Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Day Trip to Pocheon Art Valley

The nCoV (now COVID-19) outbreak was beginning to happen when we started planning this trip. But despite the confirmed cases in South Korea, we still pushed through and simply scrapped out places that are definitely crowded, ditched the guided tours, and decided to go all-out DIY in this trip.
Breathtaking.
One of the places that piqued our interest was the Pocheon Art Valley. Since it is not as popular as Petite France or Garden of the Morning Calm, there aren't so many blogs written about it. It took us quite some time to figure out how to get there since the guides that were written have different ways and some are already outdated.




Pocheon Art Valley was a former granite quarry transformed into a culture and arts space. We went there without knowing that it is a famous filming location for various KDramas such as Legend of the Blue Sea, Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey), My First Love, Melting Me Softly, and Moon Lovers: Scarlett Heart Ryeo.
Can anybody tell me what Korean Drama is this?
Or perhaps I must have read it somewhere in one of the blogs I came across to but I didn't pay attention about those details. For my friends who are big KDrama fans, it was easy for them to recognize the scenery when I uploaded a photo on Facebook without revealing where I was.
Mr. and Mrs.
This is from the Legend of the Blue Sea if I'm not mistaken.
There were more or less fifteen locals when we were there. Half of that were perhaps workers who maintain the site. That means we got the place to ourselves most of the time. It was perfect for photo ops and relaxation—which is what vacation should be all about.

No hassle in taking solo photos.
So tranquil.
The place is huge, but there aren't so many things you can do here beside appreciating the views and taking pictures. In our case, we took our pictures liberally, without getting pressured from onlooking tourists.




You can also visit the Astronomical Science Museum where most information is written in Korean, and chill at the coffee shops where you can enjoy mountainside views.

Admission Fee: ₩5000
Monorail roundtrip: ₩4500


How to get there

From Seoul (whatever station you are), go to Gangbyeon Staion (Dongseoul Bus Terminal). Walk to Dongseoul Bus Terminal and buy a ticket to Pocheon (₩4500). Go to Platform 30-31 and ride Bus 3000.

Alight at Pocheon Intercity Bus Terminal (3rd stop). From here you have an option to ride the bus or a taxi. Since the timetable and the exact bus stop is confusing, I recommend that you walk toward Ediya Cafe and ride a taxi (Google Maps won't help you here, so use Naver App instead). Tell the taxi driver you're going to Pocheon Art Valley. Fare is ₩8000.

How to get OUT of there

Funny how I have to include this. We didn't realize that transportation can be tricky until we decided to go home. There were no buses nor taxis at the exit (buses are available, but it follows a schedule). We waited for almost an hour, hoping that a bus or taxi will be coming but to no avail. Good thing we have our internet handy and downloaded Kakao Taxi app.

Here's the thing, download the app and register beforehand to avoid the hassle of SMS verification. Because if you have not registered yet, Kakao will be be sending a verification code through SMS. Jan was using a Korean sim card in his phone, which means he cannot use his own number to receive the code. Good thing my number was also in roaming and we were able to use my number for verification.

After registering, we immediately booked a taxi (₩10,500) back to Pocheon Intercity Bus Terminal.


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© Life is so full of tae!
Maira Gall