Yeongwol County – A slice of Chilled Living
Yeongwol County is located in the Gangwon Province of South Korea. It’s mark to fame is it is the plce the place where King Danjong was exiled to, when he was forced to abdicate by his uncle, who became Sejo of Joseon. It is also where he is buried after his murder in 1457, because he was perceived to be a continuing threat to the rule of his uncle. Now these days Yeongwol is much more of a friendlier town to visit.
So you ask what is there to do in Yeongwol, Well read on..
To start with, There is a Deer park and this is possibly my favourite thing about Yeongwol, mainly because it’s so offbeat. There’s a pond surrounded by a 400-meter walking track, and an undenialable deer theme. Lifelike deer statues pose in the water while cartoonish deer adorn the track. There’s deer on a pedestal, deer on shooting stars, and, best of all, deer standing on two legs.
When you are in Yeongwol, there is a weird silver dome which you can’t miss. You might not be able work out what it and no one might be able to explain it in English to you but it only a large gymnasium, the centrepiece of the Sports Park. It comes pretty stacked with bicycle paths, exercise machines, and fields for every sport you can think of, including foot volleyball. Yeongwol is a very active town, so every weekend there’s some sort of tournament taking place. You can also head out to one of the many mountain trails around town. The only downside is running past the burial mounds, but don’t let it dampen your spirit too much.
This enormous tree is special simply because of the sign in front of it, which reads: “Here is home to a big gingko tree. It is venerated as a deity by residents of the surrounding areas. Children who fall from this tree will not be hurt badly. Villagers who honour to this tree on the 7th and 12th lunar month will bear a child. It is now a favourite place for people in the summer because of the shade it provides.” I left some parts out, but you get the gist. I have my doubts about its powers, but always steer clear during the 7th and 12th lunar months. You can never be too careful, unless you are actually hoping to conceive a child, then by all means sprint to this tree asap.
Yeongwol is mostly known in Korea for its museums. There are over 20 of them to visit in Yeongwol County, and one of the best is the Donggang Photography Museum which overlooks a man-made waterfall. You can take a walk around the outdoor photo displays and pretend to be cultured in front of your friends. There is also an Africa themed Museum too for you to find and enjoy.
On each date with a 4 or a 9 in it, the 5-day market vendors set up their stalls near the river, and Yeongwol is packed with fresh produce. You can buy anything literally. Stuff like shoes made of straw, seasonal fruits and vegetables, bread, pliers, dried fish heads, socks, lotion, obscenely tacky music on cassette, rabbits, or doughnuts. It’s ridiculous in a good way. A great way to spend a morning in Yeongwol County.