1. Camp Greaves DMZ Experience Center (캠프 그리브스)
Camp Greaves is the returned place as of August 2007 after US Army Force withdrawal in 1997. The camp then renovated and reopen in 2013. It has turned into a peace and security experience facility with just about 2km away from the DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone). It is also the first youth hostel to be located within a restricted area for civilians in Paju city. The famous Korean Drama “Descendants of the Sun” was filmed here (Episode 2,4,9,11). Main actor Song Joong Ki and actress Song Hye Kyo’s waiting room are also located inside the Camp Greaves when they film this movie. If you are a fan of them and this drama, you will definitely fall in love with this place! To fulfill every need of the visitors, the camp offers diverse programs such as Security OX Quiz, making mini jangseung (totem pole), sotdae (wooden pole), camp playing activity, ‘Challenge DMZ Golden Bell’, and other exciting programs. In fact, you are also given the chance to engrave your own dog tags like the ones worn by the officers in the drama.
After visiting the campsite, we travel to Imjingak for lunch. Gyeonggi-do is a place that welcome our Muslim friends to visit. It’s a place where Muslim country doesn’t have to worry about non-Halal. Everything you find here is safe. We went to this famous restaurant where many Korean celebrities used to visit. What’s more can we ask for eating hot Korean seafood hot pot during winter?! Best feeling ever.
Programs you will get in touch with:
- Tour of filming locations
- Trying on military uniforms
- Taking pictures at the photo zone
- Making your own dog tags
- Having unique pictures taken using the chroma key (green screen ) technique
- Address: 137, Jeoksipja-ro, Gunnae-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
- Transportation: 1 hour from Seoul
- Tel: +82319536970
- Official Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=2376049
- Admission Fees: 14,000 won
2. Pocheon Herb Island, Herb Kingdom (허브아일랜드)
“The best present of nature”
Herb Island is a tourist attraction that focuses on growing Mediterranean herbs. It is a Herb Tourism Farm (Theme Park), located in Shinbuk-myeon that offers a rest of your body and mind through stimulation of five sense. Additional attractions include the crafting experience, herb museum, aroma therapy center, herb restaurant, herbs beef ribs, herb bakery, herbs-related souvenir shop and more. It is the largest Herb Kingdom in Pocheon that are in the wish list of many visitors. Visitors are also welcomed to watch cultural performances held at Venice Village performance stage every weekend for free.
When I reached Herb Island, it immediately makes me felt like I am in the movie of “Alice and the Wonderland”. Everything is so dreamy and enchanted. Unfortunately, it was winter season when I visit Herb Island and therefore not many performances are going on in Venice Village. The best time to visit Herb Island is during the warmer season where you can tour the island for half a day and enjoy the local culture performances. Here, locals produce products using herbs and visitors can purchase these herbs products (Skin care, soups, cosmetics, candles, lotions) that are handcrafted by themselves. There is an aroma shop with 4 stories high. First floor is for hot and cold pack experience. Second floor is for dress shop. Third floor is for herb oils, teas, and body care while fourth floor is children’s book. Visitors can get free herb tea and peppermint oil massage here!
The highland of this attraction is none other than the love tunnel in Santa Land. There are more than 300 of Santa’s Status located here. Some of them look creepy during the night. I visited Santa Land during Christmas season and it gives me the excitement and joy that Santa is here to give me presents! With such a fairy tale village, people were busy taking photos and enjoying an early arrival of Christmas day. During the night, the entire Santa Land will transformed into a brilliant light festival and a romantic island instead. This light festival of night goes on all year round. Don’t forget to drink a cup of herbal tea and experience the aroma when you are here.
Finally, it’s time for dinner! I wasn’t sure how Herb Restaurant would serve us until I see the foods coming out. It was mouth watering that we keep ordering various of Herb pasta, Herb Beef Petty, Herb pizza, Herb bibimbap and so on to fill our stomach! It was so much of “ZHANG” (means great in Korean) to comment the foods here. Not to mention, the flowers served with the foods are eatable. It bring you luck and health! xD
Places to visit in Herb Island:
- Herbs & Plant Museum (All four seasons)
- Santa’s Village (Night LED Festival)
- Flower Garden & Waterfall Garden
- Venice Village
- Street to the Past
- Herb Healing Center
- Herb Restaurant & Cafe
- Mini Zoo
- Herb Bakery
P/s: Remember to grab their brochure at the entrance to have a clearer picture of all 22 attractions!
- Address: 35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 포천시 신북면 청신로947번길 35
- Admission Fees: (Ages 17 & above): 8,000 won
- Opening Hours: Open everyday from 10am-10pm
- Official Website: http://www.herbisland.co.kr (Korean, English, Chinese)
3. Petite France – French Culture Village (쁘띠프랑스)
Petite France is a French cultural village set in the Korean countryside! Petite France serves as both a French cultural village and a youth training facility (Goseong Youth Training Center). It consists of 16 French-style buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French food, clothing, and household culture. The famous “Secret Garden” and “My Love from the Star” Korean TV drama had also take the opportunity to film in Petite France. You are able to experience the delight of Europe and the variety of cultural performance. The Orgel House consist of a 200-year-old music box with a sweet melody playing throughout the day. The village can accommodate up to 200 visitors with 34 guest rooms that hold four to ten people each. As Petite France is near Nami Island, The Garden of Morningcalm, and Cheong pyeong Lake, it is good to take a good tour around here.
The village also contains a memorial hall dedicated to Saint-Exupery, the author of the celebrated French novel, Le Petite Prince (1943) and as such it is called the Little Prince theme park. It is the only entity which has officially executed an international license agreement with the Saint Exubert Foundation in France. This place gives dream and hope not only to children but also to adults to bring back childhood memory and happiness when they visit the place.
- Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall
- Orgel House
- Antique Exhibit Hall and Flea Market
- European Doll House
- Fountain Square
- Marionette Dance Performance
- Puppet Play
- Appreciating an Orgel
- Plaster Art Exhibition
- Traditional French House
- Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063
- Official Website: www.pfcamp.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- Admission Fees: 8,000 won (Get their brochure to enjoy 25% discount)
- Operating Hour: 9am-6pm
4. Suwon Hanbok Wearing Experience in Hwaseong Fortress
Suwon Hwaseong is a large fortress that embraces the downtown area of Suwon. It is 6m high and 5.7km long. As one of the Korea’s best known cultural heritages of 18th century, the fortress was also designated as a UNESCO World Culture Heritage in 1997. This fascinating spot is always alive with tourist from around the world. The mega hit TV Drama “大长今” was filmed here. When you travel to Korea, you must rent the traditional clothing here and take a picture because Hanbok expresses Korea’s true characteristics in terms of culture and history. Just like Chipao from China and kimono from Japan.
- Admission Fees: Adults 1,500 won; Children 1,000 won
- Hanbok Rental: www.jangem.kr
- Official Homepage: http://www.swcf.or.kr/ (Korean Only)
5. Everland (에버랜드)
Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park. With 7.3 million visitors, Everland ranked fourteenth in the world for amusement park attendance in 2014. This park was formerly called “Jayeon Nongwon” which roughly means “Natural Farm.” Its former English name was “Farmland.” It is the Korean version of Disneyland. I have never been to any Disneyland in my life because I am not really into amusement park. However, Everland’ story will be with me forever until my great grand children. It will become a story to tell my children which I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Everland is divided into five zones: Global Fair, Zoo-Topia, European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure. It houses diverse attractions which are available to enjoy regardless of ages. There are also different themed festivals including Tulip Festival, Rose Festival, Summer Splash, Halloween Festival, Romantic Illumination, and other festivals all year long. In fact, one of the park’s most famous rides is T-Express, Korea’s first wooden roller coaster. You must also visit the Lost Valley, the largest ecological safari world that offers a tour by amphibious car to see 150 animals of 20 species inside Zootopia. Another factor of interest you can find in Everland is the pair of giant pandas which was given from Chinese president Xi Jinping as a symbol of friendship between Korea and China, will be shown to people for the first time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Everland in 2016.
Zootopia is must-see as it spans over an area of 15,000㎡ and exhibits 2,000 animals of 201 species. Visitors then board into a vehicle for a trip through the park’s animal habitats. If you understand Korean language, you will be able to understand what the tour guide is trying to explain about these animals along the way. The tour guide for each buses is pretty. Don’t forget to compliment them when you get down the bus! You will see elephants, white tigers, lions, camels, giraffes, walking bears and so on along the streets. Prepare your camera!
Zootopia also include the brand-new Panda World, Safari World, Lost Vallet, and Friendly Monkey Valley that you must visit. Spend a whole day in Everland to visit all attractions.
If you are tired walking the whole day, try the skyline ride (like a ski lift), a popular way to get from one section of Everland to another. It saves up a lot of energy! Don’t forget to reserve your booking in advance and secure the time slot so you don’t have to think about it again and wait for 40mins queue. It’s a wrap in Everland!
- Tulip Festival
- Summer Splash
- Halloween & Horror Nights
- Christmas Fantasy
- Let’s Twist
- Thunder Falls
- Columbus Adventure
- Multimedia Firework
- Moonlight Perade
- Carnival Fantasy Parade
- Panda Musical (NEW)
- Hours: 10:30 – 18:00
- Everland One-day Pass Price: Adults 47,000 won; Children 37,000 won
- Homepage: www.everland.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- Transportation: Bus No.5002 from Gangnam (Exit no.10) or Bus No. 5700 from Jamsil (Exit no.6)