Regular FeaturesTravel Diary
Hidden Gems Near Pangyo StationA visit to Avenue France and Hwalang Park
Kim Ye-eun  |  yeeunkim@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2015.05.07  13:18:57
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PANGYO IS acknowledged as the Korean Silicon Valley, given its development as a high-tech industrial complex. Unlike our anticipation that the city will solely be crammed with IT corporate offices, and bustling with cars commuting to work, Pangyo turns out to be serene and humble. An hour’s subway ride from Sinchon Station will lead you to two wonderful places to the springtime wind.

 

A miniature Europe in Pangyo

   Many university students are eager to travel to European countries but abandon their dream because of a lack of time or money. Happily, Avenue France in Pangyo can revive these without an overseas flight.

   Once you step out of Pangyo Station Exit 1, the unique structure of a brick building will instantly grab your attention. A 200-meter avenue is paved between steamlined shaped buildings, leading to a variety of shops that sell vintage products. Some of these goods are displayed outside the shops to keep your eyes busy. A collection of dolls, cushions with famous artwork sketched on the surfaces, and antique chairs placed on both sides of the street bring unanticipated delights. Each shop also has its own novel exterior design, creating a posh ambience.

Similar to France, where people often enjoy their meals in sidewalk seating areas outside the restaurant, the avenue provides the opportunity to savor dishes while bathing in sunlight. The ample space, lingering coffee aroma and sophisticated design of tea tables tempt you to sit back at terrace cafés and relax. At the center of Avenue France, a lush garden of verdant trees and pastel-colored flowers are there to greet spring. The combination of rich, natural fragrances and vibrant colors comes as an absolute pleasure, and many visitors are quite taken by this surprise gift from Avenue France.

 

Haven in the concrete jungle

Hwalang Park provides an emotional relief from hectic city life, as it is the sole green area situated exactly at the center of Pangyo IT village. A sea of green unveils itself outside Pangyo Station Exit 4, and you can genuinely relish the gentle touch of May.

Beside the square, a vast lawn harmonizes with the urban surroundings so that the park encompasses both natural and artificial elements. Flowers and orchids in diverse colors and shapes are on display. Name boards accompany these blooming plants – so visitors may learn the names of flowers they admire. As you walk past the grassy square, an arch bridge lies behind the square and connects two different areas of the park. While crossing the bridge, you will immediately notice a tranquil lake that glistens in sunshine. A pack of ducks and a pool of goldfish add vitality to the serene lake.

The other side of the park is filled with unexpected entertaining activities. A tall tower will grab your attention. The elevator whisks you to the top of the tower, where you can both admire Pangyo and read books. Once you get off the elevator and turn right, a book café is in sight. Through floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the room, you can enjoy the view of Mt. Cheonggae. While listening to classical music in the background, why not grab a book and read? Moreover, the café has Wi-Fi, so it’s handy to bring your laptop as well. On the left side of the elevator, a space for relaxation is also provided. There, you can relax on cozy couches and marvel at the magnificent panorama of cutting-edge Panggyo city.

    The park also contains a separate area packed with entertainment facilities. When using these amenities, you will feel as if you are in an amusement park. You will be impressed by the attractions that function by self-generated electricity. For example, on a stationary exercise bicycle, electricity is produced once you start pedaling, and this causes the bicycle to move up and down like a seesaw. You can also have a virtual bicycle race with your friend. A dot on the board in front of the bicycles indicates your hypothetical location and moves forward as you keep pedaling.

*                 *                 *

Midterms that terrified students all over the nation are now over, giving way to the alluring warm breezes and blossoming flowers of May. The reasons to stroll Avenue France and explore the dazzling park are clearly

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