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WriterAdministratorDate12/13/2018

Cosmos Flower Road, Gopchang Alley, Café Street --

We Came up with Everything to Satisfy Everyone’s Cravings


The autumn wind is restless. It trembled and then rustled before starting to overturn fall leaves with full gusto. It’s not just the wind that’s restless. My mind follows the wind. To cool my head, I took a break to visit Guri Hangang Park. The flowers were dazzling in the sunshine. To forget my worries for a while and enjoy the flowers, I followed Han River by walking along the Cosmos flower path. After a while, I felt the pangs of hunger, so I headed toward Doldarigil Gopchang Alley. I eased my hunger with some chewy stir-fried gopchang. Feeling sated, I decided to recharge myself with caffeine. I stopped by at Sutaek-dong, a neighborhood where coffee shops with distinctive characters can be found in every corner. From the flower road to the Hangang viewing café, the gopchang alley, and the café street, this autumn day feels relaxing and fulfilling at the same time.

 

 

Travel Schedule

Guri Hangang Park (Cosmos Flower Field) → 2.93km, 7 min by car → Appenz Coffee → 5.36, 15 min by car → Doldari-gil Gopchang Alley → 1km, 5 min by car → Sutaek-dong Café Street


1. Guri Hangang Park -- you are prettier than the flowers here


 

 


As of this moment, Guri Hangang Park is filled with flowers. Slender cosmos flowers dance in the wind. The banks of Han River have become a cosmos flower garden. The size of the flower field is about 120,000 square meters. The flower field beckons to me like a gigantic flower cloud.

Walking the entire length of the park is not an easy task. It takes about 5 minutes on foot to go from the parking lot to the cosmos flower fields. The distance is a 5-minute walk, but it actually takes about 10~20 minutes because you slow down to view the blue Hangang River and the flower fields that are home to many different species of flowers. The sight of cosmos is a definite signal that this is the peak of the autumn season. The only downside is that your legs will get tired because the flower field is so huge. But you will still not be able to pause for a rest because the pink, scarlet, and white cosmos flowers lure you endlessly. As I repeated the cycle of walking, taking pictures, and pausing for a break accompanying beautiful cosmos, the scent of the flower had invaded my body before I knew itTo preserve my memories of this day, I took selfies with the cosmos garden as backdrop and occasionally while immersed in the thick of the flowers.

Don’t be disappointed if you missed the cosmos blooming season. As long as it is not the middle of winter, the flower garden is populated by other species of flowers for you to enjoy. Yellow yuchae flowers blossom in spring, and cosmos flowers bloom in autumn. If you missed the cosmos flowers in autumn, you can wait and see yellow yuchae flowers in spring.

The sight of the brightly colored flower garden is enough to make you feel good. The pavilions constructed at different s, the heart-shaped photo zone, and the observation deck are all great spots for some rest. Outdoor lightings in the shape of butterflies, horses, chariots, and planets produce splendid views after sunset and fulfill their purposes remarkably. This is the reason you must make a trip to Guri Hangang Park when the autumn season is at its peak.

 

Address: 829-2, Topyeong-dong, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.:+82-31-550-2473 (Guri City Hall, Park & Forestry Department), +82-31-550-2107 (Guri Urban Corporation)

Opening hours: Always open

Website:  http://www.guri.go.kr/cms/content/view/2119

 


 



2. Appenz Coffee: A Rooftop Café with a View of Hangang


 


After completely losing your senses in the cosmos flowers and spending your time wandering around taking pictures, your legs are eventually bound to become stiff. It’s time to find a place to take a break. Where could be a good spot to rest and re-energize your mind and body? The banks of Hangang where I could view the river? Or a café with great atmosphere and delicious coffee? Wouldn’t it be great to have a spot that offered both? The Hangang can be viewed from Appenz Coffee situated near Guri Hangang Park. Sitting on the café terrace of 4th floor, such a beautiful Hangang River can be viewed. Achasan Mountain sits in the rear of the coffee shop; in the front, visitors can enjoy a view of Hangang. If you climb one more floor to the rooftop, the sight is even better.

 

The signature menu of Appenz Coffee is the Grand Cru Frutiy and Pumpkin Jam Butter Toast. The Grand Cru Frutiy is served with a topping of fresh fruits on a base of red hibiscus. It will be love at first sight for you with its color, and then you will fall in love a second time with its sweet and soft taste. The pumpkin jam butter toast catches your eye with its intense visual. Yellow pumpkin jam, mashed red beans, and cream are placed on top of crisp browned toast. It not only looks pretty; the taste is even better. The pumpkin jam is not overly sweet so it’s very palatable, and the red bean paste contains nuts, giving it a nutty flavor. The pumpkin jam and red bean paste use ingredients made by Bokdam, a pumpkin dessert café in Seochon, Seoul. This is a café with a rooftop that offers a healthy and tasty menu. There is nothing more you can wish for.

 

Address: 18, Uminae-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +81-2-455-8405

Opening hours: 11:00~23:00, 10:00~23:00 (weekends)

Menu: Americano KRW 4,900, Grand cru frutiy KRW 8,000, Pumpkin jam butter toast KRW 6,900

Website: https://www.instagram.com/appenz_coffee



3. Doldari Gopchang Alley: Gopchang eaten by dipping in chojang


 

 

If you visit Guri Traditional Market, you will reach an alley that whets your appetite by stimulating your olfactory senses. It’s called Doldari-gil Gopchang Alley. Before being covered up with earth, there was a stone bridge(Doldari in Korean) built across a stream here; this is how the alley got its name. Gopchang, the Stir-fried Intestines, restaurants started to appear here in the late 1990s. Restaurants specializing in gopchang began to pop up one after another to form the gopchang alley as we know it today. There are several gopchang establishments inside the alley. You can choose to visit the one that appeals to you the most.

Stir-fried intestines with vegetables is the most popular dish in the alley and even among students because of its generous portion with various vegetables, glass noodles and rice cakes, and reasonable price. Depending on your taste, you can ask for soondae, blood sausage with glass noodles, or odol bones, spicy pork belly cartilage, to be added to the stir-fried gopchang with vegetables.

Soon after you place your order, the cooked stir-fried gopchang with vegetables is brought to your table. Each restaurant prepares the dish the same way; gopchang, soondae, and other ingredients are stir-fried on a steel plate that is brought to you. To keep it warm, customers can eat it straight from the plate while heated by the portable gas stove.

The unique aspect of Doldari-gil Gopchang Alley is that the gopchang is eaten by dipping it in chojang (red chili pepper paste with vinegar mixture). Thanks to the hot and sour chojang, even people who dislike gopchang can handle the dish. Another way of eating gopchang is to eat it as ssam, by wrapping gopchang, soondae, and glass noodles in perilla leaf. A 2-person order of gopchang is enough for 3 people, with the leftovers consumed as gopchang mixed into fried rice. Sometimes diners eat the stir-fried gopchang and skip the gopchang fried rice. But even if you are full, you must try the fried rice. The seasoning of the moist fried rice is just about right, and you will not be able to resist the temptation to help yourself to additional portions.

 

Address: Angol-ro 103beon-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Opening hours: 10:00~03:00 (varies by store)

Menu: Stir-fried vegetable gopchang KRW 9,000, Stir-fried soondae KRW 10,000, Algopchang KRW 11,000



4. Sutaek-dong Café Street, Suridan-gil – it’s a totally beginner to join the ranks of ‘the popular Café Street’


 



Sutaekdong Café Street is about a 5-minute drive from Gopchang Alley. The name does not imply that the street is filled end to end with cafes, however. When I entered the street slightly bewildered as there are much less cafés than I thought, and I found that it was about 2% lacking before it could be properly called a café street. Nonetheless, there is distinct fun in discovering a hidden jewel of a café in a narrow and old alley in the middle of the old part of town. In the way that there are just a few but distinct cafes here, the street could be called its name ‘Suridan-gil’.

Café Boonong is a small shop with just a couple of tables offering excellent macaroons. Made by the owner, the sizes of the macaroons are bigger than average and are not too sweet, making them perfect with coffee. The unique homemade cakes are also popular as well. Written on one corner of the wall was the message "You are at your most beautiful today." I find the phrase captivating.

 

Librement is a flower café. A florist makes bouquets and serves coffee to customers at the same time. On the 2nd floor, flower classes are sometimes held, where they teach you how to make hand-tied bouquets and flower baskets. Librement is a French word meaning “freely” or as you wish.” The interior is decorated with fresh or dry flowers; in the brief time I stood looking at them, my mood began to improve.

 

Despite opening its doors about a year ago, Mind Coffee Shop is already the oldest surviving café in the area. It has steadfastly served coffee to customers while watching other coffee shops open, only to see them close a few months later. It was named Mind Coffee Shop by the owners who sympathized with the young people burdened by worries about employment and resume building. The owners opened the coffee shop in the hope that it will bring young people some peace of mind at least while enjoying their moment with their coffee. The signature menu is Black Suave Latte, which is made using a syrup recipe based on brown sugar. The sugar particles on the edge of the cup combine with the bitter first taste of the coffee to produce a pleasant sweet taste. When you have nothing to do, playing with the coffee shop dog, a Jack Russell Terrier, is a great way to kill time.

Café Boonong

Address: 10-9, Imunan-ro 99beon-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-10-3011-5854

Opening hours: 10:30~22:00

Menu: Macaroon KRW 2,000, Americano KRW 2,800

Website:  https://www.instagram.com/boonong_cafe

 

Librement

Address: 22-34, Imunan-ro 99beon-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-566-2407

Opening hours: 10:00~21:30, Closed on Mondays

Menu:  Latte KRW 4,000 , Chamomile  KRW 4,000

Website:  https://www.instagram.com/_librement

 

Mind Coffee Shop

Address: 6-16, Imunan-ro 113beon-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.:+82-10-9800-6888

Opening hours: 10:00~23:00, 12:00~23:00 (on weekends and national holidays)

Menu: Black Suave Latte KRW 5,000, Creamy Vanilla Latte KRW 5,000

Website:  https://www.instagram.com/mind_coffee_shop


 




  1. 1. When the cosmos flowers are in full bloom, there are so many visitors that it takes a long time to pass through the entrance of Guri Hangang Park parking lot. If you are visiting during festival periods, it is more convenient to use the public transportation system.

     

  2. 2. There is a hanok café called Modern Giwa in the vicinity of Appenz Coffee. Note that the outdoor terrace of Modern Giwa provides a very good view of Hangang. During lunch time, the hanok café attracts so many customers that finding a parking spot is extremely difficult.

     

3. There are almost no places to park in Doldari Gopchang Alley. There is a small paid parking lot inside the market, but it’s difficult to access to the parking lot by the crowds of people going about their business in the alley. It is a good idea to check out available parking lots in advance before going.

 

Public Transportation Information

[Bus] Get off at Exit 1 of Gangbyeon Station on Subway Line 2. Get on bus No. 1650 departing from the bus station in front of Techno Market Station. Get off at Topyeong Jeongsujang. From here, it takes about 14 minutes on foot to reach Guri Hangang Park, which is 920 meters away.

 

Driving Information

Seoul Ring Expressway → Topyeong IC → Gangbyeonbuk-ro (Jamsil Direction) → Guri Hangang Park