Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Picturesque Pyeongchang and Nearby Attractions

There is so much to see and discover in Gangwon with blessed astounding natural landscapes, pristine and clear waters beaches, dramatic mountains, peaceful valleys, cultural rich and more...

It’s no surprise that visitors and locals selected Gangwon-do as a getaway from the hustle and bustle city life and keep coming back for more. Discover the most beautiful places and be greeted with unique charms throughout all the seasons.

Known as the first place to receive snow falls and the the last snow to melt, Gangwon-do is the perfect place to enjoy winter sports and activities. There are 8 ski resorts scattered around this province. Yes, 2018 Winter Olympics will be held here~!!!

=== Pyeongchang-gun ===

Follow the walking trail and climb the steps to the peak of Daegwallyeong Skyranch (대관령 하늘목장) for the best breathtaking scenery from 950m. Beautiful sight of wind-mills and endless snow blanketing the whole place promoting some romantic atmosphere in the air. It's totally rejuvenating to your eyes and heart.

This iconic wooden shack is the background setting for the movie "A Man Who Went to Mars." where the two main characters finally fell in love. This is the most popular spot to snap instagram- worthy photos.

Nature and animal-lovers must not miss this haven for animals and human at this charming and clean countryside. Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm is the perfect place for family. Kids will surely fascinated and create lasting friend-sheep for having great opportunity to get up close, pat and hand-feed flocks of furry sheep.

Why not having recreation, education and adventure in one place? Visit Uiyaji Wind Village  situated on top of Daegwallyeong.They have various programs such as eeding of sheep, making ice-cream, cheese, pizza, ice cream, candle, soap, riding an ATV, and others. It's a great way for whole family to spend some quality time together.

 === Gangneung-si ===

Ojukheon (오죽헌) was home to Lady Sin Saimdang and the birthplace of the great Neo-Confucian scholar, Yulgok Yi-I. The recent K-drama 'Saimdang, Light's Diary' sheds light on Saimdang's life was filming here.

Although she's featured in Korean ₩50,000 banknote, but during her era where Confucian was held as social ideology that emphasized on  'yang' (male dominant), she's more recognised for her amazing personality as devoted daughter, good wife and wise mother of seven children instead of an outstanding artist and talented calligrapher.

Do check out her delicate paintings such landscape, birds, animals, grass and insects, and calligraphies including artworks of her talented family at Ojukheon Municipal Museum, which is just behind Ojukheon house. [Read more...]

Related Posts: Confucian: Calligraphy, Art and Culture

This 300 years well-preserved Hanok House is a typical noble family residence with 99-kan. Seongyojang (선교장) was built in 1703 by Mugyeong Lee Naebeon, the 11th descendent of Prince Hyoryeong, brother of King Sejong. In the past, the site was accessed by boat that crossed Gyeongpoho Lake, therefore it's called Seongyojang which literally means a "Boat-Bridging House."

Hwallaejeong pavilion and Seongyojang were one of famous backgrounds for sageuk dramas including Hwang Jin-Yi (황진이), Princess Hours Gung (궁), Princess’ Man (공주의남자) and  Saimdang (사임당, 빛의 일기).

Recommended to experience Hanok stay to enrich all senses and presents a feeling of back to old Joseon period. Seongyojang also offer various traditional and cultural classes which is family-friendly where you can learn Korean culture and at the same time having fun bonding time together.

Jumunjin Beach (주문진 해수욕장) is located in the northern-most part of Gangneung. Popular for family vacation because of shallow water, white sand and pines on the beach accentuates beauty of Jumunjin.

Jumunjin Breakwater became a popular attraction after Korean drama "Goblin: The Lonely and Great God" because visitors especially lovers going there to reenact the scene when Ji Eun-tak summoned Dokkaebi. [Read more...]

Jumunjin Fish Market is a small traditional market at this fisherman village where you can purchase freshly-caught seafood at reasonable price. There are also restaurants inside this market, which you can select the live seafood from the tanks and they'll cook as your instructions whether to serve it as sashimi, soup, grill or fry.

Gyeongpodae (강릉 경포대) is a large pavilion featuring a “paljak” roof. This pavilion is divided into 6 sections in the front, and 5 sections on the sides, with 28 pillars surrounding the structure.

It's famous and cherised for the spectacular view of Eight Scenic Points of Gyeongpo overlooking panoramic view of the mountains, Gyeongpo beach stretches 42 km long and feel the extensiveness of East sea, scenery of pine grove in Gyeongpoho lake. It's also perfect spot to admire full moon on the 15th day of the first lunar month. [Read more...]

Jeongdongjin Beach (정동진해변) is famous town near Gangneung which is one of the most popular places for watching the sunrise on New Year's Day. It's name Jeongdongjin because it's located on east (dong) of Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul.

Besides Hourglass that takes 1 year for sand in the hourglass to drop down completely, it's also known as the closest train station to sea in the world. Do check out this website if you want to explore  travel destinations such as Jeongdongjin Beach, Jeongdongjin Railbike, Jeongdongjin Time Museum, Mukho Lighthouse and Nongoldam-gil Street (Deungdae Damhwa Village) and enjoying pictureaques viewa of East Sea by Sea Train.

=== Samcheok-si ===

Samcheok Beach (삼척해변) has a vast clean white-sand, shallow water beach spanning 1.2 kilometres long and 100 meters wide and surrounded by pine trees.

Along Samcheok Romantic Road, you can find few seafood restaurants serving Gangwon speciality Gomchi Guk Snailfish Soup. [Read more...]

Jukseoru Pavilion (죽서루) means "Bamboo West Pavilion" sitting on the edge of a cliff  is one of the eight major attractions of Gwandong District. It offers fantastic view of Osipcheon Stream and  nice view of Samcheok city.

There are 26 signboards inscriptions written by kings and famous ancient scholars hanging here, such as:  King Sukjong, King Jeongjo, Yulgok Yi-Yi, Heo Mok, Yi Seong-jo and Yi Gyu-heon.

 Filming location of recent K-drama "The King in Love (왕은 사랑한다)"

=== Donghae-si ===

This beautifully formed rock towers high into the sky and resembles a candlestick, from which it gets its name. "Chotdae” (촛대) means Candle, while “Bawi” (바위) means Rock.  

Chotdaebawi Rock is most famous tourist attraction in Donghae to enjoy the magnificent beauty of the sun slowly peeking its way over the edge of the rock face. It's so picturesque and KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) used it as a background for the "Aegukga" (the Korean national anthem). [Read more...]

Few minutes walk from Chotdaebawi Rock, you'll find this beautiful Haeamjeong Pavilion (북평 해암정), which was built by the founder of Samcheok Sim family in 1361. After he left his public office, he spent the rest of his life teaching junior scholars and enjoying the beauty of nature here.

Majestic Mureung Valley (무릉계곡) stretches 4 kilometers, unfolding a colorful spectrum of river topography, from Hoam Pond to Yongchu Falls against the backdrop of Dutasan Mountain and Cheongoksan Mountain creating mystical and serene atmosphere. In fact, Mureung means “Paradise” in Korean.

Judging from the spectacular scenery with unusual wide flat rocks formations, green valleys, clear water, and witness with your eyes of insanely beautiful calligraphies of names, family surname and poetries in Hanja engraved on 5,000 square meter bedrock canvas I do believe they said “All ancient poets, monks, painters and travellers in the country have been there at least once!” [Read more...]

This one-thousand year old Samhwasa Temple (삼화사) is located near the entrance of the Mureung Valley, therefore it's known as Mureung Dowon (Arcadia in Peach Tree Garden). It's home to national treasures No. 1277 (Three story stone pagoda) and No. 1292 (Steel Sitting Buddha Statue). 

Great news that this historicl temple offers temple stay programs where you can learn more on Buddhism teaching, experience of temple life. It must be awesome way to rejuvenate mind, body and soul with such a beautiful mountains and serene valley that surrounded this temple.

=== Taebaek-si ===

Locals and tourists alike flock down the train to admire breathtaking panoramic view from 855m above sea when O-Train stop for 10 minutes at Chujeon Station. 

Although it's such a mesmerasing romantic winter scenery, but make sure you board the train on time if you're continuing your journey because the train will depart exactly as per schedule. [Read more...]

* Train
On our first trip to Korea in 2012, we purchased KR Pass. It's available for foreigners to travel around cheaper and more convenient by railroad without limit of travel sectors. KR Pass is appicable for KTX, KTX-Sancheon, ITX-Samaeul, ITX-CheongChun, Samaeul, Mugunghwa, Nuriro, O-train, V-train, S-train, DMZ-train, A-train, Westgold-train trains. The pass is not available for use on subways, SRT or temporary tourist trains.

KR Pass can be purchased from Korail's website.

* Bus
Gangwon province has come up with “One-Stop-Service” called “GoGoGangwon” bus. This GoGoGangwon bus takes you directly from Seoul to local festival spot (Coffee Festival, Hyoseok Cultural Festival, Chuncheon Dalkgalbi & Mukguksu Festival) in Gangwon without any transit!

For information on bus schedule, fare and bus terminal, you can check Kobus website.

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