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Arts & Cultur A New Style of Travel, Staycation in Suwon and Hwaseong




One day in Suwon and Hwaseong spent in the forest of arts, history, imagination, and books

I walk into the forest for a stroll. Wandering around and taking a deep breath there, I feel my soul refreshed by the clean energy of the forest. I am going to look around the forest of arts created by remodeling an abandoned building, the forest of history enshrining the late kings, the forest of imagination filled with culture and arts, and the snug forest of books. Even time seems to pass by slowly in the forest of October.


Travel Schedule

SODA Museum in Hwaseong → 1.97, 4 minutes by car → Yungneung and Geolleung Royal Tombs, Hwaseong → 8.04, 20 minutes by car → Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus in Suwon → 4.53

, 15 minutes by car → Broccoli Forest, a bookstore in the alley

1. Stylish transformation of a sauna – SODA Museum 



The SODA Museum is a forest of arts located between an apartment complex and a farmland. You may wonder who would come to this remote place, but it is actually a hot place that is famous in SNS. Children are playing at the entrance, and inside the entrance are lovers who are busy taking photos. It is the first scene that greeted me in the forest of SODA Museum.

The SODA Museum was originally built as a sauna building. Being uncertain about the successful operation of the sauna business during the construction of the building, the owner decided to demolish the building and went to an architect. The idea of the architect was to “create an exhibition space using the unfinished building.” The agreement between the two resulted in the creation of the museum. It is more interesting to look around the building with such unusual background story. It is fun to imagine the original s and shapes of the bathtub and locker room while seeing the exposed walls and pillars due to the unfinished construction.

There are three exhibition halls on the first floor – Gallery 1, 2, and 3. The dent on the floor of Gallery 2 is one of the traces of the structure of sauna. The place with the white table is a window café. The phrase “Look at the sky” written on the wall seems to make a suggestion to the person sitting at the table.

The outdoor exhibition hall is a roofless gallery made with only the concrete structure without a roof. As there is no border between the interior and the exterior, except the frame, the outside scene could be part of the artwork. Next to the place is the Sky Shower where you can play in the rain even on sunny days. It is where children’s laughter originates. In the garden and on the second floor are container boxes named Play Box, Show Box, Art Box, and Drink Box, which are used for children’s play or exhibition.



Address: 30, Hyohaeng-ro 707beon-gil, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel. +82-


Operating hours 10:00~19:00, Closed on Mondays, Lunar New Year holidays, and Chuseok holidays

Admission: Adult KRW 9,000, Student KRW 7,000, Preschooler (over 36 months) KRW 5,000

Website: https://museumsoda.org




2. Yungneung and Geolleung Royal Tombs, Hwaseong where the father who was locked up in a rice bin and his son are buried in deep sorrow.



Yungneung and Geolleung Royal Tombs, Hwaseong are the graves of the people sacrificed in the tragic history of the Joseon Dynasty. Yungneung Royal Tomb is the grave of Crown Prince Sado (Honorary Emperor Jangjo) and Empress Heongyeong, and Geolleung Royal Tomb is the grave of King Jeongjo -- who is the son of Prince Sado -- and Queen Hyoeui. Crown Prince Sado was named Prince Jangheon after King Jeongjo ascended to the throne and became the Honorary Emperor Jangjo in 1899 when his wife was honored as Empress Heongyeong, too.  

Though the father who got locked up and died in a rice bin and the son who grew up in sorrow are buried in the place, the air is so peaceful. As if the heart of the son is soothing the resentment of his father, there was warm dignity over the two tombs. The sunlight on my shoulder and acorns on the ground seemed to welcome my visit to the forest of history.

Passing by the ritual house and the history and culture center, you will see a forked road. The left road leads to Yungneung Royal Tomb, and the right road, to Geolleung Royal Tomb. You can enjoy walking under the deep-rooted trees standing high in the beautiful forest. The atmosphere is as good as that of an arboretum. Even the oddly shaped curve of the pine tree stretching toward the sky and the squirrel fleeing with big round eyes at the sound of people comfort our mind. How come our ancestors could make the forest surrounding the tomb so elegant? On the way to the royal tomb, I sat down on a bench to enjoy the time without any thought in my head. In addition to the graves, the site of Yungneung and Geolleung Royal Tombs have many things to show such as Gonsinji Pond, trail, spiked red gate , and a pavilion. You may spend a long leisurely time there. 


Address: 21-1, Hyohaeng-ro 481beon-gil, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-31-222-0142

Operating hours:  Feb.~May, Sep.~Oct.: 09:00~18:00 / Jun.~Aug.: 09:00~18:30 / Nov.~Jan.: 09:00~17:30

Admission: 25~64 years: KRW 1,000

Website: http://royaltombs.cha.go.kr/html/HtmlPage.do?pg=/new/html/portal_01_13_01.jsp&mn=RT_01_13




3. The basis of imagination supporting culture and arts - Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus


The forests are spread on both sides of the straight road. The buildings beyond the trees and the lawn look old at a glance. The buildings built in the shape of a square box may look monotonous, but their interior atmosphere is totally different. The campus where young students had studied for a long time was moved to Seoul, and the Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus, a composite cultural space, was built on the site.

The College of Agriculture of Seoul National University moved from Suwon to Seoul in 2003. The buildings became empty, and only the forests remained. For 13 years, the buildings untouched by man remained abandoned, but the forests on the campus grew thicker day after day. The people who took notice of the wide forest and empty buildings met and agreed to make a cultural base of Gyeonggi-do. They repainted the outer walls and repaired old and broken spots. They collected ideas to  make the most of each space’s feature for the revitalization of the campus. Culture revived the stopped heart again, and imagination widened the blocked blood vessels. It was the beginning of Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus.

Each building was given a new name such as Life1980, Youth1981, Handicraft1967, and Life1990. The numbers mean the year of construction of the buildings. Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus provides various programs to support young people who are interested in culture and arts as well as the local residents. There are rooms for the exhibition of trendy artworks and cafes for visitors to rest. The hill of meditation, the lawn plaza, the get-together ground, and the sky garden are some of the popular outdoor resting areas.

Address:166, Seodun-ro, Gwonseon-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do


Operating hours 10:00~18:00, Closed on Mondays / Trail Mar.~Nov.: 05:30~19:30, Dec.~Feb.: 05:30~17:30

Admission: Free

Website: http://sscampus.kr






4. The Broccoli Forest: a bookstore in the alley built with green vegetables


A forest built with broccoli? It seems to be weird but amusing, imagining these small green vegetables gather and form a colony. There is a carefully grown forest of books in the back alley of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. It is the Broccoli Forest, a bookstore in the alley.

The bookstore began by accident. Lee Gyeong-hee and Park Jeong-min, who were fellow workers at a company, took time to travel together. They visited an indie bookstore during their travel like destiny. The bookstore was not fancy, but they were enchanted by the charm of the bookstore, which greeted the local readers with various kinds of books. The owner of the bookstore held book concerts, too, to introduce books in the narrow bookstore built by remodeling an old farmhouse. That was when they began to think of opening a bookstore.

The of the bookstore was also decided while they traveled. One day in fall, they visited Haenggung-dong near Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and decided to open a bookstore there, charmed by the atmosphere of the neighborhood. It was not difficult to decide the name of the bookstore. As they both liked food made with broccoli and loved listening to the songs of a Rock Band named “Broccoli you too!”, they decided the name of the bookstore very naturally.

Despite the plain interior of Broccoli Forest, the genres of the books range widely. From indie books dealing with fresh and experimental themes to books about literature, arts, essay, humanities, picture, photo, etc., various kinds of books are displayed here and there like treasures. The lovely goods made in stylish designs are also very popular. The time of reading books at the table in front of the bookstore while drinking dripped coffee at Broccoli Forest is like a free gift of the bookstore in the alley.


Address: 21-10, Hwaseomun-ro 32beon-gil, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Operating hours: 13:00~20:00, all year round
Admission: Free

Website: https://blog.naver.com/broccoli_soop



1. Sky Shower of SODA Museum is operated for 20 minutes per hour from noon to 5 p.m. on hot days of over 25 until October. Those who want to experience Sky Shower can rent umbrellas from the museum for 1,000 won per piece.


2. Gyeonggi Sangsang Campus runs various programs including Foret Foret, a market in the forest, Sonsari Workshop, Sonsari Market Day, and Youth Laboratory. Refer to the website for details.



Public Transportation Information

[Subway] Exit #2 of Byeongjeom Station of Subway Line No. 1 (bound for Sinchang, Cheonan, and Byeongjeom). Take shuttle bus no. 35-2A or 35-2B at the bus stop of the back gate of Byeongjeom Station and get off at Ubang Apartment bus stop. It takes about 15 minutes.



Driving Information

Second Ring Expressway of the Capital Area → Osan-Hwaseong Expressway → West Osan IC → Bongyeong-ro in the direction of Bongdam and Byeongjeom → Right turn at Hwasan 3 Bridge → Hyohaeng-ro → Right turn at Areum Shinhan Migean Apt. → SODA Museum