Yuldong Nature Park and Guri Hangang Park
City parks offer a green respite from the concrete jungle. They also provide ample space for recreation and relaxation for residents and visitors alike. Although the more popular parks are located in Seoul, there are also some urban oases on the outskirts of the city that are worth mentioning. Here, we’ve rounded up four notable urban parks located in the neighboring cities of Seoul. In Part 1 of this article, we covered Songodo Central Park near Incheon and Ilsan lake Park. In Part 2 we will cover Bundang’s Yuldong Nature Park and Guri Hangang Park as well as some of the attractions in the vicinity of these parks.
Yuldong Nature Park, just as its name implies, was created to maximize the area’s natural lake, grass fields and mountains. As soon as you enter the park, you will see a long lakeside walking path. On one side of the lake is a bungee jumping site that is 45 meters tall and is often used as a filming site for many Korean TV shows. Behind the bungee jumping site, there is a wide grass field where children play around, a sculpture park and a book-themed park to read Korean books or appreciate Korean letters. Yuldong Nature Park is also a peaceful and great place in autumn when reeds and silver grass are in bloom.
☞ Address: 145, Munjeong-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Directions: From the AK Plaza Bus Stop on the second floor of Seohyeon Station (Bundang Line), take Maeul Bus 3 or Bus 602-1 and get off at Yuldong Park Stop.
☞ Operating Hours: Open all year round (09:00-18:00)
☞ Inquiries: +82-31-702-8713
What more can you ask of a restaurant than for great food and good views? Right beside Seohyeon Reservoir, Café Ciaobar does exactly this. The restaurant cooks modern Italian dishes and serves a variety of house-blended coffee, which led the restaurant to be listed as a 2014 Blue Ribbon Survey winner. Café Ciaobar is not only known for their gourmet food, but also for the live performances it hosts every Thursday as well as the outdoor barbeque that is set up during dinner hours. To enjoy this fancy dine-out experience, make sure to book your table in advance!
☞ Address: 95, Saemaeul-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Directions: Get off at Seohyeon Station (Bundang Line), take Exit 2, and turn left to arrive at AK Plaza (서현역/AK프라자) Bus Stop. Take Local Bus No. 15 and get off at Cheoneunjeongsa Temple Bus Stop (4 stops). Go 306m straight and the restaurant will be ahead on the right.
☞ Operating Hours: 10:30-22:30
☞ Menu: Spaghetti, salad, waffle, coffee, pancakes, wine, sets, etc.
Outdoor Barbeque: 17:30-21:30 / Adults 33,000 & Children 20,000
☞ Inquiries: +82-31-701-5506
One cannot talk about Namhansanseong Provincial Park without mentioning Namhansanseong Fortress, Korea’s Historic Site No. 57 as well as the nation’s 11th UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park area has long been protected by a 12 kilometer long man-made rock wall. The walking path along the fortress is nice for light exercise or to enjoy scenic views.
There are many trails in the park area but we would like to recommend a few of the newer trekking courses worth trying. One course is a night tour where one can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Seoul near the West Gate. The other trail comes recommended in the afternoon, leaving from Bundang Yuldong Park and arriving at Namhansanseong Provincial Park, while allowing you to discover the hidden charms of Namhansanseong. (Duration: approx. 4-5 hrs / Course: Yuldong Park – Yeongjangsan Mountain – Galmachigogae Hill – Ibaejaegogae Hill – Geomdansan Mountain – Namhansanseong Park)
☞ Address: Sanseong-ri, Jungbu-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do (Gwangju, Hanam, Seongnam)
From Namhansanseong Fortress Station (Seoul Subway Line 8) Exit 2, take Local Bus No. 9 or 52, and get off at Namhansanseong Bus Stop (the last stop). (Bus travel time: 20 min./ intervals: 20 min)
☞ Operating Hours: No limits (open year round)
☞ Website: http://nhss.ggcf.kr/ (Korean, English)
☞ Inquiries: +82-31-743-6610 / +82-31-777-7500
Located just outside of eastern Seoul, Guri Hangang Park is a natural oasis on the edge of the city. Guri Hangang Park has a slight advantage in being a bit outside of the city in that it is far less crowded on weekends and holidays than Hangang River Parks located within Seoul. If that wasn’t enough, Guri Hangang Park is also home to Cosmos Park, an area of the park that blooms to life in spring and fall with cosmos flowers as far as the eye can see. There is even a festival dedicated to these flowers every year in autumn that sees crowds of more than 200,000 over the festival weekend. Even if you can’t make it during the peak cosmos seasons, Guri Hangang Park is a great place to take a riverside walk, enjoy the breeze, and simply relax.
☞ Address: 49, Wangsukcheon-ro, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Directions: From Gangbyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2) Exit 4, take a right out of the station and then a left at the crosswalk. You will see two bus stops. From Bus Stop A or B, take one of the busses listed below to Handari Maeul (한다리마을) Bus Stop. From the bus stop, take your next right and continue in that direction, following the signs to reach Guri Hangang River Park.
(* Bus: 97, 92, 15, 1, 96, 95, 1-1, 9)
☞ Operating Hours: Open year round
☞ Inquiries: +82-031-550-2107
Nestled near Goguryeo Blacksmith Village, Modern Giwa is a traditional hanok café with a picturesque view. The café serves waffles, scones, cakes, and all kinds of drinks including coffee, smoothies, and traditional teas. In addition to the seats inside the hanok building, the café also has outdoor seating along a grassy yard and at the outdoor terrace which overlooks the Hangang River. In all, Moden Giwa is an excellent place to rest, sip a delicious drink and enjoy the view and ambiance of this quaint, tucked away hanok café.
☞ Address: 37, Achasan-ro, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Directions: From Guri Station (Jungang Line), take a bus bound for Gangbyeon Station. Get off at Uminae Checkpoint and Goguryeo Blacksmith Village Bus Stop (11 bus stops) / From Gangbyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), take a bus bound for Guri. Get off at Uminae Checkpoint and Goguryeo Blacksmith Village Bus Stop (5 bus stops).
(* Bus: 1-4, 15, 91, 93, 97, 23)
☞ Operating Hours: Weekdays 10:30-22:30 / Saturdays 10:30-23:00 / Sundays 10:30-22:30
☞ Menu: Drinks (coffee, fruit juice, traditional teas, smoothies, ades) (Price: 4,500-8,000won), waffles, cakes, etc.
☞ E-mail: email@example.com
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-2049-0118
Goguryeo Blacksmith Village is a public museum in Guri-si comprised of two sections: outdoor exhibitions that reproduce the scenes of daily life for blacksmiths from Goguryeo Village and Achasan Goguryeo Museum displaying various relics and materials related to Goguryeo fortifications. In addition, children can take part in diverse hands-on activities such as tuho nori (arrow throwing), neol ttwigi (seesawing), archery, pulmujil (blowing air into a fire pot to make a fire) and more. Following the filming of the drama Taewangsasingi (Legend), starring the famous hallyu celebrity Bae Yong-jun, the village became more famous.
☞ Address: 41, Uminae-gil, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Directions: From Guri Station (Jungang Line), take a bus bound for Gangbyeon Station. Get off at Uminae Checkpoint and Goguryeo Blacksmith Village Bus Stop (11 bus stops). / From Gangbyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), take a bus bound for Guri. Get off at Uminae Checkpoint and Goguryeo Blacksmith Village Bus Stop (5 bus stops).
(* Bus: 1-4, 15, 91, 93, 97, 23)
☞ Operating Hours: Weekdays 09:00-18:00 / Weekends & National Holidays 09:00-19:00 / Last admission: 1 hour before closing.
☞ Admission: Free until further notice
☞ Inquiries: +82-31-550-8351~3 / +82-31-550-2363~4
*Hands-on programs are subject to change depending on weather and conditions.
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