Posted by: sojustar | January 10, 2009

Anyang, Korea

Fancy a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul?  If money and time is an issue, consider a day trip to Anyang.  Located in Gyeonggi Province, Anyang has a population of 618,731 and is located only 20 minutes south of Seoul by subway.  The city is noticeably quieter, and the people here seem to go about their daily routine in a slower pace.

Since Anyang is not listed in the Lonely Planet Korea

, I had to embark on my own adventurous journey. Upon arriving I headed to a department store for a food court lunch.  There were loads of dishes available from fried pork to pizza, I opted for bibimbap. I sat amongst a Korean family and their two, young children, who were devouring a pizza and lasagna set. It was ironic that the foreign woman was the one eating the traditional Korean food, and not the other way around.

 

Once I finished my lunch I headed towards the subway station, which was connected to the store by an underground passageway. I decided to head out exit 4, since I saw a park was on the map. I had heard about Anyang Art Park, and I was determined to find it. As I walked along the street I noticed the mountains surrounding the city, again I noticed the tranquility of the city. There were hardly any cars on the road, “Am I still in Korea

,” I asked myself.  I soon saw smoked fish and chestnuts on sale at a local shop, yes, I was still in the land of the morning calm.

 

It took me a good fifteen minutes to reach the park by foot. People were walking, running and biking in the park situated along the partly frozen Hakuicheon River.  Despite the chilly weather one local was practicing his golf swing in the park. I took a picture of the golfer named Mr. Yoon, and headed back towards the city in search of tourist information.

After about twenty minutes, I managed to find Anyang City Hall. The building was open, a relief since I was in desperate need of some tourist information. I managed to find some brochures, including one about Anyang Art Park. I learned that the park is located outside the main city centre, and I opted to get there by taxi.

I was so thrilled when I finally arrived; the area reminded me of a Montreal

ski village, minus the ski slopes.  On one side of the main street I saw shops, convenience stores and restaurants, while on the opposite side tourists were walking through the Art Park. Different works by artists from around the world are on display.  According to the brochure, this area is meant to be a rest area for citizens, where arts, culture, and nature are closely connected in harmony.  House of Light by Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hoebert, from Germany, captured my eye. The duo created a house made from empty drink containers in various colours, once inside you can see light cascading through the open crevices, which makes for some fantastic photographs.

 

Not only can people discover different works of art, they can also connect to their spiritual side. Various Buddhist temples are located within walking distance of each other. I walked through the art park and followed the signs to Anyangsa Temple; two small dogs greeted me as I came closer to the entrance of the temple. I was relieved to discover the dogs were shy and didn’t bark. I took my time to take in the view of the temple and Samsung Mountain, the silence was calming.

As I walked back towards the subway station I came upon a shop selling rice treats. The owner was in the process of making puffed rice cakes, and I was in awe of the way the machine worked. Kernels of rice were placed in the centre of the machine heated up, and three seconds later poof a rice cake flew out. I received two free rice puffs, and decided to buy a bag for 2,000 won.

Without any tourist information I managed to find some interesting spots in Anyang, and would highly recommend this trip to anyone.

Getting to Anyang from Seoul: Take Seoul Line 1 to Anyang Station

From Gimpo Airport: Take the express bus to Anyang

Getting to Anyang Art Park:

Subway –  Get off at Gwanak Station and go out exit 2. Walk left towards the main street and then turn right. Walk for about ten minutes along the street and follow the signs.

Green Bus – 5624, 5625, 5530, 5731

Shuttle Bus – 6-2

For further information about Anyang Art Park check out their Web site at http://apap.anyang.go.kr


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Responses

  1. Hi! I’m the Community Manager of Ruba.com. We’re building a website to highlight some of the most interesting places travelers around the world have discovered. We’ve read hundreds of blogs about Korea, and we think that yours is awesome! We’d love to highlight excerpts from blogs like yours (assuming it’s OK with you of course) and to discuss other ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested. I’m at erin@ruba.com.
    Thanks! 🙂


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