Hot Places regarding to Descendants of the Sun(DOTS)
The drama 'Descendants of the Sun (DOTS) has caused huge sensation across countries in Asia and other continents as well. There were so many people anticipated for the drama which led us to explore more on the shooting locations of the drama during the DOTS Fam Trip (22nd May, 2016 to 27th May, 2016). We invited participants from travel agencies and Media to develop the content for the drama attraction.
Let's start to introduce the places which we have visited.
After we arrived in Korea, the first place that we visited was Imjingak. Facing with North Korea, this is one of the most northern tourist attractions in Korea with an observation deck, Freedom Bridge, Third Tunnel and Joint Security Area(or JSA) in the vicinity. The park was built to console those who are unable to return to their hometowns, friends and families because of the division of Korea.
Imjingak is not the DOTS filming location, however, it is still a unique place in the world which has been one of the major attractions in Korea.
Camp Greaves (DOTS)
Camp Greaves was the first visit of DOTS filming location. It is located in the restricted area for civilians. After our ID cards have been verified by the South Korean soldiers, we finally could go in to the Camp.
An ex-U.S. military base was turned a Youth Hostel. The camp is equipped with a gym, a restaurant, barracks and seminar rooms. To commemorate DOTS, now the place offers a variety of activities such as military uniform wearing, dog tag making and photo taking.
We enjoyed the military uniform wearing activities. Wearing the military uniform, we looked every nook and corner within Camp Greaves.
Camp Greaves is operated by Gyeonggi Tourism Organization. Mr. Oh from GTO explained every scene of the Camp while he uses the right part of the drama. We pretended as Captain Yoo(by Song, Joong-ki) and took pictures. It was a fun time for all of us.
IFEZ PR Center(DOTS)
With a good experience from Camp Greaves, we headed to Songdo city in Incheon. Our first inspection location in Songdo was IFEZ PR Center. This is the filiming location where Song joong-ki and Jin-gu got a gun shot scene in the drama. IFEZ PR Center located on the 33rd floor of the G-Tower introduces the development plan and progress status of its project of Incheon Economic Free Zone. The view from the center was so nice and clear. We imagined how it looked like when the actors were filming here and all of our participants felt excited about it.
Songdo Central Park (송도 센트럴 파크)
Next, we headed to Songdo Central Park to get on the water taxis. Central Park is located between the business zone and the residential complex in the Songdo International Business District. Water taxis operate to circulate the central park every 20 minutes on the artificial canal (length: 1.8㎢, maximum width: 110m), which was built by bringing the seawater in for the first time in Korea. On the water taxis, all the participants spent their free time while viewing new developed city and unique buildings that look like the ones in the theme park. It was an enjoyable and healing moment. By the way, I was curious whether Captain Yu and Doctor Kang had experience the water taxi here while they were in working here. Maybe not. However, all the places here inspire us to imagine them.
NC Cube Canal Walk
Then, we visited NC Cube Canal Walk. NC Cube Canal Walk is a street-type shopping mall where customers enjoy shopping, café and restaurant with the surrounding of beautiful canal and scenery. While we were there, we had a chance to watch a shooting scene. Actually, the actor was not famous but it was a good experience to watch them how to shoot . Ms. Seo from Incheon Tourism Organization explained that many shootings were done here so, it means that if you visit here, you might also have a chance to meet Song Joong Ki , Lee Minho or other K-Kop stars. So do Visit here if you would like to spot the Korean stars ^^.
After walking NC Cube Canal Walk, we moved to Dal.Komm Coffee in Songdo. This café is the filming location of DOTS where Song Joongki surprised Song Hyekyo by appearing near her house after he was back from his mission. Plus, this is where they had a drink of dal.komm Coffee where Song Hyekyo explained their differences and decided to end their brief relationship.
When we arrived there, dolls represented Song Joongki and Song Hyegyo were in the tea table like Song-Song couple did. In addition, one side of wall was fully covered by DOTS images. Excited by looking at the posters, all the participants took tonnes of photos in the café.
Song-Song Cocoa which Song-Song Couple drank during the drama is the best-selling item in the cafe. We ordered it like the Song-Song Couple. Apart from the drama, Song-Song Cocoa is so sweet and soft. I strongly recommended to try it.
Oakwood Premier Incheon (DOTS)
The last visit place of the first day was Oakwood Premier Incheon. In Oakwood Premier Incheon, the scene which Song Hyegyo hit the president of the hospital who asks 1 night offer was taken. Fortunately, we can view the suite room which was shooting place. The room was so luxury and everyone wish to stay the room in the future.
The hotel was only about 20 minute-drive from Incheon International Airport, Oakwood Premier Incheon commands the most spectacular views as it is located on the upper floors (36 ~ 64) of the building.
For our first stay hotel in Wonju, Gangwon-do, we departed to Wonju. However, we had dinner in the hotel with a nice view.
Arirang Train (아리랑 기차)
The next day, we started with A-train. A-train, or Jeongseon Arirang train begins operating from January 22, 2015. The A-train departs from Cheongnyangni Station at 8:10 am, and runs from Cheongnyangni Station to Jeongseon Station and Auraji Station. (no train on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except when coinciding with the operation of Jeongseon 5-day Market and public holidays)
After boarding on A-train, we enjoyed some coffee and snack on board. It was a good choice for the long journey as we could spend a good time with our travelling partners.
Samtan Art Mine (DOTS)
After we arrived in Jeongseon, we transferred to our bus again and headed to Samtan Art Mine. Samtan Art Mine refers to Samcheok Tanjwa, one of major coal mines in Korea which used to be a main hard coal producing place. Samtan Art Mine changes to artistic museum.
You can enjoy some arts from Africa here at the museum. Some artistic work regarding to miners' life displayed there, as well. It was so impressive and meaningful to us. A long history and exotic arts made us feel refreshed in the deep mountain valley. We heard that some artists stayed there and do their creative job.
Moreover, the Samtan Art Mine was DOTS shooting place. While they were here, Song, Joongki used one of the rooms. All of us pay attention to explanation of the guide and trace the travel line which Song, Joongki did. The room was not special, however, only the reason which Song, Joongki was there, made it so special to us. We took a lot of photos and made happy memories. Also, the place, Song, Hyegyo was captured, was also a good place to visit. We took a picture like her on the chair.
After Samtan Art Mine, we had a lunch of traditional local food in Jeongseon. The menu was Gondrebap which was rice with Gondre, or vegetable from the near mountains. It was so nice and all of us felt that the food was so healthy and fresh.
Hanbo Coal Mine (DOTS)
The church and the field hospital scenes were filmed in Hanbo Coal Mine in Taebaek. Actually, Taebaek was a small town with a coal mine in Gangwondo.
When we arrived there, some of the drama posters are hanged and we knew that the place is the filming location of DOTS. We found that main poster was taken here.
However, the church is demolished due to safety concern. However, the local government officer explained the plan to be reconstructed the church before this July, 2016.
We hope to finish the construction as their plan. Next time , if we visit here again, we hope we can take pictures in front of the church.
365 Safe Town
Hanbo Coal Mine was the background of a natural disaster. After looking around Hanbo Coal Mine, we visited 365 Safe Town. 365 Safe Town is a one-of-a-kind safety awareness theme park combining education, entertainment, recreation, and leisure into one public park. It is the world’s first edutainment facility dedicated to teaching the public safety lessons about fire, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
During the visit, we learned CPR and indirect experience of Earth-quake. For family tourists, it is highly recommendable place.
It was our second time to try out Korean local food and we decided to eat Dakgalbi. Dakgalbi or Chicken barbeque is a famous local food in Gangwondo area, especially, in Namiseom .
However, we found a little bit different Dakgalbi from the original one. In Taebaek, Dakgalbi was made a different way. It is named as a Muldakgalbi (or dakgalbi with spicy soup). It was a little bit spicy however, good food with a rice. After eating all the chicken, the restaurant staff suggested the stirred- rice with a spicy soup. It was so nice. If you like a spicy food, I recommended the food.
On third day, we started from Sky Ranch in Pyeongchang. Pyeongchang was famous for their high altitude. Many Koreans visit Pyeongchang in the summer time. The weather of Pyeongchang in the Summer is so cool and pleasant comprared with the weather of other areas which are so humid and hot.
Pyeongchang Slogan is 'Happy 700' For this slogan, 700 means its altitude. It gives the message that even in summer your stay and your travelling will be nice. Visit and enjoy the nice weather of Pyeongchang like Genting highland.
Sky Ranch (하늘목장)
Next visit was the Sky Ranch. Established in 1974, the Sky Ranch has a 40-year-old history with a huge ranch of 900 million. Currently, about 400 Holstein cows are bred up along with a hundred of hanu (Korean Cow) in a eco-friendly way.
The ranch located in a high land, so the weather is so nice and even in summer , the weather is so nice and really a good place for walking here.
Alpensia Ski Jump (알펜시아 스키 점프대)
Alpensia Ski Jump is the symbol of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic. Located in Alpensia Resort, it was originally planned to be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
When we visited there, we can go to the spot which the player to jump. Really high and fine view make all the people enjoyable.
Ojukheon House (오죽헌)
In Gangneung, we went the Ojukheon House. Ojukheon House gets its name from the many black bamboo trees that surround it. It was here where Sinsaimdang (1504-1551) lived and where her son Yi I (penname Yulgok; scholar and politician of the Joseon Period) was born. It was built during the time of the 11th King of Joseon, King Jungjong (1506-1544), and remains one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea. It was designated as Treasure No. 165 in 1963 and has been maintained by the descendants throughout the generations.
Sinsaimdang is a representative mother image for Korean. Soon, the drama of Sinsaimdang will be shot and the heroin of the drama is Lee youngae, who was heroin of 'Jewel of the Palace'
I am looking forward to drama and want to check the place again comparing with the places in the drama.
Galgol Hangwa Village(갈골한과마을)
After visiting Ojukheon, we visited "Galgol Hangwa Village" . The village is like any other rural village that recalls memories of one's home town to Koreans. We learned about Korean traditional snacks and had a chance to make our own snacks.
Korean Style Restaurant
The dinner for tonight was so special. We visited a Korean traditional restaurant and the food was so authentic. Every food was made by the restaurant owner. The atmosphere of the restaurant give a strong impression to us and we looked around and took a photo to leave the good memory.
With a nice food, we move to famous coffee street.
Anmok Coffee Street (안목커피거리)
Recently, Gangneung is famous for their coffee. The main point of coffee street is Anmok Beach. Anmok Beach is a street lined with a variety of unique coffee shops. In its beginning, the now aptly named Anmok Beach Coffee Street had only a few coffee machines. The visitors of the beach tried coffee machine and know that the vending machine coffee in the street was so nice and upload their experience to their own SNS. It was shared with others and the street was getting so famous.
Around five years ago, coffee shops began to open up one after another, and now there are over 20 coffee shops. Apart from franchise coffee shops, there are also individual shops where coffee is roasted and dripped, offering a wider variety of coffees. Just across the street is a white sandy beach and the beautiful blue sea, making for a great place to take in the surrounding natural beauty over a delicious cup of coffee.
We visited the street after 8 PM, and we found a lot of tourists, mostly Koreans. We enjoyed the great ambience and indulged in our coffee and stories.
The next day, our 4th day started and we moved to Seoul in the morning. We arrived to Lotte World Aquarium at Jamsil, Seoul. The Lotte World Mall was really huge and it was not so crowded so it is a nice place for shopping.
Lotte world Aquarium
We visited on Thursday and there were not so many people there. We can see the unique looking fish. Also, a lot of hand-on experiences are provided. Especially, fish-feeding bottle experience was so fun. The experience fee was 2,000won (approximately 7RM) was recommendable.
650 species of 55,000 different marine life forms up close, visitors can feel the ocean in an urban area at Lotte World Aquarium.
Youll by Jeongdong theater
We ate lunch in the Jamsil and move to Myeongdong Area. In the Itinerary, 'Youll by Jeongdong theater' was included. Youll is a fusion performance and newly performed in Jeongdong theater.
After dinner in Hongbogak, we had a free time in Myeongdong shopping street and that is how our fourth day finished.
Finally it is our last day. We went to 'K-Style Hub'. K-style Hub is the previous KTO headquarters building. A good accessibility and newly renovated interior is quite attractive to us.
Entrance fee was free and some VR contents and Beauty consultation place are so appealing. Especially, K-star section was so interesting. Taking a picture with K-pop is so fun and enjoyable to all of us. Also, the sign by Song, Joongki was there and he said 'welcome to K-style Hub'. He was the honorary Ambassador of 2016 KTO.
K-Style Hub has the information to meet all tourists' needs, from a tourist information center to a hallyu experince, hansik exhibition and experience hall, medical tourism information and more. Expounding upon the center of just providing information, K-Style Hub also aims to provide various chances to learn about Korean culture and food, as well as easily participate in traditional experiences.
After visiting K-Style Hub, we are finally done with our schedule. I hope any other people also enjoy the places and feel the same feeling that I have it.