Visit Pocheon, an Idyll of Natural Attractions and Delicious Cuisine
Located at the end of northeastern Gyeonggi-do Province, Pocheon boasts a beautiful natural environment consisting of mountains, forests, and lakes, and diverse tourist attractions. Like other areas in Gyeonggi-do Province, Pocheon holds various festivals, particularly at the beginning of June, the season of blooming flowers. Along with its many attractions, Pocheon’s famous cuisine is another lure for tourists. Pocheon is well-known for galbi (beef ribs) even among foreigners. A dish of Pocheon’s famous Idong Galbi is highly recommended after a day spent visiting its beautiful scenery.
Pocheon Art Valley
Pocheon Art Valley was established by transforming a closed quarry into an environmentally-friendly culture and art space. The view from the entrance exudes the atmosphere of a simple art center with charming decorations rather than that of a quarry. And I was seized with excitement at the sight of the monorail winding all the way up to the distant summit of a mountain.
The small exhibition hall next to the ticket office presents the history of the Art Valley and its transformation from an abandoned quarry into a culture and art space. While I was looking around the exhibition hall, I realized that the Art Valley isn’t a simple cultural attraction but a very special venue that embraces educational history.
An exciting feature of the monorail, which takes just five minutes to reach the top, is the outstanding view of the beautiful surrounding scenery. During the ride, you can imagine the old appearance of the quarry which looked very different to its current graceful landscape. The Art Valley contains a sculpture park on the theme of granite, and an outdoor performance stage with the granite cliff, where diverse performances are held at weekends. The lake surrounded by strange rock formations and the cliff create a magnificent scene.
The thing that most caught my eye, however, was the Astronomical Science Museum, which consists of an Outer Space Science Exhibition Hall offering various experiences, a state-of-the-art 4D Image Hall, and an Astronomical Observation Hall. The museum is a great educational venue where children can learn about the universe and astronomy through interesting experience programs.
Visited by over 300,000 people each year, Pocheon Art Valley, comprising the Stone Culture Exhibition Hall, Astronomical Science Museum, Educational Exhibition Center, and other facilities on a 150,000㎡ site, is the perfect place for family excursions thanks to its splendid natural scenery and excellent facilities.
[Pocheon Art Valley]
Address: 234, Art valley-ro, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
-March 1-October 31: 09:00-22:00 (Open every Monday till 19:00)
-November 1- End of February: 09:00-21:00 (Open every Monday till 18:00)
The Astronomical Science Museum is closed on Mondays.
-Individual: Adults: KRW 3,000 / Youth and Servicemen: KRW 2,000 / Children: KRW 1,000 / Seniors, Disabled, Men of National Merit, and Preschoolers: Free
-Groups: Adults: KRW 2,000 / Youth and Servicemen: KRW 1,500 / Children: KRW 800 / Seniors, Disabled, Men of National Merit, and Preschoolers: Free
Transportation: Subway Line 1 Uijeongbu Station (Exit No. 8) – Take Express City Bus No. 138-7 – Get off the bus at the Art Valley bus stop
[How to get to Herb Island from Art Valley]
Take Express City Bus No. 137-7 at the Art Valley – Get off at Daejin University, Seondan 1tong – Take Bus No. 50 and get off at Keunsijang Station – Take Bus No. 57-2 and get off at the Samjeong 1-ri Bus Stop
Pocheon Herb Island
My next destination was Herb Island, which is situated near the Art Valley. From the entrance, Herb Island exudes a fairytale-like dreamland atmosphere, while the pastel-colored, European-style buildings and colorful flowers lend it a very exotic appearance.
Herb Island consists of twenty fascinating themed spaces. The Herb Museum, the largest herbal plant museum in Korea, houses over 180 species of unusual plants including a 2m-high lemon verbena and an unusually-shaped rubber tree. By following the sound of waterfalls outside, I came to a reproduction of a Mediterranean village akin to Italy’s Venice as well as the gondola. In addition, visitors can learn about many types of herbs and their uses at the Museum.
Passing by a herbal flower garden decorated with flowers and sculptures, I came to the Fragrance Shop, Herb Bakery, and Herb Café, all of which are clustered around a reproduction of the ‘Trevi’ fountain. Meanwhile, behind the Herb Bakery, there are Music Café, which recalls memories of the ’70s and ’80s, the Herbal Medicine Shop, the Restaurant, Gukbap (Rice Soup), and the unique store, which sells old-style snacks. The Herb Healing Center is located opposite the parking lot, and there is a picturesque pension in the forest offering visitors a sound night’s sleep amid the aroma of herbs. Visitors are sure to have an unforgettable time at the fairytale-like Herb Island.
[Pocheon Herb Island]
Address: 35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Open all year round
-Summer Season: Weekdays and Sundays 09:00-22:00 / Saturdays and Public Holidays 09:00-23:00
-Winter Season: Weekdays and Sundays 10:00-22:00 / Saturdays and Public Holidays 10:00-23:00
Admission fee: KRW 6,000 for Adults / KRW 4,000 for Children aged 37 months ~ Middle School Students /
Children under 36 months: Free
[How to get to Idong Galbi Village from Herb Island]
Take Bus No. 57 at Samjeong 1-ri and get off at Saengyeon Elementary School – Take Bus No. 50-2 and get off at Daejin University, Seondan-1tong – Take Bus No. 8-5 and get off at the Idong bus stop.
It’s time to taste Pocheon’s excellent cuisine after looking around the Art Valley and enjoying the beautiful, fragrant environment of Herb Island. Idong Galbi Village, which serves Pocheon’s most famous dish, Idong Galbi (beef ribs), is only 30 minutes’ drive from the Art Valley. I visited the restaurant ‘Idong Jeongwon’ among many other restaurants. Unusually, Idong Jeongwon marinates the meat with fruit juice rather than sugar to obtain its sweet flavor. The restaurant provides generous servings of Idong Galbi (450g per person) with delicious side dishes. Idong Galbi grilled over charcoal is a must-try dish for anyone who visits Pocheon.
[Idong Jeongwon Galbi]
Address: 1970, Hwadong-ro, Idong-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Price: Idong Galbi KRW 28,000 / Beef Ribs KRW 28,0001