Words and shots by Chelsie Kozera
Trade in a dull afternoon in the city for a fun-filled day at the Uirimji Lake in Jecheon.
If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds, let Uirimji Lake pull you away from the neon glare of the big city. Just two hours southeast of Seoul in Chungcheongbuk-do’s Jecheon can be found one of Korea’s oldest reservoirs. The man-made lake attracts tourists every weekend of the year. An easy two-kilometer-long path encircles the reservoir. Whether you’re there to stroll down the path or just listen to the sound of the waterfall, Uirimji won’t disappoint.
Parkland is Uirimji’s small amusement park. While it mostly caters to youngsters, some rides like the Disco and Viking have teenagers and adults wailing like school children. Inside Parkland, would-be Babe Ruths can take a swing at the batting cages while golf enthusiasts can stop by the driving range, located a five-minute-walk away. You can even try your hand at archery during your day at the lake. There is no fee to get into Parkland, but each ride costs W3,000 for adults.
Uirimji is surrounded by several mountains that are great for hiking. One popular hike is Yongdusan, just a short walk from the lake. Give yourself an hour to reach the summit. Walking north towards Yongdusan will take you to another smaller and more serene reservoir close to the campus of Semyung University. This area is not far from the main attraction where holidaymakers are paddling swans and sipping on lattes.
Getting There Jecheon is a transportation hub smack dab in the middle of Korea; it won’t be hard to find a direct bus going there from any city. Once you arrive at the bus terminal or train station, hop in a cab and say, “Uirimji”
(의림지). A taxi will cost about W4,000 from the bus terminal and W5,000 from the train station.