If you have been living in Korea for a while now, you should be familair with the word ‘couples’. People that have been dating a Korean person would know a little bit about ‘couple t-shirts’, ‘couple shoes’, ‘couple rings’, and ‘couple cell phone cases’. It is very cute and very normal for the couple to be wearing matching everything when they are dating. When couples are all ready for their dates, there is one spot that everyone goes to take pictures. This is the icon of Seoul: The N Tower (Namsan Tower). However, N Tower is overcrowded with tourists and sometimes it is best to take your loved one outside of Seoul. Somewhere you two can escape the urban jungle.
This place is called Herb Island. Located in Pocheon, this is an ideal location to take those infamous ‘selfies’ or ‘selcas’. Herb Island is not really an island (I was actually really disappointed in that) but instead it is an Herb Tourist Farm. Basically, it is a giant garden of flowers and herbs to smell. I didn’t know what it was until I went with a couple of friends. I literally thought I was going to an island, but instead, I went to the ideal location for a couple’s date.
Herb Island is located in the middle of the mountains so already there is great scenery around. But since you are fairly isolated, the easiest way to get there is if you or your significant other has a vehicle. If not, you can go to Uijeongbu Station (line 1) and take bus #57 to Herb Island.
Once you are there, there are a number of activities that you can do. There is a minimal entrance fee to get into the park (6,000 Won), but once you are there you can take some amazing pictures. There is an indoor garden where you can not only take pictures with those plants, but also purchase them. Also, inside the Herb Museum you can see how people have been able to eat and drink herbs from previous cultures. If you are lucky, you can try and taste one of their concoctions. The Herb Bakery is ridiculously fresh and tasty since they use the herbs and spices that are grown in their garden. And for your romantic side, you can take a Venetian gondola ride around the restaurants and performance plaza.
When we went on a Sunday afternoon, it was packed. Depending on the time of year you visit, there is a special flower garden that is located in the back of the park. For us, it was lavender. Around this garden is everything dedicated to Christmas and Santa Claus. It is Christmas everyday at Herb Island. Make sure to take pictures with Santa as well as place your couple’s ‘love note’ to the Garden Archway. After walking around Santa’s Village, go ahead and take a peak at the small zoo that is located nearby. You can see children happily riding miniature donkeys while the parents feed them treats of cantaloupe.
But again, if you want to be romantic, there are three things that I suggest that you go ahead and do. The first stop is the aromatherapy massage center. They have different rooms full of lavender, peppermint, rose, and orange fragrance that can help de-stress you from all of that travel. Nothing says more than ‘I love you’ than a couple’s massage. Afterwards, head on over to the Herb Kalbi restaurant where you can have fine meats with special herb sauces. If you are not into eating meat, they have a variety of traditional noodles to enjoy. Finally, to commemorate your trip to Herb Island, buying one of their fragrances, candles, or home made jams is a must. There are many gift shops where you can mix and match different fragrances to suit your smelling and tasting palates.
Do you have someone in mind that you want to share this experience with?
After working for five years in banking, Marc decided that it was time for a change before he got too old. He left the stress from his 9-5 job to do something new and different. After coming to Korea with a group of buddies, he landed in the Gangdong Branch in Eastern Seoul. When he's not teaching and doing head instructor duties, he is out about traveling Korea, looking for the new, old, and undiscovered places to visit.