Course

Cheonghakdong Experience Village School Samsunggung Songnim Forest in Hadong The Hill of Poetry Hadong Lodging Pyeongsa-ri Slow City Road
Two of the most popular sites to visit in the lower southern part of Jirisan Mountain are Cheonghakdong and Pyeongsa-ri in Hadong City. Although the two places appear close to each other on the map, there is a considerable distance between the two. From Hadong-eup, you need to go west if you want to go to Pyeongsa-ri, and east if you want to visit Cheonghakdong. If you're thinking about visiting both of the places, you're recommended to stop by at Cheonghakdong first. It's because it's much easier to get to other places from Pyeongsa-ri.
  • How do I get to Hadong?
  • Seoul Nambu Terminal → Hadong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Departure Time: the bus departs at an interval of two hours, from 07:30 to 19:30.
    Travel Time: 4 hr 30 min. Fare: KRW 26,000
1day,Doinchon Village in Cheonghakdon It takes about one hour from Hadong to Cheonghakdong by bus. It's usually a town bus running on a country road. If you take the bus in the spring, you'll see a beautiful road after another, and find yourself passing through an unworldly tunnel of flowers. After climbing the hilly road winding through Cheongam Valley, the bus will stop at Samsinbong Hiking Information Center. Cheonghakdong is located right below Samsinbong Peak.
When you get off from the bus, you'll see two trails: One leading to Samsinbong Peak and the other to Doinchon Village. Since your destination is Doinchon Village in Cheonghakdong, you want to take the trail to your left, cross the Cheonghakgyo Bridge, and continue on the paved road. It only takes about five minutes to get there. It's a very small village with thatched houses and several tile-roofed houses behind as if they're forming a staircase. This little village had been hidden from the world up until a little more than 30 years ago, and people thought it a mysterious place. Even today, you can see young men with long braided hair wearing white hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) and older men in a white robe and gat (horsehair hat) just as their ancestors did. Their dress code is not the only thing that survived after all these years, as the villagers still hold on to the old tradition in many ways, such as studying at the seodang (traditional village school). This doesn't mean that the villagers are completely shut out from the rest of the world. They use all the modern technologies they can afford. They even have a small restaurant and lodging establishment at the entrance of the village. It would be worthwhile to take note of how they live rather than simply taking a look around the area.
After a tour of Doinchon Village, come down the hill to a little commercial district. It's hardly a commercial area, but there are the Hadong Tourist Information Center and two restaurants that also offer lodging, side by side. It's where you want to dine. As for menu, daetongbap (rice in bamboo) served at Seongnam Restaurant is the way to go.
  • Travel Tip
  • Daetongbap of Seongnam Restaurant:
  • Rice with five other types of cereals steamed inside a short bam boo stick. You'll find that the bamboo-flavored steamed rice and cereals are a rare delicacy. The rice and grains are served with a number of side dishes made with wild vegetables from Jirisan Mountain.
    Inquiries: +82-55-882-8757
1day,Samsunggung in Cheonghakdong In Cheonghakdong, the two must-visit sites are Doinchon Village and Samsunggung. Samsunggung is like a shrine dedicated to the Three Founders of Korea. Today, it also serves as a residential community of those living up to the tradition and practicing traditional martial arts.

To reach Samsunggung, come down from Doinchon and follow the road on the right side of the Tourist Information Center. Samsunggung is located right before the end of the road. It's less than a 20-minute walk from Doinchon. The first thing you'll notice is a large blue crane sculpture over the building. The admission fee is KRW 5,000.

Upon entering the area, you'll see a long stretch of road with stone fences on the side. It's nothing like any ordinary stone fenced alley you can find in other traditional villages. The fences in this place are much taller and larger. You'll find pagodas and sotdae (wooden poles where people pray for good harvest) all over the village. They will give you the sensation of being in a film location for a Korean movie.

The most unique features of Samsunggung are the shrines. Here, stone mounds served as a shrine, and there are over 1,000 such mounds in and around the area. There is also a pond designed to symbolize the Korean Peninsula as well as caves and a traditional tea house that will surely catch your eye.
  • Travel Tip
  • How to get to Cheonghakdong
  • The village bus bound for Cheonghakdong runs five times a day. The bus departs at 08:40, 11:00, 13:00, 15:30, and 19:00.
    Travel Time: 50 min. Fare: KRW 4,100.
    * The bus stops at Cheonghakdong and stays there for 30 minutes before heading back to Hadong.
    Hadong Intercity Bus Terminal: +82-55-883-2662 The bus running between Jinju and Cheonghakdong departs three times a day, at 07:10, 15:00, and 15:50.
    Travel Time: 1 hr 30 min.
    Fare: KRW 7,800 Admission Fee for Samsunggung: KRW 5,000
  • Lodging in Downtown Hadong (Recommended)
  • There are several motels around the bus terminal in downtown Hadong. Among them,'Gogung Motel' offers better facilities than the others. There are three room types: Room with a bed for two, floor-heated room with no bed, and a special room with twin beds.
    Gogung Motel: +82-55-884-5100
2day,Songnim Forest in Hadong If you're staying overnight in Hadong, you're recommended to go to the riverside of Seomjingang in the morning or evening. It's only about a ten-minute walk from any of the motels around the bus terminal. You'll see a thick pine grove in front of the white beach. The trees were planted about 300 years ago. Inside the grove, you'll see an old pavilion called Hasangjeong in perfect harmony with the natural surroundings. In one corner of the grove you'll find an archery field and other sports facilities.

This is where the 31km stretch between Seomjingang Inlet of Hadong and the South Sea starts. There used to be a port during the Japanese Occupation of Korea, and large ships came and went during the period. Sunlight seeping through the pine trees in the morning and evening is
particularly impressive. Once in a while, the wet fog over the river adds to the picturesque scenery. If you're lucky, you'll also get the chance to see people collecting shellfish along the river.

If you cross the bridge from the parking lot in the pine grove, you'll reach a small park over a low hill. Being a literature village, Hadong has many monuments inscribed with poems on this hill. Thus the place is called the 'Hill of Poetry'. It's not exactly a tourist site, but it sure is the best vantage point offering a very good panoramic view of Seomjingang River and downtown Hadong.
2day,Pyeongsa-ri Slow City Road From Hadong, you'll see buses running frequently to Pyeongsa-ri. Every bus running between Gurye and Hwagae makes a stop at Pyeongsa-ri on the way, and even the buses bound for Agyang pass through this small village. Situated right in the middle of the 'Hadong Slow City', Pyeongsa-ri even has a road named 'Slow City Road'. It's one of the best roads in the area to take a slow walk and take in the scenery of Agyang.

This special road begins at Pyeongsa-ri Park. It's a long park located along Seomjingang River, and it recently became very popular as a camping site. A story has it that at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty, Japanese soldiers tried to land here after following up the river, but they were scared off when hundreds of thousands of toads started croaking all at the same time. That's why people named the river 'Seomjin', which literally means "Toad Ferry" in Korean.

Cross the road from Pyeongsa-ri Park, and you'll see the vast tidal marsh of Agyang. This place became popular as the backdrop of a novel titled ‘Toji’ (The Land) by the prominent South Korean writer Pak Kyong-ni. It’s about the struggles and strives of a woman obsessed with protecting her land. The main theme of this story partly shares a resemblance with Gone with the Wind. The writer spent 26 years to complete this novel, and there are over 700 characters in the story. This novel also made into a TV drama, and it was filmed in this very place. While walking on this trail you’ll have a chance to visit some of the places featured in the novel.


<Donjeongho Lake and Couple Pines>
If you cross the rice paddies on a narrow path between them, the first thing you'll see is Dongjeongho Lake. The water level is much lower than before, but the scenery is still beautiful as it always has been. Just past the lake, you'll see the picturesque sight of two pine trees. They're named Couple Pines in Korean. They're a landmark of Pyeongsa-ri.


<House of Choe Champan>
If you go past Hadongho Lake and the Couple Pines, you'll see a film location for the TV drama 'The Land' on the hill to your right. The place still has the houses where farm workers lived as well as the House of Choe Champan where the main character lived in the drama. The shooting location is a great reproduction of a traditional hanok where noble families of the Joseon Dynasty resided, with all the living and guest quarters still intact. In addition, the Pyeongsa-ri Literature Hall, Hanok Village, and a marketplace nearby make the film location look like a real village. Thanks to all the artifacts and buildings, it seems as though the fictional character named Choe Champan is brought to life to own the vast land of Pyeongsa-ri as he did in the novel and TV drama.


<House of Millionaire Jo>
The House of Choe Champan was designed after the House of Millionaire Jo, which is located in a neighboring village called Sangsin. It takes more than 30 minutes on foot to get to the place from the House of Choe Champan, but it's worth a visit. On the way, you may also want to stop by at the Maeam Tea Culture Museum, which is located in Agyang-myeon. The House of Millionaire Jo was built in Joseon Dynasty. Being such a large mansion, it took 16 years to build it. Enclosed by a square stone fence, it has an area of 0.8 acres, with a pond in the front yard and a bamboo grove in the backyard. It's very similar to the house described in the novel 'The Land'. However, the detached house, thatched cottage in the backyard, and the household shrine were all destroyed by fire. One of the most outstanding features of this old house is the warehouse next to the pond. It was used as a refrigerator in a time before electricity.


<Chwigallim Forest>
If you come down from the House of Millionaire Jo towards Agyang, you'll come across a grove called 'Chwigallim'. The name 'Chwigallim' roughly means "the forest with kingfishers chirping by the water". It was named as such because the area is very clean and the water clear. A narrow stream flows in the grove of junipers that are at least 500 years old. Many visitors to this place sit by the stream to bathe in the aroma of the trees. It will be a body and mind cleansing experience. The trip won't be as boring as one might think, since there is also the Agyang Traditional Market right next to Chwigallim.


<Daebonggam Village and Munamsong Pine>
When When you exit Chwigallim and cross the bridge towards the opposite side of the local government office, you'll reach a road that encircles the tidal marsh of Agyang. It's on the opposite side of Dongjeongho Lake and the House of Choe Family. Follow the road, and you'll find Daebonggam Village on the left side. The entire village is covered with persimmon trees. Right behind the village is a natural monument pine tree named 'Munamsong'. The pine tree is over 600 years old, and what's that it's been growing on a rock for all those years. The area around the old pine tree commands a great view of Jirisan Mountain and the House of Choe Family. This is village is definitely a must-visit tourist spot, particularly if you happen to visit Pyeongsa-ri in late fall. The ripe persimmons hanging on the branches are quite a sight to behold, and it would be interesting to watch people picking the sweet fruit.