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.
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Sanjeongho Lake was originally made in 1925 as a reservoir for agricultural purposes.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.