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Arts & Cultur Gyeonggi-do Bookstay Travel Course, Paju

WriterAdministratorDate12/13/2018

Strike a balance between reading and life in Paju

While others aim to find a good “work-life balance”, why not pursue a “reading-life balance”? In Paju Book Camp, the first campsite with the focus on reading in Korea, campers can experience a book stay and immerse themselves in reading and gain firsthand experience of “slow time” in nature. Enjoy the beauty of autumn at the Botanical Garden BCJ (Byeokchoji) where festivals are held throughout the year, and feel the thrill of the Majang Lake Suspension Bridge, which feels like a ride at an amusement park. Afterwards, sample the coffee and dessert at Gisan-ri Coffee Factory & Alice Oven to wrap up the day with sweetness.

 

Travel Schedule

Paju Book Camp → 11.38 km, 20 minutes by car→ The Botanical Garden BCJ → 9.36 km, 16 minutes by car→ Majang Lake Suspension Bridge → 0.9 km, two minutes by car→ Gisan-ri Coffee Factory & Alice Oven



1. A wholesome night with books at Paju Book Camp

 


 


People say “autumn is the season for reading”, but in fact most modern people are too busy to ever read a book. For them, smartphones are more convenient to grab than books. This is why I recommend to enjoy a leisurely moment turning the pages of a book before autumn passes.

Paju Book Camp is a special book stay, a combination of reading and accommodation provided by a bookshop. What’s unique about this place is that it’s a library rather than a bookstore, because the renovated building which used to be part of Geumgok Elementary School (closed in 1998) has kept the library. What was formerly a school playground is currently used as a campsite.
 

The name of the library is Geumgok Small Library. Unlike its name, the library has about 6,000 volumes so it’s not small at all. Campers can borrow books from the library and go outdoors and read books amid nature. As the library is open until 10 pm, you’ll be able to enjoy reading as much as you like during your stay. At night, it is romantic to read books under the stars. The slow and quiet time is so precious that you even want to turn off the phone. If you have ever wished to read books all day without any interruption, Paju Book Camp is the ideal place for you.

Advance reservation for the campsite is a must. You can make a reservation for the following month from the second day of the month before. Usually getting a reservation is not difficult but competition is fierce during the holiday seasons. Reservations can be made at the camp’s website.

There is a way to use the site without camping: join the book concert held twice a month on Saturdays. The topic changes on a monthly basis. It is about movies one day and interesting stories about Europeans bookshops another day. Visit the campsite when the book concert is held to enjoy the concert with a writer as well as reading books in nature.

 
 

Address: 1315, Surihol-ro Beobwon-eup, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel: +82-31-959-9506 (day), +82-31-959-5050 (night)

Opening hours: Geumgok Small Library 12:00 - 18:00 on Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 - 16:00 on Saturday

Admission: Geumgok Small Library - Free, Campsite - KRW 20,000 on weekdays; KRW 25,000 on Friday - Saturday, public holidays, in July - August

Website: http://pajubookcamp.com

 


 




2. Fall in love with the colors of nature at the Botanical Garden BCJ
 


 

 

The arboretum was born out of love for each blade of grass, flower, and tree. It opened after ten years of construction. Walking through the themed gardens, ponds and wooded walkways, you will find yourself infatuated with the seasons and nature. Many people come to take photos of this photogenic site as its reputation has been spread by word of mouth.

The first thing to do when you arrive at the Botanical Garden BCJ is to get a guide map to make planning your visit easier. You can get a guide map at the entrance. If you cannot decide where to go among the many options on the map, turn right at the Byeokchoji Pond located on the left of the entrance to the European Queen’s Garden.

Byeokchoji is the pond representing the arboretum. On approaching the pond, you will consent to the phrase read “harmony of beauty of Korea and that of nature”. There is a pavilion, Paryeonjeong, beneath a weeping willow, with an arched wooden bridge (Musimgyo) next to it. The pond, viewed from Paryeonjeong, is like a panoramic picture of nature in a red frame. Walk along the path and then you will meet a wooden walkway leading to the center of the pond. Carp swim in the pond and lotus flowers float above them. The view of Paryeonjeong and Musimgyo from the center of the pond is splendid too.

On the left side of Byeokchoji Pond, there is Jangsu Jumok Tunnel. The movie “Agassi” (The Handmaiden) was filmed against the background of this tunnel. The Jumok (yew tree), which is rumored to live a thousand years and another thousand years after it dies, has extended its branches to form a small tunnel which attracts visitors wishing to take lovely photos.

The European Queens’ Garden is another good spot for avid photo-takers. It boasts a different type of elegance from the Korean-style Byeokchoji. There are Central Fountain, Herb Garden and Waterdrop Garden as well. In the Greenhouse next to it, you can join the herb-making class too. From March to October, seasonal flower festivals are held, and from November to February, light festivals take place.

 
 

Address: 242, Buheung-ro Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel: +82-31-957-2004

Opening hours: 09:00 - sunset (subject to change depending on weather or season) during March - October (seasonal festival), 13:00 - 22:00 during November - February (Light Festival); open all year round

Admission: Adults KRW 9,000, Middle/high school students KRW 7,000, Children KRW 6,000

Website: http://www.bcj.co.kr
 


 




3. Thrilling as if walking on water - Majang Lake Suspension Bridge


 


With two million visitors in six months since its opening, the Majang Lake must be the “Star Overnight”. People line up to walk across the suspension bridge over the big lake again today .

The bridge wobbles every time pedestrians move. It’s as thrilling as a fairground ride. The bridge stretches for 220 meters. Thanks to the wind path in the middle of the long bridge, 1,280 adults weighing 70 kg on average can stand on it at the same time. As some sections in the middle of the bridge are made of bulletproof glass, the lake can be seen beneath one’s feet. It feels like walking on water.

There are two directions: you can start from the entrance of the observatory, cross over to the other side, and come back via the bridge or you can walk along the walkway Surrounding the whole lake connected to the other side of the bridge after you’ve crossed it. It takes about two hours to walk via the bridge and along the entire waterside promenade. You can think a little bit long and boring but, time flies there.

You are allowed to bring your pets with you. The bridge is open all year round, except when it’s very wet and windy. The waterside walkway, Hosu Dulle-gil, is open 24/7, whereas the suspension bridge opens from 9 am to 6 pm.

As the site is crowded at weekends, it is recommended to visit on weekdays. Parking is not easy on weekends. There are eight parking lots in total and Parking lots 1 and 2 are closest to the bridge. You can park in front of Munden Dongsan Shimteo rest area as well. Although not close to the bridge, a small shop sells roasted sweet potatoes or chestnuts for you to enjoy while strolling on the walkway.

 

Address: 365, Gisan-ro Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel: +82-31-940-4720

Opening hours: Suspension Bridge 09:00 - 18:00,
Suspension Bridge Hosue Dulle-gil opens 24/7

Admission: Free

Website: http://majanghosu.com



4. Sweet and fragrant time with coffee and dessert at Gisan-ri Coffee Factory & Alice Oven


 

 

At the entrance to the Majang Lake Suspension Bridge, there is a coffee and dessert café called Gisan-ri Coffee Factory & Alice Oven, which is run by a coffee specialist (husband) and a dessert specialist (wife). It’s the ideal place to enjoy a cup of coffee with a sweet dessert on your way back from the bridge.

Inside the two-story brick building a warm atmosphere prevails. Next to the entrance is a collection of dolls and vintage accessories that must have been accumulated over a long period of time. Along the passage stretched beside it, countless coffee grinders are on display. It adds to the fun to see them as if watching exhibits at a coffee museum.

As there is a coffee factory that imports, blends and roasts coffee beans connected to the cafe, it is recommended to try the coffee out of the many beverages served there. Hand-dripped coffee made with loving care by the award-winning barista Will measure up to your expectations in terms of taste and aroma. In particular, only ten cups of “Today's coffee” are available each day due to the scarcity of the beans. If you’re curious about the taste, you’d better hurry.

The wife, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu, one of the top three culinary schools in the world, bakes bread and macaroons every morning. Her baking is based on one principle: use fresh high-quality ingredients. There are about a dozen types of bread including scones, croissants, etc. Types of bread vary depending on the quarter. The pretty macaroons are their signature dessert. There are ten kinds of macarons: coffee flavor, citron flavor, black sesame flavor, etc.

 
 

Address: 515-1, Gisan-ri, Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel: +82-31-942-1432

Opening hours: 10:00 - 20:00

Menu: Americano KRW 4,000, Smoothie KRW 6,500, Hand-dripped coffee KRW 6,500, Bread KRW 3,000 - 5,000, Macaroons (six) KRW13,000

Website: None
 


 






1. The Gyeongui-Jungang Line runs based on the fixed schedule. Check the schedule in advance to take the subway in time.

2. If you are not camping at Paju Book Camp, you can enjoy a meal at the second trip spot (Botanical Garden BCJ) and move on to the next site. There are many restaurants near the Majang Lake Suspension Bridge as well.

 

Public Transportation Information

[Subway] Leave Munsan Station (Gyeongui-Jungang Line) via Exit 1, take bus no. 22-1 at Munsan Station and get off at the Paju Social Services Center for the Disabled bus stop. Walk for about five minutes to Paju Book Camp.

 

Driving Information

Tongil-ro → Daeja Samgeo-ri → Hoguk-ro → Dongheon-ro → Goyang-dong Sageo-ri →Hyeeum-ro → Goyang-dong Samgeo-ri → Enter Hyeeumyryeong Tunnel and Local Road No. 78 → Donggeori-gil → Manjangsan-ro → Changman Sageori → Bogwang-ro → Daeneung Sageo-ri → Surihol-ro → Paju Book Camp