Jeongseon is the perfect place for tourists in Korea. It’s is located in Gangwon-do Province near the east coast of Korea. Not only is it one of the 3 counties that will be hosting the 2018 winter Olympics, it is home to many exciting foods and attractions. The breathtaking scenery and beautiful untouched nature of this county is sure to make anyone want to stay.
Famous foods in this country side are a must try for everyone. Gondre rice, is a wild vegetable that is cooked with rice and eaten with soy sauce. It is very healthy and easy on digestion. Be sure to try some of the thick Kotdeuengchigi noodles, which are made of buckwheat. Kotdeungchigi actually means to “hit the nose” in Korean because of its unique thick and bouncy texture. These chewy noodles can be eaten cold in the summer or with soup, making it very versatile. Another dish made of buckwheat is buckwheat wrap. It is typically stuffed with spicy meats and vegetables that have been marinated.
Hwanggi, a Korean herb, is also used in various dishes. This herb actually prevents sweating so it is great to eat in the summer time. A savory Hwanggi chicken soup is a popular way to eat this herb. Andong Jijim Dak, steamed chicken, is a very interesting, more modern dish. This dish was created and inspired because of the rising popularity of fried chicken in the US. The sauce is what makes it special. Its spicy and sweet, and left over sauce can be used on noodles or rice. Besides these amazing flavors (and more) that all tourists are encouraged to try, there are countless attractions to keep you busy as well.
One of the most popular tourist sites is Arii Hills – Skywalk. It is a glass walkway on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the Donggang River. It is not for the faint of heart but definitely an adventure for friends or family. This one is just one of many places that are sure to blow you away with the view. Part of the skywalk is another daring activity – zip lining. Nearby the Byeongbangchi Observatory is the longest zip line in Asia so if you want to fly like a bird over the views of nature, now is the time to do it!
Not only can you see the Donggang river from the Arii Hills Skywalk, you might want to go down to get a closer look. The Donggang river weaves through the Gangwon-do district and it has barely been polluted, keeping it very well preserved. This is because of the strong current that helps it weave through its rocky location in the mountains. Here you can see a variety of rare wild animals like Chinese scops owls and mandarin ducks, and it’s a famous place that offers a white water rafting activity, so it is recommended for many tourists.
Next to the skywalk is the Jeongseon 5-day market, a highly recommended street market for locals and tourists. The style of this open market lets you get a feel for how ancient traditional markets used to be. There are many vendors with fresh produce and vegetables, and also a lot of street food. Its fun to walk through the market and look at each vendor while smelling and tasting the great food of Jeongseon. Home to the Jeonseon Arirang festival, many of the areas in Jeongseon will let you experience Korea in its original traditional beauty since much of its nature has not been disturbed. Arirang is one of the most celebrated festivals of the year. It is celebrated with folk songs that originate from Korea under Japanese rule. It’s not only a fun area but historical and educational as well since it retains so much rich culture and history.
Jeongseon Arirang 5-day Market
Because of the undisturbed nature of this land, many attractions in the area are nature related, so don’t forget to pack tennis shoes! You have to check out the 8 scenic views of Hwaam. That includes the Hwaam mineral spring, Turtle Rock, Yongmaso Pond, Hwaan Cave, Hwapyoju Stelar, Sogeumgang Valley, Morundae Cliff, and Gwangdaegok Valley.
The mineral spring, located in the Gurim Bawi Forest, is quite magical. The water is a mineral water that has collected many nutrients through the rocks, and it is said that it can cure many illnesses and infections with its crisp taste. It has also been said that if a possessed person drank the water, they would see a snake. The turtle rock, guardian of the town below it, shapes just like a large turtle. This rock has been here for thousands of years and is said to influence health and peacefulness. Yongmaso Pond, a calm pond with colorful rock and plants surrounding it, has quite the legend behind it. The story goes that a woman kills her baby son instead of letting him face a horrible death from political enemies. A horse looking for its owner has also drowned in mud by the pond, so this pond is said to hold the spirits of the boy and horse.
The Hwaam cave is a fun attraction and educational as well. It is a one and a half hour tour of a gold mine, and you will be shown how gold ore is excavated and processed. There are many caves and mines that have been turned into tourist attractions that you can visit besides this one, like the Samtan Art Mine. The Hwapyoju Stelar are two rock cliffs sitting on a mountain, and it is said that hermits would weave shoes here. The Sogeumgang Valley is an amazing place with water and interesting rock formations. Great for hiking and relaxing if you love to be surrounded by nature. The Morundae Cliff is a popular rock cliff for tourists to see amazing views of nature below it, and the Gwangdaegok Valley is a refreshing calming place for almost everyone! It is said that the impure will not be able to enter the forest as the trees and nature itself will injure impure humans. Many of these places like the Hwaam mineral spring have camping sites if that is what you enjoy.
Aside from viewing nature, you can ride a rail bike in Jeongseon, that goes straight through the forest (many shows and movies were filmed here), go to the High1 Ski Resort, or go to the various golf courses in the area. The High1 Resort is popular year round because its also a casino! If you don’t come in the winter in time to ski, you can ride the gondola or watch musical performances. Besides the Hwaam Cave and Samtan Art Mine, there is the Silver Grass Museum, and Jeongseon Art Museum. The Samtan Art Mine was created from an abandoned mine. It shows you how mining was done and what the miners used. On the third floor of this place there is another area that has modern art, so be sure to check out all of these places as well in Jeongseon before you leave, because the museums display so much history and art. Another fun historical landmark is the Woljeonsa Temple. It was created in the Silla dynasty, so its is well over a thousand years old. Surrounded by nature, this Buddhist temple is sure to bring you peace. Last but not least, the Daegwallyeong Farm is a great trip well worth taking. This large field has sheep roaming all over it and visitors love to come here to take pictures and feed the sheep.
Learn More about Jeongseon, South Korea:
Tourist Information: http://jeongseon.go.kr/en/