Thu, Sep 23, 2021, 23:03 KST (UTC+9)  Seoul  Korea

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Travel Highlights

Travel Highlights

Peaceful Valleys and Waterfalls to Admire Nature

  • Tag Tour
  • Date09/01/2021
  • Hit3091
Valley stream near Dongnakdang House

The summer heat has finally passed, making time spent outdoors even more enjoyable! While urban parks are convenient, nothing can top the peace you’ll feel relaxing in the heart of a mountain valley or before a cooling waterfall. Many of the valleys feature walking paths, swimming areas, restaurants serving local foods, and accommodations ranging from camping to staying in a traditional house.

Bidulginangpokpo Falls

Bidulginangpokpo Falls

If you’re a fan of K-dramas and films, you’ve probably seen Bidulginangpokpo Falls without knowing the name. Appearing in popular dramas like “Kingdom (2019)” and “Arthdal Chronicles (2019),” this waterfall is located within the Hantangang National Geopark in Pocheon. The waterfall’s name, meaning Pigeon Falls in Korean, comes from the droves of wild pigeons that used to live in the caves around the waterfall. Many people come here for the mysterious ambiance and profound coloring of the pool, easily captured in photographs.

 Columnar joints and cave of Bidulginangpokpo Falls

The area around Bidulginangpokpo Falls features many columnar joints formed by volcanic activity, similar to those found on Jeju Island. Perhaps more fantastic though is the half-moon shaped cave that formed below the joints and behind the waterfall. Thanks to the moist atmosphere, there are plenty of mosses, vines, and ferns growing around the waterfall and pool.

View of the Hantangang River from the sky bridge
  • Hantangang Sky Bridge
  • Meonguri Gorge

After admiring the waterfall, enjoy some time along the Hantangang Dulle Trail. You can cross the river using the impressive Hantangang Sky Bridge, a suspension bridge that offers a great view of the gorge. Meonguri Gorge, located around 7 kilometers from the waterfall, stretches for 4 kilometers, and has been called the “Grand Canyon of Korea.”

Bidulginangpokpo Falls

  • Address: 415-2, Daehoesan-ri, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 포천시 영북면 대회산리 415-2)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 15 min from Uncheon Intercity Bus Terminal or Pocheon Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
  • Admission: Free
  • Website: www.hantangeopark.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Hantangang Sky Bridge

  • Address: 377, Daehoesan-ri, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 포천시 영북면 대회산리 377)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 15 min from Uncheon Intercity Bus Terminal or Pocheon Inercity Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr
  • Admission: Free
  • Website: www.hantangeopark.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Meonguri Gorge

  • Address: Area of 783-17, Uncheon-ri, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 포천시 영북면 운천리 783-17 일대)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Uncheon Intercity Bus Terminal or Pocheon Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr
  • Admission: Free
  • Website: www.hantangeopark.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Oksan Valley Stream

Oksan valley stream near Dongnakdang House

Gyeongju, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is rich in history with many attractions like Cheomseongdae Observatory, Bulguksa Temple, and Daereungwon Tomb Complex. To escape modern life and enjoy the tranquil passage of time here, relax at Dongnakdang House, a 500-year-old house on the way to UNESCO-recognized Oksanseowon Confucian Academy. The house is backed by a quiet valley stream.

  • Oksan valley stream near Dongnakdang House

While most of the stream is quite shallow, there is a section near Oksanseowon that is deep enough for swimming. While here, be sure to stroll through the academy grounds. A center for scholarly pursuits during the Joseon period, the temple offers the majesty and grandeur of the royal palaces, but on a more pulled-back scale.

  • Oksan valley stream near Oksanseowon Confucian Academy
  • Oksanseowon Confucian Academy
Oksanseowon Confucian Academy

Dongnakdang House

  • Address: 300-3, Oksanseowon-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 경주시 안강읍 옥산서원길 300-3)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min or Bus No. 203 for approx. 1 hr 30 min from Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Room rates: Yeongnakjae (2-person room) 60,000 won / Gyeongcheongjae (2-person room; max. 5 people) 70,000 won / Byeolchae (4-person room; max. 6 people) 130,000 won
  • Use: Open to guests only
    * Currently unavailable due to interior construction
  • Website: www.독락당.com (Korean only)

Oksanseowon Confucian Academy

  • Address: 216-27, Oksanseowon-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 경주시 안강읍 옥산서원길 216-27)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min or Bus No. 203 for approx. 1 hr 30 min from Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: April-September 09:00-18:00 / October-March 09:00-17:00
  • Admission: Free

Heungjeonggyegok Valley

Heungjeonggyegok Valley
  • Heungjeonggyegok Valley
  • Heungjeonggyegok Auto-campground

Heungjeonggyegok Valley is located in the pristine natural environment of Pyeongchang, the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The valley stream is popular for summer vacations, with the water depth being just right for splashing around and auto-campgrounds located nearby. Aside from summer, the lush forest also attracts many people, with over 50,000 visitors coming every year.

  • Memilmuk
  • Memil jeonbyeong
Memil guksu

While in Pyeongchang, be sure to try dishes made with the local specialty, buckwheat! The makguksu (spicky buckwheat noodles) and memilmuk (buckwheat jelly) are made with a higher amount of buckwheat for a stronger flavor. For a full set of buckwheat dishes, add on an order of memil jeonbyeong (buckwheat crepes).

Herbnara Farm

If you’re still in the mood for nature, head to the nearby Herbnara Farm. This themed garden is home to over 100 types of herbs and flowers, releasing an aromatic medley that fills the area.

Heungjeonggyegok Valley

  • Address: Heungjeonggyegok, Heungjeong-ri, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원도 평창군 봉평면 흥정리 흥정계곡)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Pyeongchang Station
  • Heungjeonggyegok Valley auto-campgrounds
    - Heungjeonggyegok Camping 700: Site rental starts from 40,000 won, online reservations (camping700.co.kr; Korean only)
    - Heungjeonggyegok Auto-campground: 캠핑Site rental starts from 40,000 won, online and phone reservations (hjcamp.kr; Korean only / +82-10-4095-1474; Korean, English)

Herbnara Farm

  • Address: 225, Heungjeonggyegok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원도 평창군 봉평면 흥정계곡길 225)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Pyeongchang Station
  • Operating hours: May-October 09:00-18:00, no closed days / November-April 09:00-17:30, closed Tuesdays
  • Admission
    - May-October: Adults 8,000 won / Children & Senior citizens 5,000 won
    - November-April: Adults 5,000 won / Children & Senior citizens 3,000 won
    * Adults (ages 13-64) / Children (ages 7-12) / Senior citizens (ages 65 & older)

Buckwheat restaurants

  • Memilkkot Pil Muryeop: 33-11, Ihyoseok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원도 평창군 봉평면 이효석길 33-11)
  • Memilkkothyanggi: 33-2, Ihyoseok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원도 평창군 봉평면 이효석길 33-5)

Baeksasilgyegok Valley

  • Path to Baeksasilgyegok Valley
  • Hyeontongsa Temple

You can still enjoy a relaxing valley experience, even if traveling out of Seoul is difficult. Baeksasilgyegok Valley in Buam-dong is easily accessible within one hour via public transportation and a bit of walking, yet remains relatively hidden within a deep forest north of the main city area.

Baeksasilgyegok Valley

Baeksasilgyegok Valley is located at the foot of Bugaksan Mountain, and is so isolated, it can be hard to match the peaceful ambiance with that of the bustling city just outside the forest. The valley itself is a natural environment conservation area, meaning you won’t be able to dip your feet in the water here. However, the gently bubbling stream and the cool shade of the forest are enough to make Baeksasilgyegok Valley a relaxing escape from the city.

Baekseokdongcheon Garden Site
  • Palgakjeong Pavilion
  • Sanmotungi Café

Near the valley is the site of an old garden from the Joseon dynasty. Baekseokdongcheon Garden used to have a pavilion before a pond; now all that remains are the old stone pillar posts. If you walk a bit further to Buam-dong, you can visit the popular Sanmotungi Café or Palgakjeong Pavilion for views of the city spread below.

Baeksasilgyegok Valley

  • Address: 115, Buam-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 부암동 115)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 1711 or 7022 from Seoul Station Bus Transfer Center to Segeomjeong Elementary School Bus Stop and walk for approx. 10 min
    * Alternatively, take Bus No. 7730 from Hongje Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1 to Segeomjeong Elementary School Bus Stop
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr

Hyeontongsa Temple

  • Address: 82-4, Sinyeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 신영동 82-4)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 1711 or 7022 from Seoul Station Bus Transfer Center to Segeomjeong Elementary School Bus Stop and walk for approx. 10 min
    * Alternatively, take Bus No. 7730 from Hongje Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1 to Segeomjeong Elementary School Bus Stop
  • Operating hours: 06:00-17:30, open all year round
  • Admission: Free

Sanmotungi Café

  • Address: 153, Baekseokdong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 백석동길 153)
  • Directions: Walk for approx. 7 min from Baekseokdongcheon Stream in Baeksasilgyegok Valley
  • Operating hours: Weekdays 11:00-19:00 / Weekends 11:00-21:00 / Open all year round
  • Signature menus: Americano 7,000 won / Slice of cake 7,000 won

Palgakjeong Pavilion

  • Address: 267, Bugaksan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 북악산로 267)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 5 min from Baeksasilgyegok Valley
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr

More Info

  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in August 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.

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