I have always been someone, who loves nature more than the city. Nature has always been my safe place. Normally, when I need to escape, I head to the mountains for a hike away from city life. The longer I live in a bigger city, the more I want to spend time away from it. So when I got a job in a travel agency, I couldn’t believe my luck. Especially when I realized that this meant I could go on trips to the countryside of Korea and engage in various activities. One of these tours brought me to Bongjwa Village in Pohang and I was surprised at how much it had to offer. Here is the short experience I had!
An Introduction to Bongjwa Village
Pohang Bongjwa Village (포항 봉좌마을) is around 40 minutes away by car from the Pohang-Gyeongju Airport. It can also be reached by bus, but generally, it is a lot easier if you can move by car. Bongjwa Village offers different kinds of accommodation, facilities, and activities. It is definitely a place to enjoy with family and friends far away from the city.
Just check out their homepage to get the details for their programs and information on how to book your own trip (Click here). Unfortunately, the site is only in Korean, but you still can get an idea of which programs they have.
Staying at Bongjwa Village
Bongjwa Village offers three different places to stay: the camping site, a pension with multiple rooms, and a Hanok pension. All of them are unique in their own way.
When coming to the village you can see the main building with a sign visible from afar. At the entrance of the village, there is a beautiful sign with a phoenix and the name of the village. After entering, the first thing you see is the camping lots. You can rent the lots there but, you have to bring your own camping equipment. However, if you don’t have a tent, you still can stay in one of the other facilities, so don’t worry.
Upon entering the village, on the right side, there is the restaurant, which has a decent breakfast buffet. In front of it is a little stage. And, if you get lucky, you can listen and see a performance and have fun with the other guests. The office for the whole complex is right next to it. On the opposite of the site are a convenience store and a café.
Experiencing Rural Life at Bongjwa Village
There is a lot you can do at Bongjwa Village. The activities include being a farmer, making your own pottery, and horseback riding. It definitely won’t get boring there, as the activities are so diverse that everyone can find something to try. Plus, every season offers something different.
Harvesting persimmons is one of the farming experiences you can do in the fall. For horseback riding, you can choose between different programs for beginner and advanced riders. Definitely worth taking the chance to spend some time with horses, something not so easy to find in Korea.
When I visited the village, we booked the pottery experience and it was definitely a remarkable experience. Even if this program for 40,000KRW is on the more expensive side, it is something you will never forget.
The teacher himself is an artist, who studied his craft not just in Korea but also China. He has been in this profession for over 40 years. Something you can clearly see. In the beginning, he explained the history of pottery and the difference between Korean, Chinese, and Japanese ceramics. It was fascinating to listen to him talk with so much passion.
After a long and detailed introduction, we finally went to the workshop to try our luck at the potter’s wheel. While explaining how to make a cup he formed one without any effort. Watching him was mesmerizing, as he did it so naturally. It seemed like the easiest thing in the world.
When it was my turn, I knew before even starting that I am too clumsy for it. Having long nails didn’t make it easier, but one of my friends showed me how. If you know how to do it, it doesn’t matter.
In the end, I could form the cup with his help. He also did the finish after and we could choose the exact form we wanted it. I really enjoyed it a lot and want to do it again later. As we had to leave the next morning, he didn’t have time to bake it and give it to us. He will send it soon, so I am still waiting for the end result as I write this article. So excited about it! I would definitely recommend this experience when you are close to Pohang.
Hanok Stay at Bongjwa Village
We decided to stay at the Hanok Pension at Bongjwa Village. It has three rooms, one with it with a bed, while the other two have mats to lie on the floor. It also has a kitchen with the necessary utilities. Just one of the rooms has a bathroom. The others can either share, or there is another one outside. The one outside is probably not for everyone, but it gives you a full rural experience.
At night, the manager, who stays in one of the buildings made us a campfire. It was the perfect way to relax and watch the stars at night. However, it also can get a bit cold at night, so check the heater before the manager goes to bed, so you won’t freeze too much. For us, it was still okay but it is getting colder.
I really enjoyed my time at the Bongjwa Village and wish I had had more time to spend there. I planned to go horseback riding but unfortunately, there was no time for it. So I will come back later and try all the others activities. Including the can train. It seems like a lot of fun. So if you ever plan to go to Pohang and want to stay in the countryside, I think Bongjwa Village is the perfect place to go.
Bongjwa Village (포항 봉좌마을) Address: 262-1 Bonggye-ri, Gigye-myeon, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do Korean address: 경상북도 포항시 북구 기계면 봉계리 262-1
If you will also visit the nearby city of Pohang, Click Here for some ideas on what to do while visiting the city!