Paju

After the worship service at Tree Planted by the Water Church of the Nazarene and our walk through Ilsan Lake Park we headed to Paju to go to the Odusan Unification Observatory overlooking North Korea. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the gate had just been closed 4 minutes! But there were still several things to see in the area before we had dinner then headed back.

Odusan Unification Observatory
You can see Odusan Unification Observatory on the hill in the distance. Sadly, it was closed by the time we got there…

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Heyri Art Valley (헤이리 예술마을)

“Korean artists of various specialties such as writers, painters, actors, architects and musicians constructed the cultural town of Heyri. Within this community there are residences, workrooms, art galleries and museums. Artists make a living by opening exhibitions, trading or selling their art. Currently, there are about 40 museums, exhibitions, concert halls and bookstores, and around 30~40 more are expected to be added. Currently about 10 cafes and food courts are included in these buildings for the convenience of its visitors.

“Heyri Art Valley was constructed to blend in with surrounding structures. The local construction regulations require all buildings to be no more than three stories tall. Just by glancing at these buildings you will admire their artistry since architects constructed each building with its own unique characteristics.” 1

This was a really neat village that we drove through. We didn’t take time to to get out, but it would be a fun village to walk through, enjoy a tea or coffee or maybe lunch…with so much art and crafts, though, you would need to be sure to bring plenty of cash!  Here are some pictures of our drive through, but I noticed later that I probably should have cleaned the windshield a bit!:

IMG_20160703_172301943 IMG_20160703_172335920 IMG_20160703_172355647_HDR IMG_20160703_172403111 IMG_20160703_172411215 IMG_20160703_172427605 IMG_20160703_172544861 IMG_20160703_172549437 IMG_20160703_172619722 IMG_20160703_172631343 IMG_20160703_172655470 IMG_20160703_172711419 IMG_20160703_172809933_HDR IMG_20160703_172848640

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Gyeonggi English Village (경기 영어 마을)

We just drove by the English Village, but it’s such an interesting concept that I wanted to mention it and share some pictures. According to their website:

Gyeonggi English Villages are for the residents of Gyeonggi Province and the Republic of Korea to experience the English language and the cultures of English-speaking countries. It is our intent to provide strong support for the public and private English education system of Gyeonggi Province and for Korea as a whole. In addition to learning and studying the international language, we want to instill in students a better sense of their role in the global community. 2

Gyeonggi English Village
This picture is from the website, but a better one than I could get from driving by.

 

Gyeonggi English Village
One of the large English-style buildings and the roofs of several others.

 

Gyeonggi English Village
A small replica of Stonehenge outside of English Village

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Dinner in Paju City

After a all of the site-seeing and walking through Lake Park, we had gone hungry to the they took me to dinner at a restaurant in Paju City. It was a neat place, with several buildings in a “compound.” We had a traditional Korean meal with several sides, hot soup, and grilled beef to eat wrapped in leaves/lettuce.  While there, I learned that Koreans are the only ones who actually eat the leaves of the sesame plant, which was on the plate of “wraps” for the meat. Here are a few pictures for dinner, all take by Pastor Kim’s wife, except the one that she’s in (I’m not sure why I didn’t take any pictures here!):

 

The three of us in the courtyard of the restaurant (I'm the one on the right).
The three of us in the courtyard of the restaurant (I’m the one on the right).

 

John and I still eating...
John and I still eating…

 

John and I enjoying plum juice and coffee...and the cooling evening.
John and I enjoying plum juice and coffee…and the cooling evening.

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It was a long day, but a really great time spent with friends and seeing Korea. I’m really thankful that I met Pastor John Eun Yup Kim and his wife, and for all of the kindness they’ve shown me while I was in Korea!

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Imagine Your Korea website.

Gyeonggi English Village website.

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