Monday, September 5, 2016

Village Walks in Paju City

I decided to ditch hopping on a bus for a 3-hour ride to a town southwest of Seoul and go somewhere closer instead: Paju City in the province of Gyeonggi. Paju City, less than 40 km northwest of Seoul and sits just south of the 38th parallel, is a city where I could village hop and be in two different countries (three if you count South Korea) all in one day.

경기영어마을

I transported myself from Seoul to England in three quarters of an hour. The English Village is actually an educational facility where Koreans can learn English. I arrived at the English Village at 10 in the morning and the introvert in me rejoiced at finding the place devoid of people save for four, all of whom worked at the village. I languidly strolled around the village, enjoying the low temperatures of the morning, and admiring the brick buildings around. It wasn't until an hour later when I've had my fill of England and was getting ready to leave, when English Village became alive with a group of kindergartners on a field trip.



헤이리 예술마을

From the English Village, I navigated my way around the deserted streets to find Heyri Art Village. Heyri Art Village is just what it is: an art village. It is a sprawling area of art galleries, museums, restaurants, cafes, art shops, theaters. I did not enter any museum or art gallery but contented myself with just walking around and looking at the unique architecture, out of this world displays, and numerous sculptures. Heyri Art Village is quite a large area, I don't think I got to see all of it.




Provence Village
프로방스 마을

From Heyri Art Village I walked over a kilometer to find Provence Village, a piece of France in South Korea. Provence Village is a small but charming cluster of little pastel colored buildings housing shops, restaurants, and cafes.


Directions to these Paju City villages: Take subway line 2 or line 6 to Hapjeong Station, exit 2. Take bus number 2200.
  • English Village – English Village bus stop.
  • Heyri Art Village – Heyri bus stop.
  • Provence Village – Seongdong Intersection bus stop.
Tip: If you want to visit all three, get off at English Village and make your way to the other two villages (Heyri Art Village then Provence Village) on foot.


Other places to visit in Paju City (also on the route of bus 2200):
Paju Book City – bookstores and cafes
Paju Premium Outlets – shopping


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