Day Trips

Day Trippin': Pocheon's Herb Island

I had been meaning to make it out to Herb Island for quite some time.  The photographs intrigued me.  The images I came across on the internet portrayed the theme park (which, confusingly, is not an island at all) to be the home of enchanting guesthouses, colorful gardens, charming decor and beautiful mountain scenery, seemingly emulated from the pages of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

I finally got around to making the trek out Pocheon, a city located about an hour northwest of Seoul, last autumn.  Immediately upon my arrival to the park, I felt a sense of eeriness come over me.  Perhaps it was the sight of the armed soldiers and military vehicles on the bus ride over- Pocheon is just a few miles from the North Korean border- or the creepy music box-like melodies looping over the loudspeakers or the sheer lack of people.  I refused to turn around after an almost two hour trip, however, and ventured further into the park.

Eats and Treats in Incheon's Chinatown


Incheon Station is located at the very end of Line 1 of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.  Because of its location, the writers of "Korea Top 10" on Arirang TV thought the city, specifically Chinatown, an ideal destination to be included on "Railroads", an episode I am filming with them now.  I had visited Chinatown last year and was immediately smitten with the atmosphere of the beautifully maintained neighborhood, so  I was looking forward to returning with Arirang to see even more of it.  This time, I was better prepared, bringing along with me an empty stomach and a big appetite.


Day Trippin': Heyri Art Village

Less than an hour's drive north of Seoul sits an enchanting community of artists. Envisioned and created by a well known book publisher, Heyri Art Village is now home to over 370 painters, potters, photographers, musicians, architects, and writers. Not only does its proximity to Seoul make it a great day trip option, but its unique ambiance and ability to converge the old with the new in a natural environment make it a memorable destination.

One would never guess that North Korea lay just three and a half miles from this peaceful village nestled near the border city of Paju. Its eye-catching buildings and beautifully manicured landscapes are a stark contrast to the barbed wire that outlines the stretch of highway visitors must travel to reach the village. The journey there is a bit bone chilling, but upon arriving in picturesque Heyri, one can only feel warmth and excitement.

Day Trippin': Nami Island

I love living in a city. I've even gotten to the point where I don't think I'd be able to survive not living in a city. I have to admit, however, that sometimes it's nice to get away from the neon and concrete, if only for a day. One of the great things about Seoul is that there are a variety of places nearby that allow residents and visitors to escape the city and explore the softer side of Korea.

One of the best day trips to take, so long as the weather permits, is to Nami Island. Situated in Chuncheon, 60km east of Seoul, Namiseom is a small oasis of culture and tranquility (when it's not packed with people).

Five easy day trips out of Seoul

Seoul is a wonderful place to go exploring. With several historic palaces, dozens of Buddhist temples, and more shopping than you have money, you might be wondering ‘why go anywhere else around Korea?’ The simple answer is to get off the beaten path, and to explore some places tourists / foreigners don’t go as often.

All of these day trips are easy to reach from Seoul’s excellent public transportation system.


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