How to get the most out of your Gyeonggi Province trip in the year-end season
Createdd 2015-12-07 Hit 1738
Recommended theme trips
◇ Gapyeong Petite France ⓒ Chosun DB
It’s almost the end of the year. Many people plan to travel during the year-end holidays. At a time like this, it’s important to plan with relevant information because the beauty of travel depends on how you plan your trip regardless of how long your trip actually is. Here is a list of places you should consider to enjoy your theme tour in Gyeonggi Province.
THEME #1Travelling with the Shining Light
Take a palace walk in the moonlight; see the starlight on the railway
◇ Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung Palace ⓒ Gyeonggi Tourism Organization
Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung Palace
This is the season where nights are longer than days. A night-time trip can give you an incredible experience that you cannot have in the daytime. Hwaseong Fortress, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a nice place for a night-time stroll. It’s a perfect place for those who seek meditation to reduce the amount of thinking that goes on. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace does not open at night in December, but there is a special illuminated road along the four main gates – Changnyongmun (east gate), Janganmun (north), Hwaseomun (west) and Paldalmun (south) – in Hwaseong Fortress so that visitors can take a walk. It will be a meaningful experience to make a wish while looking at the moon above the shining city. After walking along through the palace, you can have a meal on Haenggung Road (area from Haenggung Place to Paldalmun) where workshops and restaurants abound.
Address: 825, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-290-3600, www.swcf.or.kr
◇ Light Festival at the Ansan Starlight Village ⓒ Gyeonggi Tourism Organization
Light Festival at the Ansan Starlight Village
If you want to close the year well and prepare for the New Year, don’t miss this great opportunity for a lighting festival. The Ansan Starlight Village will welcome you with 10 million LED lights that twinkle like stars. Filled with beautiful bright lights, the light tunnel at the entrance offers various types of themed roads such as the White Love Road, Cupid Road and Propose Road where visitors can have fun and enjoy a romantic winter. There are great photo spots with themes like Halloween, weddings, and more, where families, lovers, and friends can take memorable photos. Don’t forget to wear thick winter coats, gloves and ear muffs when braving the piercing winds. Though the weather may be freezing, you will soon forget the biting cold amid the beautiful lights that brighten up the winter night. In the village, there are also restaurants and cafes where you can warm yourself. There are also tours that are coupled with other tourist attractions nearby, such as the Tomb of Yi Ik, Seongho Park, and Ansan Botanical Garden.
Period: Oct. 1, 2015 – Jun. 30, 2016
Address: 1723, Suin-ro, Sangrok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-484-5050, www.star1723.co.kr
THEME #2 Forest break in winter
Relax in the woods with your family for a peaceful break
◇ Yongin Natural Recreation Forest ⓒ Yongin Natural Recreationa Forest
Yongin Natural Recreational Forest
If you are looking for a winter destination that the whole family can enjoy, a recreational forest will be the one of the best choices. You can relax in the woods and have a peaceful break. It’s so popular that, even in the cold of winter, the reservation rate is up to 80 to 90%. There are different types of accommodations. For example, the Forest Experience Center has 8 rooms (8-pyeong type), the House in the Forest has 14 buildings (12, 15, and 20-pyeong type), and the Timber House has 3 buildings (Hanok, Finland, and Mongolia type). Staying in the recreation forest itself will be a great experience. There are forest-education programs and wooden culture experience centers for families to learn about the value and benefits of forest.
Address: 220, Chobu-ro, Mohyeon-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-336-0040, www.yonginforest.net
◇ Seolmaejae Natural Recreation Forest ⓒ Seolmaejae Natural Recreation Forest
Seolmaejae Natural Recreation Forest
The Seolmaejae Natural Recreation Forest gets its name from a mountain pass where travelers could see Japanese apricot blossoms bloom in the midst of a cold snowy winter. From the top of the mountain, you will have a great view of a grassy plain that extends endlessly without any rocks or trees. This is where many famous scenes from Korean movies such as “King and the Clown” and “The Face Reader” as well as dramas like “The Slave Hunters” and “The Great Queen Seon Deok” were created. You can breathe clean, fresh air by walking through the Damo Forest, Soseono’s Forest, Oak Forest, Chestnut Forest, and more. There are log cabins for four, six, and ten people. For those who enjoy winter camping, auto camping can be a good choice. There are other attractions nearby, such as Yongmunsa Temple, the Insect Museum, and Semiwon.
Address: 510, Yongcheon-ro, Okcheon-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-774-6959, www.snrf.co.kr
THEME #3 Gyeonggi Province sunrise trips
If you don’t want to travel too far, enjoy the sunrise in Gyeonggi Province
◇ Hwaseong Gukhwado Island (above), Paju Odusan Mountain Unification Observatory (below) ⓒ Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries/Odusan Mountain Unification Observatory
Hwaseong Gukhwado Island
Gukhwado Island in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do, is famous for beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Approximately 60 people live on the 0.39㎢ island. The island itself is a ten-minute boat ride from Janggohang in South Chungcheong Province, but it is part of the administrative area of Gyeonggi-do. The biggest feature of Gukhwado Island is that you can watch both the sunrise and sunset. You will find many comments online from people stating that they fell in love with the orange-colored sunrises seen from this island. You can take photos easily because an observatory is built on the dock of the town. There are several places you might want to go in the town as well. You may feel healed walking along Gukhwado Beach as the seawater is clear unlike that of the west coast. You can also walk along a trail on the mountain behind the village.
Address: Gukhwa-ri, Ujeong-eup, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
Paju Odusan Mountain Unification Observatory
The Paju Odusan Mountain Unification Observatory is a security tourist resort from which North Korean land can be seen. A sunrise event takes place on January 1. Unlike other sunrise trips, many people make wishes for unification in this place. When you look at North Korea from the observation platform on the 3rd and 4th floors, you will experience the stark reality of the divided peninsula. On New Year’s Day, the observatory opens at 6:30 AM. Visitors should take a bus at the free bus station to the unification observatory. On this day, many events such as writing messages on a Korean peninsula-shaped board or sending wish balloons to North Korea take place as well. There are many places to explore nearby, including the Paju Heyri Art Valley, Paju Jangdan Soybean Village, and Paju Premium Outlets.
Address: 369, Pilseung-ro, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Inquiries: 031-945-3171, www.jmd.co.kr
THEME #4 Culture trip to northern Gyeonggi Province
Take a break from your routine and visit northern Gyeonggi Province for a culture trip
◇ Yangju City Chang Ucchin Museum of Art (above), Gimpocity Dado Museum (below) ⓒ Yangju City Chang Ucchin Museum of Art/ Gimpocity Dado Museum
Yangju City Chang Ucchin Museum of Art
Does your head ache when you think of crowded attractions and traffic jams? Then how about visiting serene northern Gyeonggi Province for a culture trip? Built in April 2014, the Yangju City Chang Ucchin Museum of Art is a building with two floors above ground and one underground level; it has a site area of 6,506 square meters and a ground area of 1,851 square meters. There are enchanting sites nearby as it is adjacent to Gyemyeong Mountain. The museum displays the art world of Chang Ucchin, one of representatives of modern Korean fine art, and also holds various international modern and contemporary exhibitions. The special exhibition will be held until January 17, 2016.
Address: 211, Gwonyul-ro, Jangheung-myeon, Yangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-8082-4245, changucchin.yangju.go.kr
Gimpo Tea Etiquette Museum
How about brewing a pot of tea, sharing the fragrance and appreciating its flavor with your family during the cold winter? Opened by Yemyungwon in 2001, the Gimpo Tea Etiquette Museum is a building with three floors above ground on a site of 33,000 square meters. Apart from its exhibition hall, it has various auxiliary facilities such as a sculpture park, pottery workshop, natural dyeing experience room, pond, pavilion, and lawn plaza. A dense forest behind the museum presents a view like a beautiful painting. As many as 3,000 tea ceremony utensils collected by director Son Min-young over a span of nearly 20 years are on display in the museum. If you apply in advance, you can learn about Korea’s traditional culture and ethics in a natural setting. You can also enjoy a hands-on experience, learning the etiquette of Korean tea culture.
Address: 187-51, Aegibong-ro 275 beon-gil, Wolgot-myeon, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Operating Hours 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Closed every Monday)
Admission Fees Adult: KRW 5,000 / Adolescent: KRW 4,000 / Children: KRW 3,000
THEME #5 Exciting Sled Journey
It’s so exciting that you forget about the cold of winter
◇ Pocheon Baegun Valley Dongjangkun Festival Sledding Slope ⓒ Pocheon Baegun Valley Dongjanggun Festival
Pocheon Baegun Valley Dongjanggun Festival Sledding Slope
The Pocheon Baegun Valley Dongjanggun Festival is one of the typical winter experience festivals of Gyeonggi Province. It is hosted by both Pocheon City and residents of the Alps of Korea, Doridol Town, which is famous for Idonggalbi and Idong Makgeolli. During the 12th Pocheon Baegun Valley Dongjanggun Festival, which takes place from December 23, 2015 to January 31, 2016, visitors can enjoy natural a sledding slope that uses the natural snow of the valley. Sledding takes place on tubes instead of plastic sleds for a more exciting trip down the valley hill. There are various winter culture activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as the Ice Castle Playground, T-nolja Kids Park, 80 Ice Slide, ice bumper cars, campfire experience, top-spinning game, family snowmen making, and more. In addition, there are also ice and snow sculptures on display, adding to the delight. There are popular attractions of Pocheon nearby, such as Sanjung Lake, the Ildong Hot Springs District, and the Pocheon Art Valley that visitors can go to.
Period: Dec. 23, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
Address: 2381, Hwadong-ro, Idong-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (Near Baekwoon Valley)
Inquiries: 031-535-7242, www.dongjangkun.co.kr
◇ Woongjin Play City Sledge Park ⓒ Woongjin Play City
Woongjin Play Doci Sled Park
If it’s too cold for you and your child to go outdoors during the fiercely cold winter, you can still enjoy sledding indoors. The good thing about indoor sledding parks is that you can enjoy sledding regardless of the weather. The Woongjin Play Doci Sledge Park has seven separate courses and there is no need to worry about bumping into others while sledding. There is a 3-seat sledding tube that the whole family can enjoy.
Address: 2, Jomaru-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 1577-5773, www.playdoci.com/snow/info_fee.aspx
◇ Yongin Youth Training Center Sledding Slope ⓒ Yongin Youth Training Center
Yongin Youth Training Center Sledding Slope
Located right in front of the Yeongdong Highway Yangji IC, the Yongin Youth Training Center Sledding Slope is used as water sledding slope in summer and sledding slope in winter. Covering a huge area of 6,000 square meters, nearly 30 people can enjoy sledding simultaneously using the long slope of 150 meters. It’s more exciting since you don’t need to wait in line. Safety management by staff deployed in many places is also systematic.
Address: 50, Jugyang-daero 2071beon-gil, Yangji-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
Inquiries: 031-328-9872, www.yytc.or.kr/sisul/sisul2.asp
Tips to Make Your Trip More Enjoyable
▶ Determine your travel style and interest
The first part of deciding where you want to go on your trip is to determine your travel style and your interest, whether you want something dynamic or peaceful, whether you want to travel alone or with group. It will give you a totally new experience by determining your travel theme in detail, such as a used bookstore-exploring tour, a delicious-food tour, a village street-photography tour, and more.
▶ Dig through travel apps and guidebooks to find information
The proverb “Knowledge is power” applies when travelling as well. Get information using travel-related books and applications before you go on your trip. For those festivals hosted by local governments, you can check details beforehand as the event may vary due to weather and circumstances. It is also good to know the phone number of the local travel call center, just in case.
Apps: “Daehanminguk Guseok Guseok” (from the Korea Tourism Organization); “Good Doc” (information on pharmacies and emergency hospitals that are open on holidays and at night); “Travel Line” (from Daum Kakao – provides a list of hottest destinations through SNS analysis)
Call Center: Gyeonggi-do Call Center: 031-120, Seoul Dasan Call Center: 120 without area code
▶ Post trip review
After your trip, share your travel experience on your blog or SNS accounts. Record what you learned, experienced, and liked the most. Your memories don’t last forever, but your posts do. A list of your trip reviews will become valuable. It will be also a fun experience to read comments left by visitors.
ⓒ Gyeonggi G-News | G-News reporters Lee So-young, Han Jin-hee