June 15, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Tourist Attractions in Jeongseon

Another must-visit county in Gangwon province is Jeongseon. You might have heard Korean folk song, Arirang, often considered as the unofficial national anthem of Korea. There are many variations of the song, but the original form of Arirang is Jeongseon Arirang.

Songs aside, Jeongseon is also one of the venue for 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic. Jeongseon Alpine Centre will be hosting the alpine speed events of Downhill, Super-G, and Alpine Combined. The centre can accommodate up to 6,500 spectators.

The men's downhill starts at an elevation of 1,370 m (4,495 ft), with a course length of 2.857 km (1.775 mi), to a finish area at 545 m (1,788 ft). The vertical drop of 825 m (2,707 ft) surpasses the minimum drop of 800 m (2,625 ft) required by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Jeongseon also has a number of attractions.

 Auraji River

 Auraji is the name of a lake that Jeongseon Arirang originated. The area has long been famous for its beautiful, clean mountains and rivers. Its name is derived from the Korean word ‘eoureojida’, meaning ‘to meet’ as the waters of Pyeongchang and Samcheok merge in this area.

Part of the upper stream of Namhangang River, Auraji was a famous starting point of log rafts transporting timber to Hanyang, the original name of Seoul. The lyrics of Jeongseon Arirang reveal the sadness and longing of a woman awaiting her husband who left for business to a far-away place or left to transport timber.

Today, numerous tourists visit Auraji to enjoy its great scenic views.

Jeongseon Arirang 5-Day Market

Jeongseon 5-Day Market is one of the major local market in Korea and opens every 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, 27th. In the market, visitors can experience the lively bustling atmosphere of a Korean folk market and purchase agricultural produce at low prices. Its specially featured product is the Goraengji, a vegetable that grows in mountainous regions or on plateaus at 500~700m above sea level.

On market day, you will be able to watch the musical performance titled Arirang at the center of the market. The show will be in 3 parts, explaining Arirang’s story with enjoyable music.

Operation Hours : 9 am ~ 8 pm (operation hours may vary by store)

Arii Hills: Byeongbangchi Sky Walk and Zip Wire

Byeongbangchi Observatory is located in between Gyuram-ri and Buksil-ri in Jeongseon-eup and features breathtaking views surrounding Bamseom Island whose shape is like the Korean peninsula with streams of Donggang River.

Byeongbangchi Skywalk experience offers a thrilling experience as it gives a feeling of walking in the sky thanks to the tempered glass on the ‘U’ shaped structure (11m) projected from the cliff at altitude of 583m. From this observatory, tourists can see the beauty of Bamseom Island and Donggang River, making it an attractive point to visit.

Admission Fees: Adults (ages 19-64) 2,000 won / Teenagers & Children (ages 7-18) 1,000 won / Zip wire Fees 40,000 won
Operation Hours: Summer 9 am ~ 6 pm, Winter 9 am ~ 5 pm

Jeongseon Rail Bike

The rail bike in Jeongseon Auraji is a new type of leisure sport that combines biking along a railway and scenic views. The sport makes use of an abandoned railway track that runs from Jeongseon Auraji to Gujeol-ri. The total track is 7.2 kilometers long and is a continuous descent that is easy to ride along clean valley waters and crimson red foliage. The rail bike starts in Gujeol-ri station and ends in Auraji Station.

Admission Fees: [2-seaters bike] Individual 25,000 won / Group 22,500 won
[4-seaters bike] Individual 35,000 won / Group 31,500 won
Operating Hours: March to October 9 am ~ 6 pm, 5 times a day / November to February 9 am ~ 3 pm, 4 times a day

Samtan Art Mine

Samtan Art Mine is a cultural art complex, transformed from an abandoned mine at the foot of Hambaeksan Mountain, the main production area of stone coal in Korea. The name ‘Samtan’ refers to Samcheok Tanjwa, one of the major coal mines in Korea, and ‘Art Mine’ plays on the history of the coal mine.

There are many cultural art spaces throughout the nation, but Samtan Art Mine attracts visitors for being located inside an actual mine site. Opened in 1964 as a industrial establishment, the mine operated until October 2001. Samtan Art Mine draws even deeper artistic meaning due to this poignant history.

For K-drama fans, it was also the shooting location of Descendants of the Sun. 

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