South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Day Tour at Yecheon County with Adventures Korea

About Yecheon

I always say that every City, County and Provinces in South Korea has the same characteristics. Just look at the buildings, the establishments and the markets, everywhere you go, you will see the same setup. However, Yecheon County is quite different. I can say that it has its own characteristics, although it’s unnoticeable at first, it somehow offers a different kind of feel to the tourists.
During the summer vacation, a tour organized by Adventure Korea brought us to the hidden county called Yecheon. It’s a far place if you are coming from Seoul because it is located in the province of North Gyeongsang. Some 50,000 Koreans live in this place and it has a total area of about 661 square km. The tour was organized to introduce Yecheon to foreigners like us. I bet you haven’t heard about this place before. If not for this tour, I would’ve not, for the life of me, come to visit Yecheon. Somehow, it’s interesting to go to places you don’t even know because it leads to the discovery of hidden treasures, well, not literally treasure like gold or something, but experiences and culture and whatnot.

The trip to Yecheon was graced by the foreigners living and working in South Korea, and it was actually dominated by Filipinos. The cost for the whole trip was only 10,000 won. It’s quite unbelievable because it’s a far place and 10,000 won is not even enough for the fare from Seoul to Yecheon, but since they offer it at that price, who are we to question, right? We departed from Seoul at Around 8 AM, an hour late from our expected time, but it’s forgivable. The trip was smooth and after about 4 hours, we arrived at our first agenda, the clay shooting.

Mungyeong Shooting Range


At the entrance of Mungyeong Shooting Range
Photo credit: Arman Carinan
Although this is not part of our Yecheon tour, we went to Mungyeong to try the shooting range. I’ve never expected I would try this one out because it’s not on my to-do-list. The only thing that convinced me to try the clay shooting was the thought of me holding a real air rifle and pulls its trigger. Plus, Mungyeong is such a beautiful place, it was such a nice experience to shoot clay targets in an open field while in the middle of the green mountains.

Some action at the shooting range area
Photo Credit: Arman Carinan

I have to be brutally honest though that out of 25 bullets, I think I hit only 5 targets. I know I was a loser on that part, but it was an experience. If clay shooting costs around 19,000 won for 25 bullets, another alternative is shooting using revolver. The 10 bullets costs only 13,000 won and apparently, they are the cheapest shooting range in the whole South Korea, as in cheap in terms of pricing.

Ancient Folk Town at Yecheon

After our shenanigans at Mungyeong Shooting Range, we went to the ancient folk town in Yecheon. The trip was a good cultural experience for all of us foreigners especially that some of the old establishments there still exist. Although the town has been developed throughout the years, some of them were able to preserve just like this Magkeolli or Rice Wine brewery, and do you know how old is this? This is around 100 year old already and it is still functioning up to this day.

100 year old makeolli brewery at the ancient town at Yecheon


We entered the brewery and we tried the freshly made magkeolli made by the expert magkeolli maker. I've tried drinking makeolli before just to try it out, but I realized it was even better to drink it while being watched by the master of magkeolli.


The authentic maker of authentic makkeoli

The ahjussi who made the magkeolli we drunk was somehow pleased with the way we appreciated his work. Although I am not a fan of magkeolli, it was my first time to taste it fresh from the oven, but of course it didn’t come from the oven, I meant it’s as fresh as the spring water.

The taste of fresh makeolli

Inside the oldest magkeolli brewery in town, we had a mini magkeolli party. They served us with one big pot of the rice wine but since we were on tour, we could not go all out in drinking the wine. We just tasted it and we had a little tour inside the brewery.

Aside from the magkeolli brewery house, there are still other old establishments in the town. Although I can just count them with my finger, these treasures are instant natural attraction to this old little town in Yecheon. Since it was lunch time, we also had a taste of Korean food in the area. Albeit the same as in any other Korean food in other parts of Korea, we still enjoyed the lunch time at the old town.

Barehand fishing at Hancheon River

Hancheon River


We braved the scorching heat of the sun to take time to walk a little bit in the area, but it was too hot that time, so we decided to head on to our next activity. We were on time for the barehand fishing experience at the Hancheon River.

People barehand fishing at the Hancheon River
It was a whooping 39 degrees Celsius and people are there in the middle of the river trying to catch the slippery poor fishes in the riverbed. It was a little bit crowded seeing that it’s midday and people have nothing to do but to catch fishes.

Ahjussi Caught the fish with his barehand

But of course, we joined in. Once I set my feet on the river, I didn’t feel the hotness and the humidity of the weather. At the end of it all, I was not able to catch even one fish. Maybe I was too noisy, or I was too busy, or I am not skilled for this kind of activity. How could you even catch a fish with your barehand? Surprisingly, the locals were able to collect good numbers of fishes for dinner time. Good for them!

The World Insect Expo

The tourists of Adventures Korea at the entrance of The World Insect Expo

Our next stop was at the World Insect Expo. The expo will run up to August 15, 2016 with the theme “Smart Future With Insects”. If we had the cultural experience at the ancient folk town, at the expo, we were educated about insects. The expo is located at the public stadium and at the Institute of Insect Ecology which are just adjacent to the Hancheon River.

People enjoying the exhibits at the expo

My first reaction when I heard about going to the insect expo was…hmppp… booorinngg… I was not so interested with insects, but it’s amazing how people at Yecheon patronized the expo. The expo has an entrance fee of 9,000 won but it’s still crowded. Look at how people are willing to pay just to see insects. The Metropolitan government did a great job in marketing in this event.

At the World Insect Expo

Since we were there already, I decided to might as well see the expo. I find it actually interesting. I got to see different kinds of insects in the world. Some of them are fake, but some of them are still alive. The expo was set up in different halls in the area and it has all the elements and information concerning insects and its industry. Through the expo, I was able to realize the role of the insects in our environment and how it affects us human being. We are all connected.

Wake Up City Festa Water Park

The Water Park
The last part of the tour and the fun one was the Water Park!!!

As I’ve said, it was 39 degrees celcius hot and all I wanted at that moment was to soak in the tub of a cold water, and the water park, our last destination, was heaven sent.
Although for me, it’s a kiddie type of activity, but who cares, adults can be kids too right? They installed three big inflating pools in the area where people, mostly kids can swim and play with the water. There's also live performance on the other part of waterpark where people were entertained by the local singers.

Enjoying the slide at the waterpark
But the stars of the waterpark are these two big city slides. Apparently, in Korea, installing giant slides in the middle of the city every summer is a trend, and Yecheon, eventhough in a far part of Korea, is joining the bandwagon in this event. It was a fun sliding experience for everyone.

We went home pretty late. We had so much fun with our one day Yecheon trip we didn’t realize it’s already 7 pm. As much as we wanted to stay and enjoy more, we have to go back to Seoul. We arrived at around 10:30 PM in Seoul. We were all tired but I’m sure the memories of Yecheon will be forever in our hearts. It was a short but fun experience. I’ve met new friends, made new memories and above all gained new experiences.

9 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a fun trip! I'm all about that makgeolli, so that would have been perhaps my favorite part! Haha But I can get makgeolli anywhere in Korea. That fishing looks fun too! I don't think I would do so well if it were me! We had never been to Yecheon, so this was really interesting to learn about what kind of activities they had there! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. you really love makgeolli ha. You could go along well with the ahjussi who made that.

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  2. Pretty cool you got to see the oldest makgeolli brewery in the area! I never drank makgeolli too much while I lived in Korea but I love all the different types and flavors unique to the cities. I really liked the photo of the crazy ajeussi catching the fish with his bare hands! Pretty cool but looks difficult!

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  3. This sounds so awesome! Gyeongsangbuk isn't too far from me, so I'll have to see if I can make it out there before I leave!

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  4. I've never been to Yechon but I'm always keen to go somewhere unique that stands out from the rest of Korea! I think that the best part for me would be the makgeolli factory lol and I think I would probably skip the fishing!

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  5. Seems like an interesting trip!
    Some of those things don't really appeal to me, but a couple seem interesting. I wonder if I can catch fish with my barehands~~ Now I want to give it a shot.

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  6. What amazing experiences! Barehand fishing?! Meeting a Makgeolli maker?! A world insect Expo?! Haha I love it! My favorite was the barehand fishing because I was imagining the fish squirm, although I do admit it sounds a bit... unusual? haha. I wonder how long it'd take to master that. Thanks for sharing your unique experiences!

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  7. 10,000 won? That's the real deal. And you get to choose if you wanna join those activities. Your one day tour was a busy one. Congrats!

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  8. Nice post! Yecheon seems like a fun area. I don't blame you for wanting to get in the water...39 degrees is HOT...especially in Korea. Great article...keep up the good work!

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