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Arts & Cultur A Small but Certain Happiness in Gimpo

WriterAdministratorDate12/13/2018

 

Let’s Travel to Gimpo for a Day of Festivities


How does the idea of sailing in a yacht in Gimpo over the weekend sound? Just the thought of drifting across the water, powered by the wind pushing on the white sails makes me feel like the main character in a movie – all the more so because sailing in Korea is not so easy to come by. After experiencing the charm of sailing, move on to the Gimpo Tea Ceremony Museum to enjoy a cup of tea and explore the refreshing surroundings. How about walking through the sculpture park along the forest road? Your mind and body will feel much lighter. These are the reasons for going to the Gimpo International Sculpture Park. The highlight of the trip is the final stop in Daemyeonghang Port, where you can sample the seafood of the season. A day spent in Gimpo will turn what would otherwise be another monotonous, boring day into a colorful day like a festival that you will not forget for a very long time.

 

Travel Schedule

 

Ara Marine Center → 27.96km, 45 min by car → Gimpo Tea Ceremony Museum → 3.53km, 7 min by car → Gimpo International Sculpture Park → 10.73km, 30 min by car → Daemyeonghang Port


1. Ara Marine Center, Entrust Your Body to the Passage of the Wind


 

 

The romance of Gimpo begins with the yachting trip that starts at the Ara Marine Center. The place is the Ara Waterway, a canal that starts at the Hangang Lock and passes through Gimpo and Incheon. The Gyeongin Ara Waterway can be viewed as a water canal that connects the Hangang River to the Yellow Sea.

The Ara Marine Center has a floating boat dock and a water leisure center. A yacht is docked at the boat dock. The numerous yachts docked next to each other create an exotic scene one usually encounters in a marina in some foreign land. If you are not content with just looking, you can book a one-day sailing tour and experience the thrills of yachting. This is an experiencing program, but it does not mean you get to steer the yacht – rather, it’s an opportunity to drift across the river in a yacht and feel the cool breeze on your face. The yacht trip lasts for 50 minutes, but the time flashes by in an instant. If the experience leaves you a little disappointed, you can sign up for yachting classes, which are offered at varying levels from beginners to advanced.
 

You must complete a 2-day, 4-day or 30-day training schedule if you sign up for yachting instruction, but you will be rewarded with the true taste of sailing that will transport you in the direction of the wind. You must ask in advance if you wish to enroll in the yachting classes and experience the fun of yachting. You can sign up for the classes by visiting the center in person, but due to such factors as the weather conditions and the number of people participating, booking in advance will increase your chances of experiencing yachting.

Alternatively, at the water playground at the far end of the boat dock you can try kayaking, water bicycle riding, or boating. However, as these water leisure experiences are subject to the weather, availability varies from year to year. This year the experience programs will run until November 25, so you’d better hurry if you want to try them and enjoy the kind of romance and freedom you only see in the movies.
 

 

Address: 74, Arayuk-ro 270beon-gil Gochon-eup, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-999-7844

Opening Hours: 09:00~18:00, Closed Mondays~Tuesdays

Admission: Yachting (50 min) KRW 15,000, Kayaking (30 min) KRW 7,000, water bicycle (30 min) KRW 7,000, boating (30 min) KRW 15,000

Website: https://www.waterway.or.kr


 





2. Gimpo Tea Ceremony Museum, Enjoy a Peaceful Hour Taking Part in an Aromatic Tea Making Ceremony


 


Have you ever felt that coffee is too familiar, but that tea is rather difficult to appreciate? Drinking green tea brewed using teabags is enjoyable in itself, but learning how to drink tea according to the proper etiquette is also a worthwhile experience. The Gimpo Dado Museum was opened in May 2001 to promote Korea’s tea culture and history. At the museum visitors can look at tea making implements and accessories and ancient texts on tea drinking etiquette collected by founder Son Min-young throughout her life, including kettles, teacups, stoves and tea tables from the Goryeo and Joseon periods. After touring the tea culture of Korea, with all its rich history, I found myself checking my appearance. I felt a desire to look neat in the same way the tea drinking etiquette requires of you.

If you turn your gaze outside, you’ll be greeted by a natural landscape so enchanting that you will want to take many photos of it. Behind the museum Aegibong Peak opens up like a folding screen, while in front of the museum there’s a pond where ducks can be seen swimming about, as well as a well-tended lawn. You’ll want to take as many pictures as possible here in order to preserve your trip as a good memory.

In addition to the tea related exhibits, the museum provides various experience programs that allow visitors to try their hand at making ceramic or dyeing with natural pigments. The museum also offers tailored programs for children and adults on the tea making ceremony, the proper way of respecting the formalities of colleagues’ family events, and table manners.

 

Address: 832, Gaegok-ri, Wolgot-myeon, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-998-1000

Opening Hours: Summer (Mar~Oct) 10:00~18:00, Winter (Nov~Feb) 10:00~17:00, Closed on Mondays

Admission: Adults KRW 5,000, Teenagers KRW 4,000

Website: https://kimpodadomuseum.modoo.at

 


 

 


 

 

3. Gimpo International Sculpture Park, A Place for Recharging and Relaxation

 


 


“The time I spent in the forest helped me to overcome the fatigue of modern life.” These are the words of the Japanese cartoonist Masuda Miri. Whenever you want to alleviate your stress and recharge yourself with the vital energy of life, there’s no place like a forest. The Gimpo International Sculpture Park lies on the east side of the lush Munsusan Mountain and can only be reached via a mountain road along which you’ll come across various sculptures  by world-famous artists.

When you arrive at the Gimpo International Sculpture Park, you must pick up the leaflet provided at the information desk before starting your tour as Sculptures are scattered along the path. With it, your walk will be a whole lot easier. You should also read the descriptions of each work. At the nearby art hall, the park’s entire sculpture collection is exhibited in miniature. It’s a good idea to check out this mini exhibition before going on the tour.

‘Unification’ is the main theme of both the park and the sculptural works by fourteen Korean sculptors, including Cho Sung-mook and Park Sung-sook, and sixteen foreign sculptors such as Giovanni Anselmo and Julian Ophy. You can look at them, touch them, and take pictures of them. No one will mind if you spend a lot of time in front of the sculptures making poses, so make the most of the leisurely, carefree atmosphere of the park.

The road passes through a mountain forest, but you’ll have nothing to worry about even if you’re new to mountain trekking. The tour involves light walking on the whole rather than heavy-duty trekking through the mountains. The route has slopes, but they are not too steep, and at any rate the music streaming from the speakers will propel you forward with every step you take.

It takes about two hours to complete the journey around the park. The healthy energy of the forest seeps into every corner of your body. I want to remember my time here where nature meets art for as long as possible.
 

 

Address: 38, Yonggang-ro 13beon-gil Wolgot-myeon, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-996-7532

Opening Hours: Open all year round

Admission: Free

Website: None


4. Daemyeonghang Port, A Sea Port Where You Can Taste the Delights of all Four Seasons

 

 

 


 


Daemyeonghang Port overflows with delicious seafood in all four seasons of the year. The appearance of baby octopuses and sea raven signal the arrival of spring. In the summer, sea bass and olive flounder make their appearance, and in autumn it’s shrimp and gizzard. In winter, yellow tail heralds the arrival of the coldest season. This is why you have to go to Daemyeonghang Port at the end of a long trip.

The fish market just after the parking lot is the place where fresh fish of the season can be found. The fish market sells fish caught by local boat owners. That’s why the fish store and the fishing boat that supply the fish share the same name. The sound of fish wriggling about on the cutting board and the shouting of storekeepers give the market a lively atmosphere.

If you come out of the fish market and walk along the street, you’ll find a long line of sashimi restaurants. If you can’t decide which restaurant to enter, then take a close look at the fish tanks in front of each restaurant. The restaurant’s signature dish varies slightly from place to place because the owner of the boat and the fishermen are the ones who run the restaurant. However, the main catch of the season is served in all of the restaurants. If you’re still not sure, play it safe and go into the restaurant with the most customers.

The main seafood in autumn includes gizzards and shrimps. Whether gizzards are eaten roasted or as sashimi, their mild, tender taste is exceptional. Shrimps are eaten by roasting them in salt. If you pull off the shrimp’s head and eat only the body, the kitchen will take the heads and roast them in butter for you. Shrimp heads eaten this way are crispy and have a very savory taste. You should note, however, that the prices in the restaurants vary depending on the market prices.

If a sashimi restaurant seems like too much of a burden on your wallet, try the snack bar that sells crunchy shrimp tempura. As one of the most famous eateries in Daemyeonghang Port, this snack bar is often talked about for its shrimp tempura. The bar also sells side dishes like tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes.

One last look at the sea dotted with fishing boats is the final stop of your trip to Daemyeonghang Port. The salty smell of sea, which you can sense through the tip of your nose, is like a perfume that reminds you of an old dock yard. When Chojidaegyo Bridge, which links Gimpo and Ganghwa Island, begins to look cozy in the warm glow of the setting sun, you are reminded that time has come to head back home to everyday life.

 

Address: 107-1, Daemyeonghang 1-ro Daegot-myeon, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-988-6394

Price Gizzard sashimi (1 plate) KRW 35,000, Roasted jumbo shrimps (1kg) KRW 45,000, Fried prawns (7) KRW 10,000, gungmul tteokbokki(spicy rice cakes in extra sauce) (1 person) KRW 4,500

Website: None


 







1. This is a travel course where you have to get up early in the morning and go home late at night. If you don’t have enough time, it won’t matter if you choose to visit only one of either the Gimpo Tea Ceremony Museum or the Gimpo International Sculpture Park. So if you like a long drive, then go to the Gimpo Tea Ceremony Museum, but if you’d prefer a long trek via a mountain road, then you should visit the Gimpo International Sculpture Park.

 

Public Transportation Information

Leave via Exit 1 of Gaehwa Station on Subway Line 9. Take the 69 bus from the Gaehwa Checkpoint Bus Stop and get off at the Ara Waterway/Gimpo Terminal Bus Stop. It takes about 2 minutes to walk to the Gimpo Ara Marine Center.

 

Driving Information

Mapodae-ro → Yeouiseo-ro → Olympicdae-ro → Geumpo-ro → Arayuk-ro152beon-gil → Arayuk-ro-270beon-gil → Arayuk-ro-230beon-gil → Ara Marine Center