Column_September_1_Why I Love
A trip that starts early in the morning can be very tiring even if you are not the driver. While sitting relaxed in a small shuttle bus, cruising through downtown Seoul, I could barely hear our guide due to the sound of the road. When our car left Seoul, the voice of the guide was audible again and we could hear the story of a new world: Gyeonggi-do Province. Our biorhythms stabilized and we could hear interesting stories. I felt thrilled with an expectation of seeing who I would be able to meet in the spaces surrounded by ultimate greenery and the fragrance of ripe fruit.
Yellow – Pocheon Herb Island
After about an hour’s drive, we arrived at Pocheon Herb Island. We learned from our guide that this place was created to offer healing experiences for visitors. The founder of this place, who was preparing for his last days in life, regained his health through herbs and he became determined to expand Herb Island in order to help others. If you walk down a little from the parking lot, you will get to the Herb Healing Center, which was built in the style of classic Greek architecture. This is the place that restores people’s health.
After taking off your shoes and walking barefoot, you can have a unique healing experience. If you follow the fragrance of herbs, you will arrive at a foot bath. You can enjoy a feast of magical fragrances while immersing your feet in water. A hot pack placed on your shoulders will provide an ultimately happy feeling. The soles of my feet were smiling widely. The interior of Herb Island was softly lit with yellow lighting as yellow becomes the symbolic color of this place.
Green – Pocheon Art Valley
Art Valley is famous as a filming location. I revisited the scenes of the TV drama The Legend of the Blue Sea as we arrived at this place by monorail. My small smart phone displayed fireflies flying in the darkness as flashing lights and the majestic cliff shone behind gave off a dim dreamlike mood. After getting off the monorail and walking a little along the walking path, you may choose to stop and look around. The big cliff in front of you, the sound of falling water, and the refreshing breeze will satisfy your five senses and your will hear people’s exclamations. “Wow! Fantastic!”
The color of Cheonjuho Lake gets darker as you approach and reveals an emerald color. According to your guide, the scene from the drama The Legend of the Blue Sea in which mermaid Jun Ji-hyun waved her hand from the sea to Lee Min-ho was filmed here. Since I saw Bidulginang Falls last time, I formed a habit of recording audio whenever I see waterfalls. This sound seems to provide a more realistic feel, along with people’s strong reactions.
Red – The Garden of Morning Calm
The most impressive garden I have ever seen was Buseoksa Temple. The terraced-style temple, which is a traditional Korean house called hanok, and the forest with its harmony of flowers gave me unforgettable memories. Since that experience, any place with the name ‘arboretum’ seemed to pale in comparison. When I stepped into this place, I just wanted to have the simple experience of taking off my shoes and walking barefoot on the soil. I imagined seeing bright sunlight shining on a wide land, but my first impression was that this hilly area may have some hidden stories. It was as if variously colored silk pouches tied with knots seem to be untied by people who walk on this land! And the word ‘trail’ seems to be associated with memories.
I spontaneously took off my shoes, held them in my hand, and slowly took each step. Hanok. When I saw a hanok located in harmony with nature, an image of a temple, which has been with nature for a long time, overlapped in my mind. My steps led me to the second floor of the house. Then, through a window, I saw the scenery. Our ancestors probably enjoyed the scenery in the same way as they rested their arms on the windowsill. The serene garden was changing its clothes into red colors. This place also starts to write down its memories on paper. Like an old temple.
Blue – Petite France
The sound of an accordion starting from the entrance of this place and the pastel-toned French houses gave me the illusion of seeing the Little Prince walking along the path. I enjoyed reading Saint-Exupéry’s Night Flight when I was a child. I had a strong impression about people’s relationships and a lingering feeling about specific figures rather than having a fantasy of taking a night flight resorting on stars. The founder of this place seems to have loved Saint-Exupéry very much. He attempted to express the French author’s story which is intended to be told to adults in a theatrical play instead of reading it in a book.
The outdoor theater presents beautiful childrens’ stories through a marionette puppet play every 25 minutes, and the Théâtre de l’étoile presents Guignol, a hand puppet show, every 15 minutes. Thus, visitors can enjoy the performances leisurely without needing to wait.
Through a window, I decided to take photos of them running through houses full of French antiques. Beyond the beautiful stained glass, I saw people who were busy taking photos of memorable moments and I hoped they would walk inside the building as well. French antiques, a traditional house, and comfortable chairs that look down on Cheongpyeongho Lake, and music boxes of over several hundred years—all these things will offer them unforgettable memories. This place near Cheongpyeongho which touches the sky provides a refreshing feeling. I will remember this place in a strong blue color.
I like walking alone when I travel, but I often forget to look around at my surroundings as I am wrapped in my thoughts. When that happens, it is good to produce a fantastic travel by relying on someone’s voice. I think a trip accompanied by a guide is just that. Guides with good sense recognize our preferences and guide our ways, so we can travel leisurely and create memorable experiences. If you go on a trip alone, I strongly recommend using a shuttle bus. I can assure you that you will have fantastic time.
1. EG-shuttle(click here)
Pocheon Herb Island (click here)
Pocheon Art Valley (click here)
The Garden of Morning Calm (click here)
Petite France (click here)