We did a quick three hours stop at Pocheon Herb Island 허브아일랜드 when we were in Pocheon area. This is an interesting theme park on a mid-size land area, housing a good variety of activities. Strangely, it somehow reminds me of Petite France, another park in Korea. For those who are not into photo taking and dwelling on pretty flowery and herb things, you probably will finish the park within an hour or two. For those who love photography and things related to Mediterranean herbs and plants, you can probably spend a full day here going through the museum and activies. There are also areas for children like the zoo, rides, cartoon characters, etc to have good family time.
The Herbs Museum, strangely enough is found in the Venice Village. I am not a herbal botanist enthusiast so the seven exhibition halls of information dated from BC5000 do not appeal to me. The museum does cater for more non-herbal persons interest like exhibiting handicrafts made from herbs that can be used in our everyday lives. There are also hands on activies like making your own herb candles and soaps! As for me, I simply love the interior design of the museum and was happily taking tons of photos.
Street to the Past
I enjoyed this street the most. Perhaps I am a more nostalgic person. Travelling back in time to the 1970s and 1980s of Korea was a fun experience. Besides the small huts that have interiors decorated to reflected the lifestyle of those days, with classroom, photo studio, medicine shop and kitchen, we got to try out some of the activies from the 70s and 80s.
There were about 5-6 gas fire stations like the ones below outside an old grocery shop. We saw many grannies sitting by the fire BBQ-ing strips of things that we could not identify. I could see sparkles in their eyes as they do this. Curiousity got the best out of us. We went into the grocery shop, which proved to be my favourite among the row of huts.
This old grocery shop sells all the nick nacks of the 70s and 80s. We found paper dolls, those which you can change their clothes by folding a small tab on the shoulders of the dresses, and loads of old style candies and snacks. Those strips on the BBQ pit were from here. We found out that there were fish, sweet potato and other flavoured strips. We bought some and went to the BBQ pits. No charge for the use of the pits. It was not easy to not burn the strips and we threw quite a bit of charred pieces away. Not exactly tasty but it was a fun experience.
At the end of this old street, there is a traditional restuarant dishing out amazing kimchi pancakes. They also serve Korean beef soup with rice and makgeolli but we were not ready to eat a full meal. The interior design mimics that of the old traditional rice and soup restuarants in the street. I must say this cripsy crust kimchi pancake is one of the best I have had in Korea so far. It is thin but the texture of the pancake inside the crisp exterior has the right consistency, not too soft or hard, with just a tad bit of chewiness. I am so glad we tried this. The kimchi and sides were really yummy too. Kudos to the ladies who prepared all these.
It is hard to miss this bakery. Once we were near, we could smell fresh bread baking in the oven. A must try item will be their herbs and garlic bread stick. It is toasted till it is crisp even in the inside of the soft white bread. We bought other breads as it is unresistable, which we ate one on our journey back to Seoul city.
We wandered around the park without a plan and we wandered into the Perfume shop. The staff at the entrance requested for me to bring up my hair from the back of my neck and he dabbed a little of aromotherapy oil and I was perked immediately! Talk about in-store experience. We were then ushered to a counter to pick up a glass of Herbisland special blend of tea. I felt refreshed after the cup of tea to conquer this store. Rows of flowers and scents in the store overwhelmed me with beauty, with products like tea, essential oils, air fresheners, potpourri, soaps and candles. A good place to buy some gifts.
Information about Herb Island