Pocheon City 포천시

This post contains photos from several different days. Since Pocheon is one of my favorite weekend getaways, I often go there for camping, and have lots of great photos that I’ve been meaning to post, so I’ll just combine them into one.

Pocheon 포천 is just north of Seoul and takes about an hour and a half to get there by car. The area is made up mostly of forests, so it’s a great place to go when you want a break from the city.

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TRAVEL COURSE: DAY ONE

1. Pocheon Art Valley

2. Herb Island 허브 아일랜드

3. Camping by Sanjeongho Lake 산정호수

 

TRAVEL COURSE: DAY TWO

1. Sancheonho Lake

2. Myeongsungsan Mountain

 

 

 

 

Herb Island is a theme park made up of a complex of exhibition halls and gardens. It was much larger than I thought it would be. I highly recommend going there in the late afternoon so that you have a chance to check it out both during the daylight and at night, because there a lights set up all year round.





There were lots of unique plants and flowers. I actually liked Herb Island better than 아침교유숙목원 which is another popular garden/arboretum in Gyeonggi Province because Herb Island specialized in unique looking plants while the other garden focused on pretty flowers. I thought Herb Island was more educational. On one end of the park, there was an area called Venezia which basically mimicked that city in Italy. You could ride mini gondolas here for a small fee.




There was also a small zoo that included peacocks, goats, rabbits, and donkeys. Cups of carrots were sold for 1,000 won each to feed the donkeys.

There were several restaurants here and even a bakery, but the best one by far was a Korean BBQ restaurant called 허브갈비. Both the meat and the cold buckwheat noodles 냉면 that I had was flavored with herbs and flowers grown at this theme park.

The night time displays were pretty nice too. The park closed at 11 pm so there was plenty of time to look around.



Herb Island Operating Hours: 9am-10pm Sun-Fri / 9am–11 pm Sat Open all year round.

Admission Fee: 6,000 won / adult

Average Viewing Time: 3+ hours

Contact Information: 031) 535-6494   herbisland.co.kr

Sanjeongho Lake was originally made in 1925 as a reservoir for agricultural purposes. It is now a tourist site, and you can rent peddle boats here or just take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk that goes all the way around the circumference of the lake. There is also even a small amusement park.

Myeongseongsan Mountain 명성산 is pretty high at a peak of 923 meters. It’s a great place to hike in the fall because that’s when the reeds at the top of the mountain are in full bloom. Make sure to wear long pants, or bring a pair to change into or else you’ll get lots of scratches on them from the reeds. It’s a long, hard trek, and I think it took around 2-3 hours to get to the top, but it was definitely worth it.



Myeongseongsan Mountain 명성산 is supposedly where Maui, the last crown prince of the Silla Dynasty cried over the end of his Kingdom. This is also were Gungye 궁예 a king from the Later Goguryeo dynasty escaped to after a rebellion, so this place is also called Ureumsan, which means crying mountain.



Finally, I made it to the top. The reeds looked much more amazing in person.

Sonagi Village 소나기 마을 & Hwang Soonwon Literary Museum

While taking a drive through Gyeonggi province, in Yangpyeong County 양평군, I saw a sign for Sonagi Village 소나기 마을. It was only 2 kilometers away, and I had read the short story, Sonagi aka Rain Shower (소나기) when I was in middle school, so I decided to take the detour and check it out.

Sonagi 소나기 (1959) is one of the most well known Korean short stories. It’s a nostalgic story about a young girl from the city who moves to the countryside after her parents go bankrupt. The girl becomes friends with a local boy and they spend a fun day out on a rainy day.

The Sonagi Village was made up of a bunch of huts, like the ones the boy and the girl took shelter in during the rain, and there were sprinklers that went off every so often. At first, there was only one sprinkler going off, and I heard a lot of kids complaining about how weak it was, then all of a sudden the rest of the sprinklers went off and I had to run for cover to protect my camera. 😦

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vivllage map

The Hwang Soonwon Literary Museum was dedicated to the various works of the prolific author and his contributions to Korean literature. Hwang Soonwon 황순원 (1915-2000) had a long career, starting out with poetry, then short stories, and later novels. He lived through Japanese colonialism, the Korean War, and several military dictatorships, and because of that a lot of his works focus on resilience in times of adversity. The most inspiring thing about him though was how dedicated he was to cultivating the art of literature in a time where surviving even day by day was a challenge. He is responsible for mentoring a whole generation of younger writers as well. Unfortunately, the museum was in Korean only, so I would not recommend visiting here if you don’t speak Korean.

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buildling map

Sonagi Village and Hwang Soonwon Literary Museum Operating Hours: 9:30am – 6 pm (Mar- Oct) / 9;30 am – 5pm (Nov-Feb) / Closed Mondays, New Years, Lunar New Years, Chuseok

Admission Fee: 2,000 won / adult

Average Viewing Time: 1-1.5 hours

Contact Information: 031) 773-2299     sonagi.go.kr (korean only)

 

Relevant Links

http://kidsfuninseoul.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/sonagi-village/