Photo: Sanjeonghosu Lake
A suburban city located a two-hour drive away from Seoul, Pocheon is a gift of nature. The natural landscape, made up of mountains and lakes, has remained untouched, allowing visitors to take in the scenic beauty. The tourist attractions in and around the city provide a chance for tourists to harmonize with the nature all around them. More than any other time, Pocheon is stunning in fall when the still waters of the lake reflect back the colors of the mountains and hillsides dressed up in vibrant reds and oranges.
Photo: Bright red foliage near Sanjeonghosu Lake
Sanjeonghosu Lake is an artificial lake made in 1925, with the meaning of “a well in a mountain.” The lake is surrounded by many tall mountains, and the sight of Myeongseongsan Mountain in particular reflecting on the mirror-like lake is not to be missed!
Photo: A gigantic statue in the Sculpture Park (left) / Wish notes tied to silver grass (right)
It takes about one and a half hours to leisurely walk the entire lake perimeter, and it is well-equipped with promenades that offer a convenient walk for everyone. Touring the area will not only give you a good amount of exercise but also an eye-pleasing experience, especially when the autumn aura is in full swing, with fields of silver grass turning golden in the sun. The sculpture park near the entrance of the lake is also fascinating to explore, with statues and artworks of all sizes on display.
Photo: Cheonjuho Lake at Pocheon Art Valley
Pocheon Art Valley was a granite quarry that underwent an amazing transformation into a tourist attraction visited by countless visitors. One of the most scenic points is Cheonjuho Lake. The harmony between the emerald waters of this natural reservoir and the razor straight cliffs is breathtaking. The lake has also grown in popularity after being featured in the recent Korean drama, "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)."
Photo: Walking trail (left) / Monorail train in operation (right)
In addition to Cheonjuho Lake, Pocheon Art Valley facilities include the Astronomical Science Museum, outdoor performing stage, a sculpture park and walking trails throughout. Pocheon Art Valley is located at the top of a mountain, making the walking trails rather steep. For those who find it tiring to walk around, a monorail is also in operation for a more comfortable visit.
Photo: Autumnal color in peak at Pyunggang Botanical Garden
Pyunggang Botanical Garden houses more than 7,000 species of flora both local to Korea and found around the world. The garden also features a marsh forest, the largest rock garden in Asia, a lotus pond that looks straight out of a watercolor painting, and many more beautiful attractions. The garden also hosts various events annually, to showcase the individual charms of each distinct season.
Photo: Scenes around Pyunggang Botanical Garden
The garden has many small details to create a romantic ambience. It has been featured in romance dramas such as "Can You Hear My Heart? (2011)," "Arang and the Magistrate (2012)," "Big (2012)," and many more. Couples can display their love by imitating scenes from the dramas on the wooden bridge over the marsh with the silver grass in the background.
Photo: Venice in Herb Island (top) / Herb Plant Museum (bottom left) / Herb products (bottom right)
Whether it is for romance or reviving the innocence of your childhood, Pocheon Herb Island covers it all. With the fresh scent of herbs, the herb museum here takes great pride for being the largest indoor herb garden in the world. In addition, the herbal healing center in the giant castle-like building offers unique bathing and colorful fragrance experiences. The bakery, cafés and restaurants also provide delicious tea and bread that are made from herbs, offering a full herb experience.
Photo: The Street of Nostalgia
In one section of Herb Island, themed-streets reproducing scenes of Korea in the 1970's and 1980's can be seen. Here, visitors can buy childhood snacks and listen to popular music from the time. Walking along The Street of Nostalgia, visitors will feel they have traveled to the past through a time machine.
Photo: Light & Fairy Tale Story Festival
Herb Island has plenty of things to see when the sun sets, entertaining enough to make you forget about the cold evening air of Pocheon. In the Light & Fairy Tale Story Festival, beautiful lights brighten the area, creating a stunning view that makes it hard for anyone to resist taking a photo. Visitors can also enjoy the exciting Christmas vibe all year-round with the colorful lighting displays at Santa Village.
Photo: Hangari, containers for fermenting traditional liquors (top) / Museum interior (bottom)
Pocheon is known for its crystal clear water, which contributed to the area becoming one of the most famous liquor production areas in the nation. Pocheon's traditional liquors are known for their exceptionally high quality and excellent taste and flavor. Sansawon carries out its role not only as a museum that provides a plethora of information on traditional liquors in Korea, but also as a place for liquor tasting and making home-brewed liquor. Visitors can take part in different programs, learn about the history of Korea's traditional liquors and take a relaxing walk around the garden.
Photo: Pocheon Idong Galbi (top, bottom left) / Pocheon Idong Galbi Village (bottom right)
Galbi (beef short ribs) in Idong-myeon, Pocheon, is wildly popular in Korea. There are several locations that have particularly great recipes for the short ribs. Pocheon has a long alley of restaurants and each restaurant attracts customers with its own unique taste and service.
Pocheon Idong Galbi, initially only popular among residents of the village, has earned nationwide fame. Marinated with special ingredients along with sweet and savory seasoning and soy sauce, Pocheon galbi has maintained the flavorful balance and tastes of each ingredient. Their famous local makgeolli (rice wine) is also known to be the best complement to this dish, which helps to stimulate digestion.
* This column was last updated in November 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on November 10, 2016>