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Arts & Cultur A New Style of Travel, Staycation in Gwangmyeong


Autumn in Gwangmyeong filled with the fragrance of culture and arts

The season of the moon rising in the cool wind has come. How about savoring the flavor of culture in addition to shopping? You can enjoy the luxury of drinking a glass of wine while looking at the fantastic light show in Gwangmyeong Cave -- the only cave in the capital area -- and think of nature while appreciating the novel products in Upcycle Art Center. A literary travel cannot be omitted in the season that’s perfect for reading. Ki Hyung-do Literary House is worth visiting. Let’s enjoy small but certain happiness in Gwangmyeong this emotional season of autumn.



Tour Course

Gwangmyeong Cave → 600m, 10 minutes on foot → Gwangmyeong Upcycle Art Center → 5.7km, 12 minutes by car → Ki Hyung-do Literary House → 2.89km, 10 minutes by car → Riddler’s Coffee Roasters

1. Culture and arts created in an abandoned mine - Gwangmyeong Cave



If you think “caves are tourist attractions for senior citizens only,” you don’t know about Gwangmyeong Cave or you have not been to the cave. As the only cave in the capital area filled with the flavor of culture and arts, Gwangmyeong Cave used to be a place of exploitation of Korea’s natural resources during the Japanese colonial rule, a shelter during the Korean War, and a warehouse of salted shrimp after the closure of the mine. Now, the mine has been reborn as a theme park displaying culture and arts.

The 2km section of the cave opened to the public is equipped with an arts center, an aqua world, the modern history center, the wine cave, and the cave restaurant instead of the usual dark, dusty scenery. Do you want to take a once-in-a-lifetime photo shot? Do you want to find an unusual place for dating? Do you want to enjoy special travel with a friend? All these are possible in Gwangmyeong Cave.

As soon as you enter the cave, you will feel cold at the Path of Wind. The road soon leads to the “Space of Light.” The fantastic light above your head in the cave looks like stars twinkling in the night sky. If you want to enjoy more splendid scenery, visit “Cave Arts Center” every 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and 50 minutes. The fantastic media façade show is spread on the dark plaza of the cave. There are many other things to see in the cave: “Aqua World,” which shows rare fish; “Golden Wall of Wishes,” which keeps the wishes of visitors; “Time Capsule Center” that lets you make memories with a special person; and “Modern History Center,” which shows the history of Gwangmyeong Cave, etc. connected in the labyrinth of the cave.

Wine Cave and Cave Restaurant are waiting for you at the dead end. They are the best places to spend time slowly savoring the atmosphere of the cave. Wine Cave stores and sells more than 170 kinds of Korean wine. You can taste various kinds of wine including wild grape wine, mulberry wine, and blueberry wine. If you have had your fill of wine, it’s time to set the mood in the cave restaurant “Maru de Cave.” The place uses the distinct characteristic of the cave to create a romantic atmosphere, so it is good for young lovers. The restaurant sells wine, coffee, and desserts in addition to dishes such as pasta and steak.  


Address: 142, Gahak-ro 85beon-gil, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel.: +82-070-4277-8902

Operating hours: 09:00~18:00, Closed on Mondays

Admission: Adult KRW 6,000, Teenager KRW 3,500, Child KRW 2,000

Website: http://www.gm.go.kr/cv



2. A space that teaches about the preciousness of abandoned things – Gwangmyeong Upcycle Art Center



Getting out of Gwangmyeong Cave and walking toward Upcycle Art Center on the opposite side, you will see a strange installation in the front yard of a building. It is made with the side mirrors of cars. A large installation artwork has been made with the side mirrors of cars collected from junkyards nationwide. Waste tires become a bench. The word “upcycle” is a word coined with “upgrade” and “recycle.” It means producing a new product by adding values to waste items beyond recycling. Upcycling beyond recycling has become a new trend worldwide.

Upcycle Art Center holds special exhibitions using various products made with waste resources. Novel products that have been exhibited so far include the toy robot made with waste iron and a mirror made with bread wrapping paper. The current exhibition of “The great rebirth of PET bottles” will continue until Dec. 16. PET bottles in various colors are broken apart and attached together to reproduce a world under the sea or a green tea farm with numerous white tea flowers as well as large polar bears, lightings, accessories, etc.

Waste resources also become useful design props. If you want to have some ideas that can be used in daily life, drop by the art shop on the opposite side of the exhibition hall. You will be fascinated by the colorful pouch made with abandoned umbrella cloth, stylish chair made with worn-out jeans, and dish made with a wine bottle pressed flat.


Address:142 Gahak-ro 85-gil, Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do


Operating hours: 10:00~18:00, Closed on Mondays

Admission: Free

Website: https://gmupcycle.modoo.at



3. Story of a great poet to Youth –Ki Hyung-do Literary House

Who said youth is green, or painful? Ki Hyung-do is a great poet who died young at age 29 after writing unique poems such as “A black leaf on the lip” and “An empty house.” I am going to meet him, who remains an icon of “permanent youth” even now, with a book of poems tucked under my arm.  

Ki Hyung-do Literary House was opened in Soha-dong (then Soha-ri of Seo-myeon) of Gwangmyeong City where the poet had lived as a child. The heavy words “poetry” and “literature” don’t fit this place, and the space for the youth is decorated in a friendly way with stylish use of images, sound, and light. It makes you so comfortable and you can feel and enjoy the place with all your five senses.

Ki Hyung-do started his literary career after his poem “Mist” won an award in the Annual Spring Literary Contest of Dong-A Daily News. He passed the employment exam of JooangAng Daily when he was a university student and wrote poems exchanging with many literary friends while working as a reporter. The exhibition hall displays the short life of the poet in a time sequence. The first room titled “The Teenager” shows traces of life of  the poet when he started writing study notes from his middle school days. “Forest of White Poplar” shows the activities of the poet when he wrote many poems in earnest as a university student receiving the Yun Dong-ju Literary Award. The last room, “The Evening Stop,” displays the letter of acceptance sent by JooangAng Daily, a two-piece suit, and the poems he wrote while working as a reporter.

While following the literary world of the poet, you will be able to experience the distinctiveness of his representative poems. You can read each phrase of the poems “Mist” and “An empty house” over and over again with stylish images, listen to the poems of Ki Hyung-do recited by famous writers using headphones, and also send representative poems through e-mail after typing them on the monitor. You may also immerse yourself in reading full of emtion in the little library, book café, or outdoor literature park.


Address: 268, Ori-ro, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tel. +82-2-2621-8860

Operating hours: 09:00~18:00 (Mar.~Oct.), 09:00~17:00 (Nov.~Feb.), Closed on Mondays

Admission: Free

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



4. A café decorated nicely with trendy interior - Riddler’s Coffee Roasters



After being completely absorbed in the fragrance of poetry, I am desperate for a cup of coffee in the afternoon. Tasty coffee and desserts plus a unique atmosphere will be perfect. Located 5 minutes away from Gwangmyeong Station, there is a distinctive café in the alley between the apartment complex and the commercial district. At a glance, the interior with white and blue colors looks stylish. Riddler’s Coffee Roasters opened last fall. As the name “Riddler” suggests, the entrance looks enigmatic. Entering the shop by pushing the large revolving door, Barista Zone with an open kitchen layout catches my eye. A person is brewing Dutch coffee in the roasting room inside the shop.  

The signature product of the shop is cream cold brew. The clean and sweet taste of the cream combined with the richly flavored cold brew is most delicious. All the cream used for the beverages in the shop is made directly at the shop. Specialty teas such as Green Blossom and Earl Grey, Hand-drip Coffee, Match Latte, and Affogato are also popular. Another attraction of Riddler’s Coffee Roasters is the sumptuous desserts such as macarons, cakes, brownies, etc. Slightly bitter coffee and sweet desserts are always a good combination. The macarons supplied by Le reve de bebe boast of chewy texture and splendid colors. More than 20 kinds of macarons are available including aromatic peanut caramel, fresh grapefruit blanc, and earl grey noir with delicate scent.  


Address: 4, Yangdal-ro 20beon-gil, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do


Operating hours: 10:00~22:00

Menu: Cream Cold Brew KRW 6,000, Macaron KRW 3,000

Website: www.instagram.com/riddlers_coffee_roasters





1. If you want to do the tour more comfortably, you may choose to use the Gwangmyeong Tour Bus shuttle, which starts at KTX Gwangmyeong Station and stops at IKEA, Ki Hyung-do Literary House, Chunghyeon Museum, Gwangmyeong Cave, Bamil Food Culture Street, Gwangmyeong Traditional Market, and Cheolsan Station and then returns to KTX Gwangmyeong Station (Tue.~Sun.). The bus fare is 2,000 won for adults. Inquiry: 02-2610-2010.

2. Gwangmyeong Upcycle Art Center conducts classes on making bottle lighting and mini frame every weekend. You can do upcycling by yourself with abandoned palette, magazine, bottle top, etc. You need to make a reservation on the website.


Public Transportation Information

[Subway] Exit #2 of Cheolsan Station of Seoul Subway Line No. 7. Take intra-city bus No. 17 at the bus stop of Gwangmyeong Police Station and get off at the bus stop of Gwangmyeong Cave. Travel time is about 50 minutes.


Driving Information

Gwangmyeong IC → Gahak Three-way Intersection → Gwangmyeong Cave (Parking Lot #1 and #2)