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3 of the Guri’s best spots for a family day out

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Column _May_ 2_Why I love..

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The month of May is for family, friends, and lovers. Let us learn how to enjoy this happy season downtown and in nature with the people closest to you.

Neighborhood, parks, and markets are ordinary places, but they start to have a special meaning when you meet people there.

Achiul Village, enjoyment of taking a stroll in an unfamiliar neighborhood

This is my second visit to Achiul Village. When I visited the village for the first time, I was looking for a café where I could have Puer tea, and I noticed a café with a paper note on the door: “I will be back soon after visiting China to get better tea,” so I decided to come back again. But then, there was no light inside the cafe. On Facebook, the owners said he’ll be back in a few days. I brought a book to read while taking a rest.I had to find another place to spend my afternoon, so I walked around the village once more.

The last time I visited, it was also morning, and I just realized that morning seems to be a better time to savor the scenery with all five senses – the rustling sound of leaves brushing against one another due to the wind,bird sound, children’s sound from home, and flower fragrance.

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I sometimes drop by workshops as well. Two workshops were located diagonally from each other with a street between them. Both were not big, but I could enjoy vintage style and exotic designs of accessories.

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Achiul Village is famous for late writer Park Wan-suh’s book The Yellow House. “The Yellow House” is actually the house where the author used to live. Without needing to wander around, if you simply walk upward along the street, the clear sound of windchime will lead you to the yellow house. The wind-bell sound seems to resemble the voice of the writer. If you keep walking like this, you will get to Ollegil Trail. When I looked around, many people were walking up to Achasan Mountain.

At first glance, the village looks similar to other villages, but then, it became my favorite village that I want to visit again as it has the story of famous writer, the Ollegil Trail leading to a mountain, and a café whose owner goes to a foreign country just to get better tea.

Guri Hangang Park:a yellow mustard flower festival

From Achiul Village, if I go one bus stop by bus, I can get to Handari Village. Get off there and walk down, and you can get to a long stretching park. You will need to enter through the entrance of Jangja Park, so subway will be a more convenient transportation. I chose the park to consummate my unfulfilled desire for Puer tea, so I decided to enjoy the park to the fullest.

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Just a few days ago, the park held a mustard flower festival. There was a bicycle rental place in front of a convenience store on the side of the parking lot, so I rented a bicycle. There were 3-seater bicycles for families to enjoy. I got on the bicycle and rode fast along the long stretch of the road. As I enjoyed the fresh wind blowing along the wide Hangang River, I felt like a young girl riding a bike. 

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Little later, when the wave of light green and yellow color was in front of my eyes, I unconsciously got off my bicycle, and there was a mustard flower field. It was my first time to see the field in person. The color looked very sweet as if having been sprinkled with fragments of crushed yellow candies. The flowers looked very brilliant. I took a few photos; unfortunately they did not turn out good. There were families taking a rest in a tent under the shade of trees along the bicycle path of the park, some people leisurely lying on the grass, and some couples sitting on a mat and chatting.The various flowers improve the mood.

Since the park stretches long and wide, other people’s conversations werenot audible, so it felt very quiet. It was an active park as visitors could enjoy sports and bicycling. Hangang River and beautiful flowers further spiced up the mood.

Guri Traditional Market, a space where youthfulness and tradition coexist

This market is located near the subway station and bus stops, so it was easy to find. As soon as I walked into the market, I was surprised to see many young people and a large TV hanging right below the arch-shaped ceiling. From the beginning, it looked different from other traditional markets.

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On TV, elementary school students were looking around the market, and merchants were running the broadcast as DJ. It gave me the impression that it was more than a simple place trading goods; it felt like a communicating market. Stores were lined along both sides of the corridor, and vendors were selling food along the center of the corridor.

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After passing the well-arranged market under the arch, you will get to an old market that has maintained its original appearance. You can enjoy two different markets.Guri Traditional Market is famous for the lotus leaf dumplings and sugar-filled griddlecakes, chicken skewers, and gopchang (intestines) alley. I bought lotus leaf dumplings to enjoy at home. They looked good and delicious, so I wanted to visit again. As I was eating the sweet griddlecake, I toured the market.

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There were still tons of things to see at the traditional market. There were fresh vegetables and live fish, nutritious snack foods coated with grains and honey, various shapes of fish cake, and glazed fried chicken bites and so on. In the space with doll claw machines, stores selling dolls, and clothing stores, students, couples, and friends were enjoying shopping. The old market seemed to be more impressive—astore owner’s busy hands making ice cream rolls, a grandmother showing her grandson’s photo to a photographer in front of a place with the sign “Instant Photo Development,” a little child who ordered a peach-flavored concoction from a street vendor.

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A grandmother carrying her grandson on her back was offering him a tour of the market. When her grandson looked at a panda doll and said, “Panda, panda,” she replied, “Yes, panda, yes.”When the child saw large terrapins and eels in big containers, he screamed with amazement, making his grandmother happy.The scenes still linger in my mind. There is one thing you should not miss in the evening: “Blossoming cotton candy.” At the entrance of the traditional market, you can see it at 8pm on Friday and Saturday. Luckily on Saturday, I could grab a bear-shaped cotton candy. The transformation of cotton candy! You should not miss this one.

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The traditional market seems to have a festival all year round.

Epilogue

Places have stories of people. In warm May in particular, people tend to be more open-minded. Places full of laughter and conversations do not need the descriptive word “Tourist site”; they can be a festive place anytime. Neighborhoods, parks, and traditional markets can be festive places. Open the door and go out to enjoy your daily festival, before the season changes.

Further Information

Achiul Village 

Address : Achasan-ro, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do  

TransportationGet on the bus (97,93,15,91,1) at the Gangbyeon bus stop (A), then get off at the Achiul Village.

Guri Hangang Park

Address : 829, Topyeong-dong, Guri-si

Transportation : Get on the bus (97,93,15,91,1) at the Gangbyeon bus stop (A), then get off at the Handari Village.

Guri Traditional Market

Address : 31, Geombae-ro 6beon-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Transportation : Transportation : Get on the bus (97,15,91,1) at the Gangbyeon bus stop (A), then get off at the Stone Bridge & Guri Traditional Market.

 

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