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Arts & Cultur A Small but Certain Happiness in Pocheon


A perfect Day in Pocheon, Bring Out Your Travel DNA!

Sanjeong Lake in the middle of the mountains looks mysterious with the reddish maple leaves. The lake reflecting the clean sky are so blue and beautiful as well. You can see the charming red-light dyed face of autumn and the red-tinged heart of autumn walking along the trail. It is a world of red so intense that it might set your heart on fire. The mystery of nature continues in Pocheon Art Valley. Nature, which has long been exploited by human greed, is gradually recuperating in the form of culture and art. And in Sansawon, walking among huge crocks of liquors as tall as one’s shoulders makes you drunk just from the heady aroma alone. In Pocheon, you are enraptured by the maple leaves and intoxicated by the aroma of wine. A day here is like a total vacation gift set.


Travel Schedule

Sanjeong Lake Walking Trail → 4.11, 7 min by car → Sanbital → 22.53, 38 min by car → Pocheon Art Valley → 18.14, 24 min by car → Sansawon

1. Sanjeong Lake Nature Trail, A Lake Deep in the Mountain Forest that Radiates an Autumnal Ambience



“A well trapped in a mountain” – that’s what people say about Sanjeong Lake. When I first heard the name, I thought it was a name that’s both easy and difficult to understand at the same time. A mountain, a well, and a lake! Does the name imply it’s a lake that’s as small as a well? The answer could be found at the site itself. The mountain is like a high wall that traps water and turns the inner cavity into a lake. It’s definitely a lake that’s much larger than a well.

Sanjeong Lake is a man-made reservoir built in 1925 to collect rain water for agricultural purposes. The lake attracts many visitors all year round due to all the lodgings and restaurants that have opened around the lake. The season when deep green maples leaves turn a reddish hue is also the time when the silver grass of Myeongseongsan Mountain blossoms with white fluffy flowers, and when the number of visitors to the area reaches a peak.

The vista created by the lake and the surrounding mountains is exquisite. To the north, Myeongseongsan Mountain stands guard over the lake. Across the lake, Mangmubong Peak and Mangbongsan Peak are lined up like warriors. When the winds fall silent on a clear autumn day, the surface of the lake becomes a transparent mirror that reflects the mountains. A few duck-shaped boats move slowly on the water’s surface, drawing a line in the water reminiscent of a brush stroke made by a painter on canvas. The artificial lake has befriended nature to such a degree that it has become a part of nature itself. The view that resembles an ink-and-wash painting will steal your heart instantly.


One man who recognized the beauty of the Sanjeong Lake area was Kim Il Sung, who built a summer house here to enjoy the delights of the lake. This was possible because this area used to be part of North Korea before the Korean War. Viewed from the summer house the lake looks like an inverted Korean peninsula, and it is said that Kim Il Sung planned the Korean War during his stay here. However, the summer house was demolished by the South Korean Army when it captured this region.

The charm of Sanjeong Lake can be found on the pleasant walking trail that runs around the lake and which is neither too steep nor too winding, making it very comfortable to walk on. Even a leisurely stroll will provide you with a chance to relieve any worries you have deep inside you.

The walking trail around Sanjeong Lake is divided into the Gungye course, the Kim Il Sung Summer House course, and the Water’s Edge course. As is always the case when walking in the wilderness, where you start and end your walk is entirely up to you. The roads are all connected so that wherever you start, you will always come back to your stating point. Over-the-water walking decks and paths through lush pine trees appear and disappear repeatedly in front you. The sculpture park, the Nakcheonji Waterfall, and the over-the-water pedestrian decks that bob up and down with the waves are the main places you must not miss during your visit.


Address: 89, Sanjeonghosu-ro 411beon-gil Yeongbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-532-6135 (Sanjeong Lake Village Center)

Admission: Free of charge, but if you come in a vehicle, you will have to pay a parking fee (KRW 1,000 for light-weight vehicles, KRW 2,000 for small cars, KRW 5,000 for mid-sized cars, and KRW 10,000 for large cars.)

Website: http://www.sjlake.co.kr




2. Sanbital’s Heathy Soup that Protects against the Cold Autumn Breeze


Your first spoonful of soup You will warm up your body chilled by the cold winds of fall at the moment you taste. The arrangement of the mushrooms, tofu, bok choy, perilla seeds, and green onions that fill the pot to the brim recalls a beautiful flower. How is it possible to fill the pot so neatly? This is a dish that will stimulate your appetite with its visual appeal.

Situated near Sanjeong Lake, Sanbital restaurant specializes in dishes which include tofu and mushrooms as their main ingredients. The tofu is made by the owner’s mother. As if to prove this, an old lady in her 80s can be seen in one corner of the kitchen preparing the food. Shiitake mushrooms, pine mushrooms, paengi mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and tofu are the stars of the mushroom and tofu hot pot, while the well boiled broth and fresh vegetables make for a great supporting cast. Tofu and mushrooms are very valuable ingredients. If you combine them, you can make anything from clear soups to spicy stews. Heavy drinkers who had too many drinks the night before can say goodbye to their hangover with the mushroom and tofu hot pot served here at Sanbital. But this is a dish that goes well with liquors as well, so you’ll have to agonize over whether to order drinks or not.

At Sanbital, in addition to the mushroom and tofu hot pot, you can also try its spicy soft tofu stew, rich soybean paste stew with tofu, and stir-fried tofu and kimchi. These are dishes where you can gorge yourself on tofu to your heart’s content. After tasting Sanbital’s appetizers and desserts, such as buckwheat crèpe, acorn jelly salad, and half-moon sorghum cakes, you might lose your senses in your gluttonous desire to eat more.


Address: 295, Sanjeonghosu-ro Yeongbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-534-3992

Opening Hours: 10:00~20:00 (closed: 14:30~16:30), Closed on Lunar New Year’s Day and Chuseok, and the day before Chuseok.

Price: Mushroom & tofu hot pot KRW 28,000 ~ 50,000, set menu with spicy soft tofu stew KRW 9,000, rich soybean paste stew with tofu KRW 8,000, buckwheat crepe KRW 10,000, acorn jelly salad KRW 13,000, half-moon sorghum cakes KRW10,000


3. Pocheon Art Valley, an Art Exhibition Center Built One Step at a Time Deep in a Mountain Valley


The construction industry played a leading role in the country’s industrialization, and many mountains were hollowed out in order to use their stone as a major building material. The mountains of Pocheon, which is famed for its stones, are no exception. The strong granite quarried here is renowned for its beautiful patterns, which is why it was used as the building material for the Blue House as well as the National Assembly and Supreme Court buildings. As the granite of Pocheon gained fame, the sound of the quarries got louder and the injuries inflicted on the mountains became increasingly severe.

The city of Pocheon decided to act to resuscitate the natural environment of the region. Plans were developed to construct cultural and arts centers in places where mountains had been scarred by quarrying. Stone sculptures were erected, and an astronomical observatory was built at the foot of a mountain that had become a ruin. A lake, a viewing platform, and cafes were opened to attract dating couples among other visitors.

A monorail was installed to take visitors to the top of the mountain, enabling them to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire Pocheon Art Valley and the surrounding areas. When you get off the monorail, you can visit the Astronomical Science Museum where you can see exhibitions about the stars and watch a 4D movie on astronomy. Furthermore, if you make an advance reservation you can view the sun, moon and stars through the astronomical telescope in the astronomical observation center.

Nearby Cheonju Lake was formed by rain water falling into a cavity hollowed out by the removal of rock. The rock walls and the lake together create a scene that is comparable to viewing the Chinese Yangtze River on a cruise ship. On good weather days you can spend time in the outdoor sculpture park or pop into the observation café to drink a cup of tea.


Address: 234, Art valley-ro Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-538-3485

Opening Hours: Summer (Mar~Oct) 09:00~22:00, Winter (Nov~Feb) 09:00~21:00, Mondays 09:00~19:00

Admission: Adults KRW 5,000, Teenagers/Military Personnel KRW 3,000, Children KRW 1,500

Website: http://artvalley.pocheon.go.kr




4. The Sool Gallery Sansawon, A Time for Soaking-In the Aroma of Korean Traditional Liquor



A single glass of liquor contains all the patience, effort, time, devotion and wisdom of the person who made it. Liquor making is one thing where you can’t succeed simply on enthusiasm alone. From the selection of materials, ratio in the Mixing materials to the brewing process, it requires a precise scientific methodology. Sansawon is a traditional sool (liquor) gallery where the complexity of liquor can be felt through all five senses – it is a comprehensive cultural space that offers education and experience programs as well as products for purchase.


The tour of Sansawon starts from the second floor of the exhibition hall. The hall is a space for showing visitors everything about traditional Korean liquor making - old literature, big liquor crocks, liquor bottles, small liquor jugs, liquor sediment strainer (basket), and liquor kettles. At Sansawon, visitors can take part in a program where they can experience home-made wine making and fruit wine making. On the first floor, you can taste and purchase wines. These wines are produced by the Baesangmyun Brewery Co., Ltd which operates Sansawon. You can hear people who drove here sighing in dismay at not being able to taste some of the wines.


The Sansa Garden is one place you should definitely visit. It was named ‘Sae-wall-lang’ to convey the message that making a good liquor requires much time and effort. You have to walk along a path made next to the exhibition hall. As soon as you enter the garden, you will be astonished by the sight of about 500 huge liquor crocks. If you go past the ‘Sewolrang ’, you will come across a large court with a traditional roofed building and a nugak, a kind of a pavilion . Called “Woo-gok-rue,” the building was named after the founder of the Baesangmyun Brewery Co., Ltd. The structure on the left is named Chi-seon-Gakh, and is an identical copy of Gwangpunggak Pavilion in Soswaewon Garden. Opposite Chi-seon-Gak is a warehouse that was moved here from Buan.


Address: 25, Hwadong-ro 432beon-gil Hwahyeon-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-531-9300

Opening Hours: 08:30~17:30

Admission: Adults KRW 3000, home-made liquor, seasonal liquor brewing KRW 30,000, fruit wine brewing KRW 45,000

Website: http://www.sansawon.co.kr


1.  Myeongseongsan Mountain is the source of the water that flows into Sanjeong Lake. The mountain is beloved by visitors in autumn because it is covered by silver grass between the end of September and early October. The sight of silver grass flowers dancing in the wind all along the mountain ridge is a fabulous sight to behold.

    2.  The statue of Gungye, which can be found on the walking trail around Sanjeong Lake, was not erected merely as a decorative feature but actually represents a legend. When Gungye, who was fleeing from King Taejo Wanggun of Goryeo, sought refuge at the mountain, his cries of grief over the collapse of his kingdom reverberated through the mountain. Hence the mountain came to be known by the character ‘myeong’ (‘crying’) and the character ‘seong’ (‘sound’). According to the same legend, Gungye was killed on this mountain, and the cries of his grieving subjects could be heard throughout the mountain. This is the reason why the mountain was called “Crying Mountain”. Myeongseongsan means “Crying Mountain” in Chinese.

  2. 3.  In each season of the year Sansawon holds specific events, such as the Sansawon Spring Event, the Ice Wine Event, the Sansawon Autumn Welcoming Event, and the Winter Welcoming Event (Moju Makgeolli Is Boiling). During these events, you can drink wine in limited quantities and also buy them.

    Public Transportation Information

    [Bus] Seoul-Pocheon (Uncheon), Take bus no. 3002 bus at the East Seoul Bus Terminal and get off at the Uncheon Bus Terminal. Take bus no. 71-1 or 138-6 departing from Uncheon for Sanjeong Lake and get off at the Sanjeong Lake Parking Lot. The trip takes about 20 minutes.


    Driving Information

    Sejong Pocheon Expressway(Guri~Pocheon) → Turn towards Uncheon, Cheolwon at the Shinbuk IC → Manse 3-Way Intersection → Seongdong 3-Way Intersection → Turn right at the Munam 3-Way Intersection → Sanjeonghosoo-ro → Lake Sanjeong