The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Gyeonggi-do Province
From CNN’s 50 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Korea
Korea is known for having four distinct seasons and being covered with mountains of all sizes. As a peninsula, three sides of the country consist of coastline, and there are numerous rivers and lakes that form a rich natural heritage. If you are planning a trip to Korea, you will be delighted to know that this is one of the best times of the year to visit. Here we introduce you to some of the most beautiful places to visit in Gyeonggi-do province, near the Seoul metropolitan area.
The Garden of Morning Calm
The Garden of Morning Calm covers 330,578m2 and is home to over 5,000 plant species. Much loved as Korea’s largest garden, it is organized by season and theme to reflect the country’s natural beauty at its best. The garden is transformed into a romantic date course at night. Over 6 million LED lights light up the garden after sunset, while winter nights are lit up by the stars in the sky, making it a popular place for proposals and dates.
Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Open all year round
Opening hours: 08:30 – Sunset
Admission fee: KRW 8,000 for Adults/KRW 6,000 for Students /KRW 5,000 for Children
How to get to The Garden of Morning Calm from Seoul: Take the ITX Cheongchun at Yongsan Station or Cheongnyangni Station Subway Line No. 1 and get off at Cheongpyeong Station. Walk to Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal and take a bus to The Garden of Morning Calm
Gapyeong City Tour Bus: Take the bus to The Garden of Morning Calm at Cheongpyeong Station. (The first bus departs at 09:35, then at five minutes past every hour until 19:05) Purchase a day ticket (KRW 5,000) for unlimited access for a day. (Course: The Garden of Morning Calm ↔ In front of the Imchogyo Bridge ↔ Cheongpyeong Station ↔ Cheongpyeong Terminal ↔ Petite France ↔ Geumdaeri Community Center ↔ Namisum Island ↔ Gapyeong Terminal)
Imjingak Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park
Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park was opened in 2005 to celebrate the World Peace Festival. This grassy park (99,173 m2) is famous for its ‘Hill of Wind’ decorated with thousands of pinwheels. There are big and small ponds, peace-themed sculptures, cafés and candle shops that are popular among professional and amateur photographers. The major outdoor stage, Hill of Music, can accommodate 25,000 spectators and hosts performances in the name of unification and peace on the Korean Peninsula. The UNICEF Children’s Corner at the entrance to the park promotes donations for children in developing countries and better welfare.
Address: 494-1, Samok-ri, Munsan-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Open all year round
How to get to Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park from Seoul: Take the Gyeonguiseon Subway Line at Seoul Station and get off at Munsan Station. Take a tourist train to Dorasan Mountain or walk to Munsan Bus Terminal and take bus no. 058 and get off at Imjingak. / Take bus no. 909 at Seoul Station and get off at Imjingak or take bus no. 9710 at Sungnyemun Gate and get off at Imjingak.
Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion is without question one of the most beautiful pavilions in Korea. Built in 1794 as one of four pavilions around Suwon Hwaseong Fortress commissioned by King Jeongjo of Joseon Dynasty, its name means ‘to seek flowers and chase willows.’ The pavilion is situated on the northeast corner of the fortress next to Hwahongmun Gate. It is widely praised for its beautiful architectural style and delicate decoration, and is considered the pinnacle of later Korean architecture. The pavilion offers a picturesque view of the surrounding scenery, including Yongyeon Pond, which lies at the foot of the pavilion and is surrounded by willow trees. Hwahongmun Gate, the flood gate of Hwaseong Fortress, is also just a few minutes’ walk away. Visit the pavilion in springtime when the surrounding trees are in full bloom or enjoy the autumn leaves at sunset.
Address: 44-6, Suwoncheon-ro 392beon-gil, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
How to get to Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion from Seoul: Get off at Suwon Station Subway Line No.1 and take bus no. 11, 13, 7-2, or 66-4 and get off at Hwahongmun Gate, Jangan-dong Station. (The bus journey takes about 24 minutes.)
Silleuksa Temple, Yeoju
Unlike most temples in Korea, Silleuksa Temple is situated on the bank of a river and is a treasure trove of historic relics. Gangwolheon Pavilion and the Three-story Stone Pagoda are two must-see sights at Silleuksa Temple. The view of the Namhangang River, the pagoda, and Gangwolheon is not easily forgotten. Many television shows and movies have been shot at the Temple. The Multi-story Brick Pagoda has been designated Treasure No. 226 and is the only brick pagoda from the Goryeo Period that remains to this day.
Silleuksa Temple runs temple stay programs offering ordinary members of the public a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle of the monks who live at the temple. Visitors can choose between the day program and the two-day program, the latter of which provides an opportunity to spend the night at the temple and thus a fuller temple experience. The program runs from 15:00 until 11:00 the following day, and includes a dawn Buddhist service, an alms bowl meal, meditation, and a prayer-bead making experience. Visit the temple’s official website to reserve the program.
Address: Cheonsong-ri, Yeoju-eup, Yeoju-si, Gyeonggi-do
[ Places to visit nearby ]
Yeoju Hardwood Charcoal Village
Yeoju Hardwood Charcoal Village is a place where people can have a unique experience of a hot steam sauna heated with hardwood charcoal. Enhance it with the taste of grilled samgyeopsal (pork belly) after an hour of unwinding in the steam sauna. A stall at the village sells samgyeopsal ready to eat. The area also has a swimming pool for children, an ecological park, pensions, and a car camping site. It is considered an ideal place for families to stay for a day or two.
Address: 40, Geolchondong-gil, Gangcheon-myeon, Yeoju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Open hours: 08:30-24:00
Admission fee: Free (excluding hot steam sauna fee)
Open all year round
Hwangpodotbae “Yellow Sailboat”
This sailboat is one of Yeoju’s best known landmarks. It departs from Jopo Ferry opposite Silleuksa Temple. Jopo Ferry is one of the four largest ports on the Hangang River along with Mapo Ferry, Gwang Ferry, and Ipo Ferry. It is no longer the busy port it used to be in its heyday, when thousands of boats traveled up and down the river, but its beauty prevails to this day. Nowadays, Jopo Ferry is part of the Yeoju Riverside Recreation Area. The sailboat departs from the ferry, passes by Silleuksa Temple and Yeongneung Royal Tomb, and returns to the ferry three times a day between 10:30 and 15:30.
Address: 325, Yeonyang-dong, Yeoju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Open hours: 10:30-15:30
–Adults one-way: KRW 3,000- 6,000 / roundtrip: KRW 5,000 – 12,000
-Teens one-way: KRW 2,000 – 5,000 / roundtrip KRW: 3,000 – 8,000
Closed on Mondays