In 2001, my Grandmother decided it was time she move back to Korea, nearly 15 years after living with my Parents. She wanted to spend time with family members who never had opportunity to visit us in the States. I was 11 when she moved with us to America, after we’d been living in South Korea for 3 years. She visited home every 3-4 years but it took me 14 years before I visited South Korea again. That was 20013 then. So when the opportunity to revisit, later part of May ’14 presented itself, I was on board.
My Mom and her family grew up in a remote area in the northern part of South Korea in a town named Pocheon about 90 miles from Seoul. I have a very distinct memory of my Grandparents house. I can remember the general layout, the way the screen doors slid and shaded, how the burnt red asian roof tiles curved and the yards pathway leading to the dreadful outhouse might swallow me. SMILE. I recall some of the merchants which surrounded the house, eating treats with my cousins while sitting on cold slabs of stone or edging off the hot wood deck and smelling whatever radiated from below the streets….An undescribable smell which still exists today!
Regrettably, I didn’t allow enough time to visit my Grandparents house, but I was there long enough to experience new discoveries hi-lighting this once sleepy spread of a rice field village. Pocheon is now a productive merchant town big enough to forget family names and probably another decade or two from being labeled a bustling city. But close by, helping to reserve the quiet and calmness of this growing city, generating revenue for its growth by bringing forth tourism to nationals and international visitors whose love for nature and art combined and would fill the towns bill. Opened to the public in 2009….Welcome Art Valley.
Quietly nestled around the mid range mountains where intentionally quarried cliffs surround a pitted Cheonjuho Lake where wood decks surround the shorelines and schools of fish nestle within range. If your up for a climb, choose of the few stairways which lead for cliff views and freshly whipped breezes. Although the lakes bed was artificially dug up, what makes up for this ungenuine reserve, is the waters naturally and deeply hued color of emerald! The water is so breathtaking, its enough to appreciate the decision to layout the lake foundation and thus making Cheonjuho Lake, Art Valleys main attraction.
Seasonal admittance gives you live musical performances from the lakes concrete platform. Also, located at the top and the monorails last stop, theres a symphony stage strategically placed between another set of cliffs with rocks patterning the ground with intentional design meant to bounce acoustic sounds within an encore of its own air drums. Cool huh!
Thanks for reading and sharing in my adventures…more Travel posts to come!