Visiting Gyeonggi Province: Yeoju and Icheon

Just came back from exploring Gyeonggi-do, the province around Seoul! We went to Yeoju and Icheon (This is a different city from INcheon, so be careful not to mix them up) on the first day, around 1.5 hours from Seoul Express Bus Terminal.

These cities in Gyeonggi-do are perfect for a day trip although it may take some time to travel around between the cities by public transportation. The best option is to rent a car from Seoul and drive to these places.

King Sejong Royal Tomb (여주 영릉)

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King Sejong is probably the most famous king in South Korea who ruled in the Joseon Dynasty. He is famous because he invented Hangeul, the Korean alphabets, which is the foundation of the Korean Language now. He did it because Chinese was too hard to teach and learn and only aristocrats and royalties can read and write at that time. Korea was in deep poverty and he strongly believed that education can help bring Korea out of poverty. As such he invented the Hangeul writing system that is easy to write and read for his poor citizens. Such an adorable and thoughtful King huh. He also invented many scientific devices like the sundial and the rain gauge.

Anyway, we had a chance to visit his tomb in Yeoju. This tomb was not originally located in Yeoju but it was relocated here in the 1460s by another king. It was then renovated and beautified in the 1970s to honor King Sejong’s achievements.

The place was quite big, it had a mini museum showing the history of King Sejong and near it, there were displays of the scientific devices he created.

To get here, take a bus to Yeoju from Seoul Express Bus Terminal, it should cost around 5900 KRW. The bus runs from 06:30-22:00 with a 30~40 mins interval and takes 1.5 hours. Upon arriving at Yeoju Bus Terminal, take bus 965-1 and get off at Hyoreung bus stop (효릉).

Tangerine Picking at  하늘 빛 농원

Our next stop was nearer to Icheon than in Yeoju – a tangerine farm! They have two kinds of tangerines, Hallabong 한라봉 and the smaller one Sanggogyul 상고귤. These two tangerines are only cultivated in Jeju and in Icheon. So this place can be a good alternative to get Jeju tangerines without having to fly.

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For 10000 KRW, you get 40 minutes to pick 7 smaller tangerines in the huge farm. If you want to pick the Hallabong, it will cost 13000 KRW. They will also teach you how to choose a good tangerine, basically:

  • It must not be too hard and not too soft
  • The higher ones are sweeter

You can make a reservation by going to this website. This experience is only available from November to December yearly, so you have around one more month to go there. If not, you can go next season 🙂 Here’s a short clip I made after the session:

Icheon Cerapia World Ceramic Center (이천 세라피아)

Icheon is well known for its ceramics and they have this special park to display and sell ceramics made by various artists. Some of them have their workshops there too so you can watch them live in action making the beautiful products.
There are also many unique and cute spots to take photos around the area before you go into the exhibition center. It’s like a mini art exhibition park with many creative use of ceramics and other recycled materials.

Lotte Premium Outlet

Well.. There isn’t much to explain about this place. It is just a premium outlet that you can visit if you want to go on a branded goods shopping spree. Like all other premium outlet stores, it has many branded stores with huge discounts. The difference with this premium outlet with the ones in the States is that this one has 3 floors although they are also semi-outdoor (only the stores are indoors).
We had good buffet dinner there at a restaurant on the third floor called Elena Kitchen. It was 17800 KRW per person for some good western styled buffet. Do try it out if you decide to shop there 🙂
All photos of me were taken by Rufustory
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