Holiday Journal

Holiday Journal
Hi, Lets look around cool places in Korea together with me! :)
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Pocheon, Namyangju #8 – Dasan Historic Site, Yetnaruteo - (Korea Tour)
 | Holiday Journal
Last Modified : 2017/02/17

Travel regions : South Korea
 | Hits : 104279

  • Start
  • Bears Town
  • Sansawon
  • Pocheon Dongjanggun Festival
  • Pocheon HanwooMaeul
  • Pocheon Art Valley
  • Hotel Nine
  • Harbor Coffee
  • Dasan Historic Site
  • Finish

Dasan Historic Site

We took the shuttle bus at Namyangju Studio Complex and returned to Ungilsan Subway Station. Next destination is opposite side of Studio Complex from Ungilsan Station.

You’ll notice many of the places use ‘Dasan’ if you look around the station. Dasan. It means there are stories of Dasan Jeong Yak-yong, a Practical Science scholar from late Joseon Dynasty.

After 20 minutes on the bus coming every hour and moving towards south, we got to Dasan Historic Site, our final destination.

As a Practical Science scholar that represents Korea, Jeong Yak-yong, who contributed to this country and so many books as he was appointed in the King Jeongjo era(late Joseon), was born buried here in Joan-myeon, Namyangju.

So when it comes to Dasan’s historic site that represents Korea, I’d have to pick this place that he was born and died and Gangjin in Jeollanamdo where he was exiled to. So the pavilion that he usually visited named Cheonilgak was imitated here.

Joan-myeon is well-known for Dasan Heritage Site of Jeong Yak-yong but it also famous for amazing view where Bukhan River and Namhan River meet. That’s why it has appeared in ink-and-wash paintings of our ancestors from a long time.

In order to search for the traces of Dasan, we decided to look around this place decorated as an ecological park. In fact, we had to look outside because of the sky that was about to get dark soon.

Joan means it is a comfortable (安) place for animals (鳥) where the scenery is great with many kinds of animals. Although all we could see were bare trees since it was winter but Lotus Park and Paldangho Lake look so great that they are often used in dramas or films.

However, it was winter so there was not much to see in the park or trees either. So we just thought we were going to enjoy our walk along the path but not skipping any description regarding Dasan in the park.

Mokmin Simseo, Gyeongse Yupyo and other books are very famous books written by Dasan. There’s a photo zone based on a motive of those books here. At both entrances of this park, there are same photo zones so if one is crowded, you should go to the other way around.

Not to bore visitors, there’s a billboard with stories or famous sayings by Dasan. Thank God for these in winter.

Walking across the rustling reed path, we got to the riverside. Oh, to think about it, it’s my first time to see Han River this close in winter.

Ta-da~!! Can you see Han River over there? Upto the mountain far away is all frozen. If you get into the observatory prepared here and there, you’ll get a great view of Han River all directions.

Like this~!! White fog spreading over frozen Han River and mountain far away covered with snow was already an amazing drawing painted with watercolors.

If you want to see further, you’ll have to see the innermost observatory in the park. It’s not so high but you could get a further view over there.

So if you stand on the observatory, a strange and beautiful view spreads out before your eyes with the shadows of mountain reflected on white ice. This is the exact spot where Bukhan River and Namhan River meet.

So that’s why this place used to be called Naruteo(ferry). On the top of the observatory, there’s a map of mountains in different regions around here to help you recognise them better.

West of river that is connected to Seoul. I can see all the water of Han River is frozen as far as I can see. Yeah it must be damn cold today indeed.

After looking at ice spreading out to every direction, we had to get out of the park heading to the village and saw a small park called Dasan Park.

This belongs to Practical Science Museum where various inventions are exhibited to gratify the curiosity about sky.

This glamorous Honsang supported by four dragons is an astronomical equipment, on which the locations of stars are indicated, that predicts changes in season and time.

Now it’s time to take a look around the museum, the innermost building in Dasan Historic Site. Thankfully, there is an exhibition based on a theme of ‘trace of calendar time’ in Planning Exhibition Hall.

Practical Science Museum has 3 Permanent Exhibition Halls and 1 Planning Exhibition Hall, and each exhibition hall has data, which shows us the formation and process of Practical Science literature, astronomical observation equipments and book calendars regarding Practical Science, maps and other things displayed.

But damn…!! It’s five forty now. It’s open by six so they said we couldn’t get in. Oh…we were devastated that we couldn’t see the centre of this facility, Practical Science Museum, after all the troubles we’d been through to get here.

We practically begged that we would take a quick look around but they said no…so we had no choice but to watch reappeared items regarding Practical Science and leave.

It was so sad not being able to hear the stories with the museum in front our eyes but well… this is not the only place to visit here so it’s not the end of the world.

So the most representative place is Dasan Cultural Centre and Memorial Hall where you can see the life of Dasan and Dasan Historic Site where his birth place and grave are located.

This place also closes at 6 but unlike the museum, they let us get in. Especially this place was available for free unlike Practical Science Museum, which charges one person 4,000 won~!!

When you get in, the first thing you see is a long wooden bridge in a big yard. This is called Jugyo, a pontoon bridge that was built with board on connected ships by Dasan Jeong Yak-yong for the King Jeongjo to cross Han River when he visited Suwon Hwaseong Fortress to pay respects to his father’s grave. Under the model, there’s no water so you’re going to have to look closer to see the ships inside.

Getting inside, there’s a big memorial stone with Yeoyudang letters on it below the mountain. Yeoyudang is a name of Dasan’s birthplace which means to live a life carefully and it was named after a phrase from Tao Te Ching (老子) written by Lao-tzu that goes "shrinking looked they like those who wade through stream in winter; irresolute like those who are afraid of all around.”

And this name was also used in Yeoyudang Compendium, a collection of books written by Jeong Yak-yong. Yeoyudang is actually built like the ‘ㄱ’ and ‘ㄴ’ shaped buildings are surrounding each other.

Although he was a scholar of Practical Science philosophy, he passed the state exam as the second place and his house seemed like a typical Yangban’s house, although it is not that big, with a main floored room, a main room, a detached room and a guest room just like the ones in Yangban Village in Undang Studios.

Inside the room, there were furnitures, folding screens and various items that look like there’s someone who’s still living there. Among them, the seemingly soft blanket under the folding screens with Chinese letters on them made me want to sit on it.

But they’re all relics and displays so we couldn’t get inside but admired. The furnitures inside the room looked quite old and they look much more real than the ones in the studio indeed.

Under the walls behind the buildings, there were plenty of big platforms for crocks of sauces and condiments. It’s hard to see them these days but it was quite common when I was a child.

My gosh…I found a fly in the ointment. There was a cow doll in the stable attached to a building and there was too much dust that I didn’t even want to go closer.

The kitchen had a fire pot with a small iron pot on it, a water pot, and a furnace full of firewoods that it didn’t even have space for making a fire. This is out of blue but I was wondering if there’s Ondol on the floor. And I wish there were comments about the buildings here and there.

As we got away from the birthplace Yeoyudang, there’s a resting place with lots of wooden chairs in a vacant lot but no people ‘cause it was too cold outside. This place must be a great place to rest with strong wind in summer.

There stood a statue of Dasan Jeong Yak-yong. As a scholar and a writer who contributed to various fields including politics, medicine, science and religion, his sculpture is reading a book.

Around the statue, his representative thoughts are written on the stones. Dasan Jeong Yak-yong is the greatest Korean Practical Science scholar and reformer who integrated Practical Science thoughts in 18th century.

As the fourth son of a minister in Jinju, he was born here, launched into politics when he was 20, achieved so much including building Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, and lived 20 years of life of exile.

After invented so many things and writing books, he died when he was 75 and buried on a small hill behind Yeoyudang. In terms of this grave, self-written epitaph when he was alive is famous.

When you get on the hills after walking about 10m along the winding street, you’ll get a wide view of Han River to the front and a small graveyard surrounded by stone walls. This is the tomb of Dasan Jeong Yak-yong, master of Practical Science Philosophy. Unlike other places, people do not pass by this place without paying a silent tribute.

There’s a shrine praising him under the grave but it’s not open to the public. But to think of it, it’s quite ironic to see his shrine since he was a Roman Catholic with a baptismal name ‘Yohan.’

I should get to know him better at Tasan Memorial Hall. There are two buildings for visitors, Tasan Memorial Hall and Dasan Cultural Hall along with Practical Science Museum in Dasan Heritage Site.

Dasan Cultural Hall introduces his books briefly and Tasan Memorial Hall has the crane used to build Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, potter’s wheels and a miniature of House of Dasan in Gangjin where he was exiled to.

This is the crane that was used to lift big stones that people could not do when they were building Suwon Hwaseong Fortress.

And there was a copy of Mokminsimseo, the first thing that reminds us of when we think of Jeong Yak-yong. This is the book that used to be on the test in school as a management and administration manual that writes about right mind set and behavior of local officials and administrators.

Not only did they have his writings, a few of Dasan’s paintings were also hung the walls as he was well versed in art as well.

His Maejodo represents a father’s love to his only daughter expressed in painting and comments on an old crimson skirt his wife sent him during his exile. He is a prominent Practical Science scholar but at the same time he was a regular father who loves his children.

Self-written epitaph was also carved on the slate here. It’s not exaggerating that his words are prophetic writings in that his works were not recognized when he was alive yet highly appraised after his death.

It was already so dark when we left the memorial hall. It’s already past 6 but Dasan Cultural Hall was wide open so we could stay longer.

Just like the building’s name, it has everything Dasan’s theories and works affected but it’s only one hall so you’ll be able to finish the tour soon.

In the exhibition room, there’s a copy of Hapicheop, guidelines in life for his two sons and one daughter, which shows us a humane side of him. It tells us to focus on filial piety and brotherly love of your family and harmony, relieve the poor, and not resent others.

In the back, there was a story that he took an interest in Practical Science focusing on practical interests and behaviors in the era of Neo-Confucianism when a cause and ideology was top priority, and his academic life until he was drawn into Western Learning, which lead to persecution.

He’s achieved a lot but excluded from the political circles and he had to be exiled for 18 years away from his family but Joseon Dynasty could be much more developed because of his challenges and efforts.

Thanks to his efforts, his writings remained until now and his works could be the stepping stone for Joseon to move forward to the modern society.

Thanks to those works, he was selected as the world’s greatest people in 2012 by UNESCO along with the greatest people in the Western countries like Rousseau and Hermann Hesse. As we’ve been to Dasan Heritage Site today, it would be nice to praise for his virtues.

After a short visit to Dasan Cultural Hall, there were simple activities prepared in the lobby. You could make a rubbing of a stone inscription that we just saw from Yeoyudang or Maehwabyeongjedo. It would be memorable to make it as a souvenir like a diploma.

We did not have a chance to visit Practical Science Museum today but we could see many places here in Dasan Heritage Site where we could at least understand his life in detail. You’ll see on the map that Dasan Heritage Site not only tells us historical stories but it also has various attractions including beautiful sceneries of Han River and lotus pond. And near the site, there are Majaesungji, Paldang Dam, Namyangju Museum of History and so on, and the fact that it is not so far from Seoul is one merit. However, because of the interval between buses, it might be a little difficult but I am sure this is definitely worth a visit for educational reasons. Soon when the spring comes and the trees prepare their buds for the flourish of leaf and bud growth to come, you could visit here, feel the nature and look for the traces of our history at one place.


Map : link

Address : 95-3, Neungnae-ri, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Telephone : 031-590-2837

Operating Hours : 09:00 ~ 18:00 (Enter 30 minutes before closing)

Admission Fees : Free, Practical Science Museum (Adult: 4,000 won / Gyeonggi-do citizen: 3,000 won / Child: 2,000 won)

Website : Practical Science Museum (

Yetnaruteo(Old Ferry)

Even if it’s a real famous attraction, your trip could be boring and imperfect if you don’t find any nice food. Thankfully, there are so many restaurants near Dasan Heritage Site.

Especially near the entrance, there are big nice restaurants crowded with people. The type of food is various than other tourist attractions. Among them, what we chose is Yetnaruteo specializing in duck cuisines.

This is located in the innermost alley of Dasan Heritage Site that seems more like a house than a big restaurant.

It’s not so old but has been on food channels on TV quite often. I was worried about the taste since we just chose it because we were in the mood for duck cuisine not because it was famous.

As we got inside, the table looks like a real house. But the tables in one corner was reserved for customers and it had a room inside and seats on the second floor, so it’s not so small.

We took the innermost table and checked out the menu. Each of boiled duck with rice(Ori Baeksuk), duck soup(Ori Tang) and grilled duck(Ori Gui) costs 50,000 won, which is quite expensive for two. It seems reasonable for 3-4 people.

But each of us is able to finish the food of two or three people so we just ordered one marinated grilled duck(Ori Yangnyeom Gui). A white sheet was prepared on the table and a thick steel plate was put on portable gas cooker.

And simple common dishes were served one by one. Common dishes served with duck are mostly vegetables or pickles to freshen up the mouth since ducks contain much oil.

Crunchy bean sprouts and vegetables just dressed with sauce were sweet and quite sour, which is perfect to stimulate our appetite.

And sliced citron pickled with cabbage is indescribable. The sweet citron, not strongly sour, had a gentle scent and removed greasy taste of duck.

And the highlight of common dishes was the most popular one in this restaurant, pickled garlic. If you can take a look closely, it’s not just stem of garlic but it’s something that I’m familiar with yet it does not seem to go with this place.

As I expected, it’s cherry tomato. I asked the owner what this is and he said it’s cherry tomato. I was wondering how it would taste and put it in my mouth…”Wow.” It’s not squashy, rather crunchy that I didn’t even suspect it would be cherry tomato if I chew it with my eyes closed. And it was the best dish for ducks since it has fresh, sour and salty taste.

While we were tasting common yet amazing dishes, the main dish, marinated grilled duck, was served. On both sides of the big dish, there were handful of raw sweet potatoes and onions served and it was big as we expected.

The duck was sliced for one bite and seasoned with red sauce, and I must say the duck meat looked very fresh that the flesh is almost transparent.

As the plate got hot, we started to bake fresh duck. I wish there were more mushrooms but we had to give up since we had enough meat.

Anyways, the plate was full but we still had more than half. I guess we’d have to bake at least three times. Somehow it made me happy.

I had a talk with my wife while I was drinking cold dongchimi(radish water kimchi) soup while we were waiting for the duck to be cooked. The bottom line was that we could finally get rid of stress we had from Pocheon/Namyangju due to difficulty in using public transportation and cold weather.

Anyways, look at the oil when we are finished only one plate. It says on the TV that this is unsatured fat, which is good for bodies, but we have enough fat so we’d rather stop eating more.

Strangely enough, seasoned meats are easily burnt while we bake them but this one doesn’t seem to be burning easily, probably because it has unsatured fat. Plus, it looks quite charming when it’s cooked.

We’ve always got to make a Ssam(meat wrapped in lettuce leaves) for a starter when we eat meat. The reason is that we’ve been waiting for the meat long before it’s cooked. So put a plenty of duck on fresh lettuce leaf with pickles, radish and garlic on it.

Muhahahaha~amazing. I must say that pickled garlic is the highlight of this dish. And this time, I’ll wrap it with a sesame leaf in soy sauce. The food is amazing but the food after a long hard day is the best of all.

Not long after, we finished all the meat. But Korean people should eat rice somehow. Even if our stomachs are going to blow up soon, we should eat fried rice. So I guess the owner was surprised to see us finishing the whole meat and fried rice less than 30 minutes after we ordered.

Well, we just wanted to taste it so we ordered one bowl fried rice but to see that rice mixed with chives and chopped seafood, my mouth started to drool again.

So again, one tomato and a piece of Geotjeori(fresh vegetable salad dressed with garlic and chili powder, etc.) on a spoon of rice, we had to finish them all like it’s our first meal of the day. After we almost cleaned the iron plate, we could leave the table.

As duck meat is good for skin since it contains collagen and good to reduce high blood pressure since it contains unsaturated fatty acid, it’s known as one health food since long time ago as well as it’s good for stamina. Plus it is a bird yet the texture is similar to beef or pork. Especially the meal after a visit to tourist attraction is the best of all. There are tofu, dumpling or eel restaurants near Dasan Heritage site so you can choose whatever you like, and if you like to eat duck cuisine, you won’t regret here at Yetnaruteo.


Map : link

Address : 12-7, Neungnae-ri, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Telephone : 031-576-5233

Opening Hours : 09:30 ~ 21:30

Prices :Duck soup with rice: 50,000 won / Grilled duck(Ori Gui): 50,000 won / Duck Soup(Ori Tang): 50,000 won / Grilled duck patties(Ori Ttok-galbi): 10,000 won / Acorn pancake(Dotori Jeon): 10,000 won / Noodle soup with perilla seed(Deulkkae Kalguksu): 7,000 won / Pheasant dumplings (Kkwong Mandu): 5,000 won

Last Comment

For the last two days, we were kinda in a hurry to move between places in Pocheon/Namyangju but our schedule was still tight because of short daytime and cold weather in winter and uncomfortable public transportation for a long distance between destinations as we wanted to show you as many places as possible. However, there was not even a single place that was disappointing. Each one had good elements as a tourist attraction, activities and food, and it’s not exaggerating to say that it has a variety of activities and things to enjoy, probably our most fun trip of all.

Especially, Dongjanggun Festival is the best in winter, we’ve visited Praum Musical Instrument Museum twice while I am writing this journal, and we decided to go to Pocheon Art Valley again in this summer. Plus, Namyangju Studio Complex and Dasan Heritage Site were fun places to visit. And there are other places we couldn’t visit in Pocheon like Sanjeong Lake, Myeongseong Mountain, Namyangju Mongo Village and so on. And the best advantage of all is that it is quite close that you could go on a picnic. If you drop by one or two places, enjoy the food and nature, you won’t regret in any of places we’ve introduced you today. Even in this cold weather, there are so many things to enjoy that are available only in winter so do not shrink from the cold and rather take a winter trip to get through winter.

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