Visit the Hometown of Korean History, Books, and Art

TRIPZILLA

Paju is a small city located 45 minutes north of Seoul, a destination where nature, people and art co-exist. Different from the busy streets of Seoul, Paju presents a sense of calm and peacefulness, making it the perfect destination for those who dream of an escape from the bustling cities. You can fill up your time in this artistic city with its rich cultural history, art galleries, beautiful scenery and wild farms. Although a Paju day trip is possible, I’d suggest spending at least two days to visit all the major spots in Paju!

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Full of Korean history, most tourists visit Paju to see the DMZ. The DMZ, stands for the Demilitarised Zone, which lies along the border between North and South Korea 🔭 If you would like to learn more about the Korean history, don’t miss out on the Third Tunnel and the Museum of Modern History too where you have the chance to travel back to the ancient Korean days since the liberation for a moment or two.

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Historic attraction is just one part of Paju. This place is much more interesting than you thought! For K-Drama fans, Provence Village is the filming location of the 2014 hit K-drama “My Love From the Stars” followed by “Master’s Sun”, and “A Girl Who Sees Smells”. Not just that, this French-style village is filled with pastel-like buildings, pottery workshop studios and beautiful herb studios. No wonder this beautiful place has become couples’ favourite place for picture-taking and fun exploring 💑 And of course, there’s the the famous Ryu Jaeun Bakery known for it’s super flavourful garlic bread. 

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For writers, artists, musicians or creative enthusiasts, Heyri Art Village is where your spirits can thrive ✨ You’ll find many art spaces and art galleries in this nature-friendly village. For some more fun, visit the Retro Arcade museum to get your hands on a bunch of retro video games 🎮 It can seriously be considered a good workout 💪😂 Heyri Art Village is also home to local bakeries and cafe galleries, but let’s check them out in the food section :D

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As Paju is known to be the publishing location for all Korean books, there is of course, the Paju Book City, a place of endless reads for book lovers 📚 You’ll find vintage second-hand books, galleries, and the Asia Publication Centre which hosts various exhibitions throughout the year. Don’t forget to take time to visit at least one book cafe too! There are so many to choose from where you can drink coffee, stay present in time and of course, appreciate a good read. 

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They say, “nature brings great joy”. And Paju is a perfect location for that, a nature-friendly place that has great scenic views to offer too 🏞 Lake Majang’s Bridge, well-known for its long red bridge trail, it’s perfect to take a few aesthetic Instagram-worthy shots while giving you the chance to enjoy nature. Whether it’s going for a long walk, bicycling around, or renting a paddle boat to ride along the lake, there are plenty of things for you to choose from to enjoy the landscape. 

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And if that’s not enough there are charming gardens to check out too! One is the botanic garden Byeokchoji Arboretum (벽초지 문화 수목원), which was featured in the k-drama “She Was Pretty”. The other is First Garden, where all kinds of nature are preserved under one roof. Plenty of different gardens like the flower garden, water garden, festival garden and even a Greek mythology park to take a stroll in!

I hear your question: “So what about the food?” 🍲🥘😋 If you visit the Heyri Art Village, most of the iconic Korean food can be found here. Farmer Table is a favourite filming location for many Korean dramas, including “Boys Over Flowers.” Best known for their Italian food! Think Green Cafe and Vege-ang are the options for a vegan and refreshing meal in a clean and minimalist cafe style. On the trending side, Dirty Truck is a new building that has received amazing reviews from K-bloggers. It’s a huge space where I feel like it can fit all of Paju 😂 This is a convenient stop where there are so many cafes, bakeries, and even bars, to choose from all located under one roof.

Another food norm in Paju is eating eel. Many food vendors sell eels but if you want to have them with a touch of fancy, I highly recommend the Simhaksan Eel restaurant for an authentic charcoal-grilled eel-eating experience. This place is quite popular, so it’s best to arrive early if you don’t want to be waiting in line 🏃‍♀️

TRIPZILLA

I hope this opens your view of Korea, and inspires you to experience things outside of the Seoul box. Definitely a city that brings out more of a unique character to South Korea! And no less, a place that I want to visit soon 🥰 Catch you later… until the next TMI 👋

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