‘Hangang,’ deriving from the vernacular name ‘Hangaram,’ means the ‘large river.’ ‘Han’ is an adjective signifying ‘big,’ ‘long’ or ‘great,’ and ‘garam,’ an ancient term meaning ‘river,’ though some say that it was itself used to designate large rivers, rather than as a general term for rivers. In some foreign records, the Hangang River is also referred to as "Seoulgang (Seoul River)." The Hangang is the largest river in Korea, flowing from Gangwon-do, then through Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeonggi-do and Seoul, finally emptying into the West Sea.
Rail bikes are four-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicles that run on the rail road, at an average speed of 10-30km per hour. In Jeongseon, a section of the local rail road, extending 7.2km in total length, is reserved for rail bike ride. At Gujeol-ri Station, the departure point of the rail bike ride, there is a café, shaped like a male and female grasshopper, called "Yeochiui Kkum (The Grasshoppers’ Dream)." The first floor of the building is occupied by a spaghetti place, and the coffee shop is on the second floor. At Auraji Station, the arrival point, another café awaits rail-bikers with coffee and refreshments. The café has a façade which depicts an endangered fish, known as "Eoreumchi (Hemibarbus mylodon)," in the midst of spawning.
Bikers return to the point of departure aboard a sight-seeing train, named "Ariari." The ride back on this comfortable train through the scenic countryside of Jeongseon is a true treat after a strenuous 7km round of pedaling.
Visitors wishing to spend the night in this area might want to check out the train-car bed-and-breakfast at Gujeol-ri Station. Guestrooms set up inside Tongil, Saemaeul or Mungunghwa Trains sleep two to four people, and offer a Korean or Western-style sleeping arrangements.
This village provided the setting for Yangbanjeon (Tale of a Yangban), the famous Sino-Korean classic novel by Park Ji-won. The time-honored village, populated by picturesque ancient homes, is a great place to learn about traditional housing styles native to the Jeongseon area. The traditional homes showcased in this village range from a standard tile-roof house to houses typical to mountainous areas such as gulpijip, an oak bark roofed house, neowajip, a wood slab-roofed house, jeoreupjip, a hemp stem-thatched roof house, and gwiteuljip, a log house. The village also features a variety of traditional mills. The village square, meanwhile, flaunts highly realistic sculptures of yangban, Joseon’s upper-class members satirically portrayed in Park Ji-won’s Yangbanjeon, and "Jeongseon Arirang," the famous folk song originating from Jeongseon, can be heard in a loop from an outdoor sound system.
This traditional market opens every five days, on the 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd and 27th of each month, between April and November. Wild greens and medicinal herbs are the principle goods traded at this market. Gastronomic pleasure is an integral part of touring this market. Its food court serves a large palette of mouthwatering local specialty dishes of Gangwon-do, based on wild greens and buckwheat.
This lovely and peaceful river cove with a sand dune rising from the water like an isle was the stage of one of the most tragic episodes of Korean history. Hundreds of years ago, the Joseon King Danjong, dethroned by a coup, was sent into forced exile at this place, surrounded by water on three sides and otherwise blocked by rugged mountain ridges. Although connected to the riverbank, boat trips were the only practically possible means for entering and leaving the area
Among the landmarks associated with last years of King Danjong’s life are an ancient pine tree and a rock mound. The dethroned king is said to have been fond of sitting on the forking point of two large branches of this pine tree, baptized "Gwaneumsong" a name meaning literally the ‘pine tree that saw and heard (the aggrieved monarch and his laments).’ The rock mound, located at the summit of a rock cliff between Yugyukbong Peaks and Nosandae Peak, is said to have been made by the king himself, by gathering and piling rocks that lay about, to express his inconsolable longing for Hanyang, the royal capital, and his queen consort, whom he had left behind there.
Seonam Village is nestled on a small land strip jutting into the Seogang River. Like a miniature of the Korean peninsula, this headland has a steep shoreline on its east side with its west side consisting of a gently sloping landmass. This water-locked village, so idyllic when seen from the observation deck, is truly a thing of beauty.
Seondol is a gigantic rock, shaped like a tower, located at a bend of the Seogang River. According to an ancient local legend, Taoist ‘immortals’ were fond of strolling around this rock. The observation deck, set up on the summit of this rock, is great for enjoying the view of the magnificent Seogang River and the splendid surroundings.