info

☞ ‌Transportation (Seoul → Pyeongchang)
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Pyeongchang Bus Terminal (First bus 07:00, last bus 18:46 / Travel time approx. 2 hrs)
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Jangpyeong Bus Stop (First bus 06:35, last bus 20:20 / Travel time approx. 2 hrs)
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Hoenggye Intercity Bus Stop (First bus 06:35, last bus 20:20 / Travel time approx. 2 hrs 30 min)
Seoul Nambu Terminal → Jangpyeong Bus Stop (First bus 07:00, last bus 19:20 / Travel time approx. 1 hr 50 min)
Seoul Nambu Terminal → Hoenggye Intercity Bus Stop (First bus 07:00, last bus 19:20 / Travel time approx. 2 hrs 30 min)
☞ ‌Related suggested itineraries
Two Days in the Pure Scenery of Pyeongchang & Jeongseon
Travel Through Gangwon-do’s Scenic Beauty
☞ Pyeongchang Tourism website: tour.pc.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)


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Experience Jeju at a Leisurely Pace One

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One of the main reasons people go on vacation is to get rid of stress. The stress-relieving powers of simple things such as enjoying a good meal or buying some new shoes are amplified when on vacation! Everything tastes better and looks better, even your home. Jeju Island is the perfect place to relax, with a natural environment, delicious local foods, and unique shopping opportunities. Set out now for your very own stress-relieving trip to Jeju-do!
There are a number of smaller islands around Jeju, including Udo and Marado Islands. These days, Gapado Island, the fourth largest island, has become a popular day-trip destination. The island resembles a swimming ray when seen from above. The island is most visited during spring, when the fields of green barley are waving in the sea breeze.

Setting off for Gapado Island
The ferry to Gapado Island departs from Unjinhang Harbor in Hamo-ri, Seogwipo-si off the southwest coast. The ferry from Unjinhang Harbor operates from 09:00 to 16:00, although the last ferry back from Gapado Island is at 16:20. Tickets are purchased as a round-trip set, so if you leave after 15:00, you’ll have to spend the night on the island and return the next morning. Tickets must be purchased at least 40 minutes before departure, in order for all passengers to be recorded. On-site ticket purchase is available but you may have to wait a few hours until the next ferry if you visit during the peak season. It’s recommended to reserve tickets in advance, either online or over the phone. Foreigners must submit their passport for verification when purchasing or picking up their ticket on-site.

Experience Jeju at a Leisurely Pace One

Fun on Gapado Island
The best way to see all the island has to offer in a short amount of time is by renting a bicycle. The bike rental is located right at the harbor, so you can’t miss it! There are both regular and tandem bicycles for rent, at a rate of 5,000 won and 10,000 won respectively. Payment is only accepted in cash, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to rent one.
There is a circular road around the coast of the island that offers beautiful sights of the sea, but don’t forget the interior of the island. One place you must see is Somang Observation Deck. Located at the highest point of the island, both Marado Island to the south and Hallasan Mountain to the north can be seen from the observation deck. The railings of the deck are decorated with many ribbons with wishes and hopes, somang in Korean, written on them, giving the location its name.
Another attraction on the island is Pang Gallery, dedicated to the unique painting style of women in the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent. The art is created with natural dyes and pigments, using fingers and twigs as brushes. The paintings generally focus on nature, daily life, or Hindu gods and goddesses.

Eat your stress away

Special treat of the island
There are a number of local specialties on Gapado Island, foremost of which is green barley ice cream! This soft serve ice cream is popular among all ages, and the pale green color makes for beautiful photos. The ice cream can be ordered in a cup or cone, both of which are served with a small ppeongtwigi (rice puff) snack.
Other snacks on the island include green barley makgeolli (rice wine) and green barley misutgaru (roasted grain drink). All these treats can be found at the convenience stores and snack bars around the harbor. We recommend buying snacks to enjoy while you wait for the ferry to return.

Pier 22
Being an island, it’s obvious that some of the best foods you’ll find in Jeju are seafood dishes! If you’re looking for a dish favored by locals, try the red-banded lobster jjim (steamed lobster) from Pier 22 near Geumneungeutteum Beach. Red-banded lobsters are a unique species of lobster with a hard, sharp shell, found only the in southern sea around Korea. Because of the hard shell, the restaurant gives each diner a small wooden hammer to crack the shell! The sweet lobster meat tastes great dipped in ranch dressing.

Umu Pudding
Umu Pudding is a special dessert found only on Jeju Island! The name umu comes from the Korean word for red algae, umutgasari. When it is boiled, it releases a gelatin substance, known as agar. The red algae used at Umu Pudding is harvested by haenyeo, female divers of Jeju. You can choose from three flavors, the standard custard, matcha-flavored, or chocolate pudding. The shop also sells products with an Umu character design that make for great souvenirs. Before leaving, be sure to get a few pictures of the sweet interior!

Black pork
The most famous food from Jeju is heukdwaeji, otherwise known as black pork! Jeju’s local black pigs have played an important part in the history, culture, and livelihood of the island. Grilled black pork tastes best after being dipped in meljeot (salted anchovy) for about 20 seconds. To eat like a Korean, wrap the meat and some pamuchim(spicy spring onions) in a lettuce or perilla leaf.

Pork noodles
You can eat guksu (noodles) anywhere in Korea, but gogi guksu (pork noodles) is a specialty of Jeju! Each bowl is filled with noodles and pork slices for a filling meal. The pork adds to the powerful flavor of the broth. The dish is served plain but chili pepper powder can be added to taste. Even if you add a lot to make it super spicy, the broth maintains its flavor.

Beltfish & mackerel dishes
Before leaving Jeju, you have to try galchi (beltfish) or godeungeo (mackerel). These two fish can be served a variety of ways, although the most common are stewed and fried; spicy stewed beltfish is the most popular. The taste of stewed beltfish will vary slightly by restaurant, but they are all marked by their strong seasoning. The spicy yet slightly sweet flavor is addicting! Most restaurants in Jeju use a local silver beltfish, which has an even stronger taste. Radish and potatoes are also stewed with the beltfish for a full meal.

Retail therapy

Sumokwon Night Market
Sumokwon Night Market is the latest trending location for nightlife in Jeju! Located near Halla Arboretum, the market draws in as many tourists as the popular night markets in Seoul. The entire area is decorated in cute photo zones and features both local specialty products and handmade items. Purchase some of the foods available from the food trucks, such as giant turkey drumsticks, black pork ribs, or fresh pineapple juice, to quench any late-night cravings!

Jeju Local Products Exhibition & Sales Market
Jeju has developed a unique culture due to being so far separated from the Korean peninsula. Thanks to this, there are plenty of local products that will please anyone who receives one as a gift! The best place to visit for these special souvenir items is the Jeju Local Products Exhibition & Sales Market. The market has over 2,200 items created by 138 individual shops! You’re sure to find something for everyone here; just be sure you don’t forget a gift for yourself!


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