Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Recommended time to visit: spring and fall
Recommended for solo travelers, couples, and families
Sometimes I like to get out of Seoul and look around the smaller cities in the surrounding area. While looking for interesting places to go, my friend and I stumbled upon Pocheon Art Valley.
Who Would Love It
Apparently, a few dramas and movies had a few scenes here. One of them, 화유기/A Korean Odyssey, was actually a favorite of mine. This place did NOT disappoint with the visuals! I highly recommend this place for nature lovers and couples to get some great pictures. But this place is so peaceful, that I would easily see a solo tourist enjoying the opportunities to get great pictures of sculptures while enjoying the small hike. It's open year-round, but I bet right at the end of Spring would be the best time to visit this amazing place.
This could easily be a day trip as the bus ride was only an hour and a half out of East Seoul Bus Terminal. A friend and I went together, we started at about 11 a.m. or noon. We took our sweet time taking selfies, looking around, enjoying the views in the valley, and we still had a little bit of sunlight at the end.
How to Get There
While I wouldn't do it, you could take Seoul public transportation all the way there. But that's 2-3 hours I'd rather not be on a bus or subway. However, if you're feeling it, you can simply look up Pocheon Art Valley (포천 아트 밸리) in Google Maps, Naver Maps, or Kakao Maps, and it'll have the navigation for public transporation.
If you'd rather do the straight shot from a bus terminal, East Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울터미널) is the place to go. You can reserve a ticket online at https://intercitybuse.tmoney.co.kr/. The site can be used in English.
Alternatively, there are kiosks right when you walk into the terminal. Which is what I did. The kiosks have English if you're solo traveling and still struggle with Korean. You just enter the destination, Pocheon, and make sure you're at the right bus gate. Don't worry they are labeled, so it should be easy to find which gate you leave from!
Downside is that there wasn't wifi on the bus, so I hope you have a sim/pocket wifi to look at your map/navigation. If not, set a timer on your phone for your arrival time and listen for the bus station "Pocheon Intercity Bus Terminal" (포천시외 버스터미널).
At least for my trip, we had to tell the bus driver we were getting off, this isn't the last station the bus will go to, so you have to make it known you're getting off.
Tip: There are two phrases you can use to tell the driver you are getting out:
내릴 게요. -I will get down. (polite) nae-leel gae-yo.
네려 주세요. -Drop me down here, please. (polite) nae-lya ju-sae-yo.
If you miss the terminal (like us ha!), you can get off at the bus stop called Shinbuk-myeon-haeng jeongbokji center-Pocheon Art Valley (신면행정복지센터.포천아트밸리). It's the bus station near the white marker on the map below that says "Myeon Office."
When you get off at the Pocheon Bus Terminal OR the Shinbuk-Myeon station you will take bus 73 to get the rest of the way to the valley.
You can reference this map below:
....One more downside to getting there. The bus 73 is on a schedule that can take FOREVER. So, be sure to match up the times to get to the Art Valley. It will start at the Pocheon High School, 3 stops before Pocheon Bus Terminal/City Hall. It departs the high school at 8:30 am, 10:40 am, 1:40 pm, and a final time of 4:00 pm. Then, it leaves the Art Valley at 9:10 am, 11:20 am, 2:20 pm, and 4:30 pm. Basically at soon as it gets to Art Valley, it goes back around it's loop.
If you would rather not have to deal with it, make sure to get off at the Pocheon Bus Terminal and take a $5 taxi next to the terminal. We didn't even really have to say where we were going. We're foreign and in Pocheon, so the driver asked us, "Pocheon Art Valley?" and off we went!
I believe tickets were about $5 and the little tram to get up the hill was a few bucks one way. We just took it up, it was a fun and cute little ride.
There was also an observatory and other things to look at, but we felt satisfied with just the sculptures and rocks.
Here are some of the pictures I took, I hope it entices you to visit!