An abandoned quarry turned Art Valley
You may not find “Pocheon Art Valley” as one of the top destinations in Korea, but it is definitely worth visiting for a number of reasons.
Pocheon Art Valley is about 55 km from Seoul City Hall and it’s only an hour drive by car. It used to be an old quarry which operated in the 1960s. It was abandoned in the 90s. Planning and construction to turn it into an art valley began in 2003. It opened to the public in October 2009.
I have visited Pocheon Art Valley three times since 2011. I am amazed at how an old quarry has turned useful as a park for families to visit.
From the parking lot, one will find a few buildings ~ a stone culture exhibition hall, ticket office, administration office and an education center. There is a restaurant that serves delicious mushroom hot pot and a convenience store.
From the ticket office, one can either hike up the hill to the summit or take the yellow monorail. It is not difficult to walk but I wouldn’t recommend it during the summer.
At the small concert stage just outside the main building, there are musical performances on weekends. Go inside the three-storey Art Valley Building, and take time to view and learn about artworks at the Exhibition Hall. Educational programs like soap making, cookie and cake baking, and paper crafts are held for kids and adults at the Creation Hall.
All around the park are sculptures made of granite. A few of them may be “naughty” but be ready to strike a pose anyway.
The main attraction of the art valley is the 7,000 square meter lake with its transparent emerald water. The lake used to be the excavation site for the quarry. It is filled with spring and rain water and it is home to small fishes. It is refreshing to stand and view the lake at one of its observation decks. Somehow, it made me feel like I was in an island back home in the Philippines. If you’re up for it, you can hike to the highest observation point and view the mountains and valleys of Pocheon.
Don’t forget to walk around the sculpture park and land at the other side of the lake to take in a different view. At this area, there is another concert hall where they hold special performances during the summer.
For those with kids, there are fun activities that they could enjoy. There’s even a “trick art museum” too.
We spent about three hours the last time we were here. There are other attractions in Pocheon that one might be interested to see as in this post by Damiah Koh.
By car ~ take the national road 43 to Pocheon and turn right at local road 368.
By bus ~ you can take bus 3000, 3001 and 3002 from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and get off at Pocheon Bus Terminal. Take local bus 74 and get off at Pocheon Art Valley.
By subway and bus ~ Get off at Heoryung Station in Uijeongbu and take bus 74 from there.
Adults – 3,000 won
Teenagers – 2,000 won
Children – 1,000 won
Adults – 4,500 won
Teenagers – 3,500
Elementary – 2,500
Pre-school – free
Pocheon Art Valley is open from 9 AM to 7 PM from March to October and 9 AM to 6 PM from November to February.