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Published: June 20th 2009
On a sunny Sunday afternoon wanting to get outside and explore we decided on the Cheongpyeongsa temple. I had been there just a week before on Teachers' Day and really enjoyed the 30 min hike from the parking lot to the temple. There is little online about directions to the temple and those that are available only give directions coming from Chuncheon. However it is possible to get to the temple from Hwacheon. We took the No.5 local bus from the terminal in Hwacheon and took it all the way to the end of the route. A small village past Ouem-ri called.......... From there you have to hitch a lift for the 15 minute car ride to the temple. I would have happily taken a taxi but there are none in this village. From what I remember when I was in the car when I went with my school the drive down this road was only 5 minutes but obviously I was talking or the driver was going fast because its a long way - too far to walk. Luckily its easy to get a lift there because this particular road has no exits what so ever before the temple entrance.
This meant that we had no problems getting a ride from outside the local store where the 2nd car stoped for us. There were 3 of us and the dog so I was ok to take a life off a stranger. We are also in rural Korea where crime is virtually nil. I do not and would not hitch hike in cities or alone in any country.
We arrived at the temple and paid the 1.300 won to enter. Dogs are allowed at the site. They do not have to be in a carrier along the pathways but at the temple site where there are practicising buddhists and religious music playing I put him in the bag out of respect. It is also very busy on a sunny Sunday so definately keep your dog on a leash.
The hike up is around 30-40 minutes and is up hill the whole way. Its not a difficult hike there are three public toilets on the way and many restaurants and outdoor bars. It is common to stop on the route down for mak-o-lee and traditional food. The restaurants have outdoor tables, some of which are positioned right on the stream.
We spent 30 mins looking around the temple and taking pictures. There is a souvenier store at the temple and another about 3/4 of the way down by the main toilets. Most of the walk runs along side a stream and there is a pretty 15-20metre waterfall. you can climb down to the water at some parts and take photos or dip your toes in the icy water! One other good thing about the walk is that all of it is shaded.
On the way down we decided rather than to try and get a lift back to the bus station we would take the small ferry to Chuncheon. This is the Soyang Dam ferry and I knew about it from my previous visit. The path to the ferry dock is long about 2km along a dirt raod with no shade. We got to the ferry at about 3.30pm and there were at least 150 people waiting. The ferries are regular but there isnt a timetable as such. It seemed to be about 5-10 minutes between ferries. Once on the boat it was about a 10 minute journey down the lake to 'Chuncheon'. This is the very outskirts of
Chuncheon and we didnt know where we were. As you get off the boat you come out on a road with a local market and a couple of taxis were waiting. A trip to Emart (and inter-city bus terminal) would have been 15,000. This gave us some idea that we were indeed quite far from the city centre. We walked down the market where every stall seemed to be selling the same thing! About 100m down the raod as the market ended there were 2 local Chuncheon buses. We took the number 12. I cant remember the other number. But they go to nam chuncheon and Emart. So we took the intercity bus home from there.
So...it is possible to get to the temple from Hwachweon area but there is no public transportation for that last road annoyingly. The journey via Chuncheon is about an extra 45km and an hour and a half longer than just taking the local bus for 25 minutes. You must just be prepared to hitch that last part.
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