Ibike Korea People-to-People Program

   
 

   

Photo essay: Sancheon to Hwacheon

    (50mi, 80km)  Valleys, farms and forest, with a couple major climbs.
Points of Interest: Korean War memorials for Australia, New Zealand and Canada
  Unloading the cabbabe truck, Korea Sorghum head in a protective bag, KoreaEarly in the morning vegetable start to come to town as the farmers set-up for the market. Each separate cabbage on the truck (left) is wrapped in a sheet of newspaper.

Even the sorghum is pampered (right).

  Road along the Gyeongchun River (a tributary of the Han River) This is a typical rural highway.  It doesn't give a sense of how wide the lane is, but they are usually plenty wide (three meters).  Even with the wide lane, there is also a paved space outside the edge-line. In this section the paved shoulder is narrower than most.  The picture clearly was taken for the sign.
  scenic reward from a high spot on the road, Korea Another scenic reward from a high spot on the road.  The photo doesn't do it justice.
  yeogwan, South Korea Close enough to Seoul to be convenient and rural enough to feel like some privacy, there are yeogwans (small hotels) every few miles, designed for a nice romantic escape.
  Farm valley with forested hills The road winds down the valley in a constantly changing landscape.  It is worth noting how abruptly the farm land on the floor of the valley ends and the forest on the hillsides begin in rural area.  This is the norm throughout the country.  We never saw any clear cut forests.
  Korean land use feature where the agricultural fields end at the high-rise apartment blocks Gapyeong school

From certain angles, Gapyeong demonstrates the amazing Korean land use feature where the agricultural fields end at the high-rise apartment blocks (left).

Schools are consistently orderly, clean, modern and well maintained, Gapyeong (right).

  Women bicyclist, with a child in a rear child seat Woman and child doing errands by bicycle, in Gapyeong
  Rice field with scarecrows A field of golden rice ready for harvest, guarded over by a few scarecrows.  Like retail, most of the agriculture is small size family farms.  This makes agricultural areas very broken up and gives them lost of texture, color, rhythm and diversity.
  Commonwealth Memorial, Gapyeong, South Korea

Canadian Memorial, Gapyeong, South Korea

Australian Memorial, Gapyeong, South KoreaThe countryside around Gapyeong doesn't give any hints about the blood that was shed there in the past.  Fierce battles were fought in the Gapyeong River valley in April 1951 between the Chinese and Commonwealth troops.  There are now a series of memorials that help you appreciate the peace we enjoy now.  In Gapyeong, a Commonwealth Memorial (upper left) commemorating British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand troops who fought in the Korean War. Just north of Gapyeong is a Canadian Memorial (lower left).  AndNew Zealand Memorial, Gapyeong, South Korea near Mokdong, Bukmyeon, are Australian and New Zealand (upper right and lower right, respectively.)
  Small, local, Korean restaurant Lunch stop at a local restaurant.  Most restaurants are small and have a limited choice of dishes -- all Korean.  A typical lunch is a hearty soup, bowl of rice and assorted side dishes -- always including kimchi.
  Rice drying on the road way It always nice to find yourself on a road with rice, peppers, beans or other produce drying on the road.  It means the locals don't expect much traffic so you don't have to either.Jang-seung, "totem poles", Korea

Jang-seung, "totem poles," can be found in rural areas around the country.  Usually they are in in male-female pairs at the entrance to a village on the.  They are smiling scary! They have a dual purpose; the smile is suppose to welcome friend and the grin is suppose to to scare off evil.  In this case they lined the roadway.

  mix of farmland  and green houses A mix of farmland  and green houses in the valley.  Green houses are generally large enough to operate a small tractor in and are used to produce a lot of vegetables.
  Han River Valley in Hwacheon, the river / lake is bordered by recreational bicycle facilities.in Hwacheon, the river / lake is bordered by recreational bicycle facilities.in Hwacheon, the river / lake is bordered by recreational bicycle facilities.Another tributary of the Han River.  It has been dammed to form a lake.  Our route runs along the lake for 20 km. Near and in Hwacheon, the river / lake is bordered by recreational bicycle trail system and other park facilities.
  Bronze statue, Hwacheon, Korea Bronze statue, Hwacheon, Korea In conjunction with the trail system, and other local improvement, sculptures, fountains and monument grace the lake shore, traffic cycles and other open spaces of Hwacheon.  Here are a few that made the cut.   Traffic cycle / roundabout, Hwacheon, KoreaTraffic cycle / roundabout, Hwacheon, KoreaFish and river otters were common themes.  It is a good guess that the river otter is a local mascot.
  Chain restaurant, Hwacheon Electronic reader board in HwacheonHwacheon, physically, isn't very big, but it was big enough to have a chain restaurant (left) and an electronic reader board in the center of town (right).  Looking at the people in town and its proximity to the border, there must be some military bases in the area that infuse the local economy.
 

Sancheon Pallang

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