Friday, August 27, 2010

DAY 6 in SEOUL (Part I)- Visiting the Wondang Horse Ranch

(Above)Us on subway train line no 3

On Day 6, it being a fair and cool day, we decided to head straight after breakfast to the Wondang Horse Ranch. This place is a popular site for couples to visit for a date, and due to it's serene and beautiful surroundings is well known as a filming location for many Korean movies, dramas, and commercials. The reason why we came to know about the place was that we watched the Korean drama - On Air starring the late Park Yong Ha and Kim Ha Neul. In episode 7 of this drama, Oh Seung-Ah elegantly rides up on a beautiful horse as Jang Gi-Jun brings her the script for , explaining that the script is entertaining. After watching the beautiful riding grounds used as the shooting grounds for Oh Seung-Ah’s horse-riding scenes, we decided to visit the Wondang Horse Ranch when we got the chance to visit Korea and here we were.

(Above) Scene getting rural as we get nearer to Samsong station althogh you can see modernity creeping in with new condominiums being built in the background.

(Above) Soccer mad Koreans - even the train floor is decorated like a soccer pitch.
(Below) Soccer mad Koreans - wallpaper of soccer balls in the train carriage

We took the subway line no 3 to Samsong Station and exited from exit no 5(below). When you come out of exit no 5, there is a bus stop in front.

(Above) Exit No 5 of Samsong Station.Stepping out of the train station really makes you feel that you have time travelled back to Korea in the 70s.

(Above) Bus stop outside Samsong station where you wait for shuttle bus no 1.

Pay 900W to take shuttle bus no.1 and drop off at the last stop which is at a deserted roundabout. If you are not sure, you can ask the driver to inform you when you reach the bus stop for Wondang horse ranch.

(Above) Bus Shuttle no 1 arriving.

(Above) On the bus

Due to prior experience, even when we pronounce the Korean name of a place, the locals have a difficult time understanding what we are referring to because they are very precise about the pronunciation and a little off the pronunciation, they will not be able to understand the place you are referring to. So what we did was to ask our conceirge at our serviced apartment to write the name of the place in Korean characters and we showed it to the bus driver who understood it perfectly well and signalled us to alight at the correct stop.

(Above)Town scenery from the bus. What a difference as compared to the skyscrapers in Seoul.

When you drop off at the bus stop, you may wonder if you are at the right place but not to worry,from the bus stop, go down the road facing you and you should see a farm(below) on your left.

(Above) On yr right at the bus stop, you should see a building. It was being constructed at the time we were there.

Continue walking down the long road until you come to a fork at the road at the end where on your right, you can see the gate entrance to Wondang Horse ranch. It is located beside the historical Seosamneung royal tomb, a declared world heritage site.The address of the ranch is 201-79 Wondang-dong, Deogyang-gu, Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province.The ranch is opened from 9am to 5pm but is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

(Above)Look for this bus stop and alight to walk up the road that leads to Wondang Horse ranch.

(Above) Bus stop sign at Wodang ranch bus stop.

(Above) taking the scenery in. The air there smells so fresh and good!

(Above) Prepare for a long walk in, wear comfortable shoes coz you will be doing alot of walking up and down slope.

(Above)Seeing the ranch on our right - what a relief! we were reaching.

(Above)If you see a cattle slaughter house on the left, just look to your right and you can see the entrance to the horse ranch.

(Above) Gayle showing that we have reached the ranch!

(Above) Us walking into the entrance of the horse ranch

(Above) Gayle posing by the ranch.

(Above) After the long walk, we took a short break along the way inside the ranch.

(Above) Continuing on, we came across the mascot of the horse ranch and gamely posed with him.

(Above)Portable toilet along the way.

(Above)Another scene in the ranch

(Above) Our first sight of horses grazing

(Above)Along the way, you can refer to the signboards that show the different breeds of horses there.

(Above) Scemery of horses grazing in the field.

(Above)Gayle finds a new friend - as we were taking a photo, the horse walks up to her.

(Above) Us posing with another friendly horse. Don't be surprised if they come up close to you.

(Above) Just relaxing and pointing out the different horses we see

(Above and below) Another up and close with the horse

(Above) Just as anywhere in S Korea, we saw litle tots being brought out on a learning journey at the ranch.

(Above) Unique way of leading kids to walk together. Get the kids to hold on to a common leash held by the teacher.

(Above) We spied a mimosa plant and Gayle tries her hand at blowing the filaments in the wind.

(Above)A romantic shot for lovers - us under a tree sharing a quiet moment together like in the Korean movies.

(Above) More scenery at the ranch.

(Above) Walking back to the bus stop, we stop to get a shot of Gayle with the greenery.

(Above)Us waiting for the bus to go back to Samsong station.

(Above) On the bus back.

(Above)Gayle alighting from the bus at our destination - Samsong station stop

(Above) We spied a eatery just in front of our bus stop when we alighted and went to check it out and decided to have lunch there.

(Above) all the walking has made us hungry and we go for a traditional Korean meal of rice cakes and tripe.

(Above) Friendly ajuma who owns the lunch eatery. Even in a small roadside eatery like this, one is served with a flask of cold water without any need to ask and a box of tissues, all on the house, unlike in Singapore.

(Above)Down through exit 5 back into Samsong station.

(Above) At Samsong station, waiting to take the train to Sinbanpo station. We would be heading to Sinbanpo Station next to visit Seorae, the French town of Seoul.