Life in Seoul #12: Blue Crystal Village

The gate

This place, which is also called Asan Mediterranean Village, is located in Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do. There are three ways to get there: by taking express bus, KTX train, and regular Seoul Metro subway. I went there with the last one.

It takes 2.5 hours from Dongmyo station to Asan station by Seoul Metro line 1. It is three times slower than if I’d taken KTX, but the ticket price is also three times cheaper.

After arriving at the station, I had to get out and walk to Cheonan-Asan station, the station for KTX train. Bus No. 777 that took me to Blue Crystal Village stopped right in front of this station’s entrance. The bus ride was about 30 minutes. Getting off at Tra Palace, I crossed the street and went for a short walk before reaching the village.

Tra Palace

The “village” is obviously not an actual village (LOL). There are various cafes, restaurants, galleries, and shops in the relatively small area. Some of the shops belong to famous brands like Michael Kors and Polo.

one of the galleries
MK Store
green tea latte from Casamigo Cafe
it seems like painted walls are everywhere in Korea

As a newly built tourist attraction, this place may not be known by foreign tourists (which explains why I only met Korean young couples there), but I think it deserves to be another choice for a one-day trip outside of Seoul.

Asan itself is actually famous for its hot springs, which explains why some part of the city looks like what I used to see in Beppu.


Life in Seoul #11: Free Shuttle Bus to Jeonju

Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju is one of the cities in Jeollabuk-do or North Jeolla Province. It takes around 3 hours from Seol to Jeonju by bus. This time I took the Jeonju Free Shuttle Bus that can be reserved here. The reservation process is very easy, but due to the high demand for this service, there is only a small chance for each person to get accepted. I, for example, applied for four different time spots and only got two of them; both of the slots were on Fridays.

The main destination of the shuttle bus is Jeonju Hanok Village where Korean traditional houses, along with Korean restaurants and street food stalls can be seen. However, the bus stopped at Jeonju National Heritage Center which is located around 10 minutes away from the gate of the hanok village.

To me, the hanok village felt a little bit like Yufuin in Oita, Japan. I found many small shops selling cute stuff there. Other than the shops, I also found unique museums such as Korean Liquor Museum. Apparently there are also historical confucian schools around the area.

Candies, anyone?

Even though Jeonju is famous for its bibimbap (mixed rice), I chose seafood pancake for lunch. The size of the pancake was quite big for me to eat alone. Still I couldn’t resist cheese-lemon ice cream I found after getting out of the restaurant, LOL.

Seafood Pancake
Yummy cheese-lemon ice cream!

And here are some pictures I took around the village…

Painted wall
Jeondong Catholic Church
Hanok (Korean traditional house)
Another hanok
A river across the bus stop