Pocheon has a random selection of really great places to explore. I wanted to visit Pocheon for a couple sites in particular, but was blown away by the entire area itself. It’s delightful! You could easily spend a full day or a long weekend there.
The best part about Pocheon is that it’s actually not far away from Seoul at all. It’s an easy 1-2 hour drive, at most! Pocheon is best explored with a car so I would suggest renting one if you want to explore the area.
“The Forgotten Giants” at PyungGang (평강식물원)
These giants were, unashamedly, what drew me to Pocheon at first. For the kid at heart, these are really a magical exhibition. Five giants are scattered around a beautiful arboretum with lots of flowers and trees. Imagine walking through the woods and stumbling upon a friendly giant!
The incredible giants were made by Danish artist, Thomas Dambo. Dambo’s work is made out of entirely recycled materials. How cool is that?! You can also find his other giants in Cophenagen, Denmark, Illinois, USA, and Boom, Belgium. I know where I’m going next!
To learn more about Thomas Dambo, visit his website here: https://thomasdambo.com/
Sansawon Makgeolli Brewery (산사원)
Makgeolli, or Korean rice wine, is by far, my favorite alcoholic beverage in Korea. So when I heard of this Makgeolli Brewery, I was really excited to check it out! With entry, you get access to the tasting room, where you can try the brewery’s Makgeolli and soju, a free bottle of Makgeolli to take home, and entrance to the brewery’s museum. The brewery is fun to walk around, but unfortunately, the informational sections are only in Korean, so you can’t learn too much unless you know Korean or find a guided tour. Don’t forget to head outside to pose by the giant Makgeolli containers!
Pocheon Art Valley (포천아트밸리)
Pocheon Art Valley is an abandoned quarry that was converted into an art and culture park. I had pretty low expectations of the space but was pleasantly surprised! The quarry, turned lake, is actually very beautiful and pictures don’t begin to do it justice. In typical Korean fashion, there is also a sculpture park of random sculptures to check out.
We visited Pocheon in the late afternoon, which I definitely recommend. As it gets dark, it’s lovely to watch the park’s lights turn on. Additionally, keep an eye out for the short films projected onto the rock sculpture. They were really heartwarming and have english subtitles. Remember to bring extra layers, as it gets chilly in the evening, even during the summer!
From the parking lot to the quarry you can either walk or cable car up. It is a pretty steep walk from the parking lot to the lake, so I’d suggest taking the cable car up and walking down if you aren’t in the mood to do too much exercise!
Hantangang Sky Bridge (한탄강하늘다리)
The Hantangang Sky Bridge is a beautiful bridge in the middle of nowhere. That said, it’s worth a quick stop off if you have time. After visiting the bridge, follow the signs at the nearby park for the Bidulginangpokpo Falls (비둘기낭폭포), affectionately nicknamed, ‘Pigeon’ waterfall.
Hanok Cafe and Duck BBQ
On the way back to Seoul from Pocheon, we stopped in by the gorgeous hanok cafe, 고풍, in the countryside. It was quite popular among Korean couples and was an excellent place to take photos of the gorgeous hanok cafe. I really enjoyed the specialty coffee drinks as well. 고풍 is a place where you can comfortably spend hours enjoying the scenery and delicious drinks.
The cafe also led us to the most delicious duck BBQ I’ve ever had! We went to the cafe around lunchtime, so it was a perfect time to stop in for a meal. There are several well-labeled duck restaurants on the way to the cafe. We picked one at random and it was absolutely delicious. That meal is still one of my favorite meals I’ve had while in Korea and I even dream about it from time to time! All of the restaurants in the area serve the same thing, so I don’t think you can go wrong at any of them.
Pocheon really surprised me! I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the area as a whole. I highly recommend visiting the area if you have a car. If I were visit again, the Pocheon Herb Island would be next on my list.