On Monday Bobby was scrolling through the app ‘Coupang’, Korea’s place for huge discounts and deals on nearly everything. He found a special on a caravan stay for a night 6 kms out of YangPyeong for 55,000won at 50% off. YangPyeong is a chilled tourist town, filled with cool restaurants, cafes and tea shops set along the river, an hour from Seoul (without traffic). Not just a pretty and clean place, apparently lots of artists live in the area and it seems to have rubbed off as the main roads are sprinkled with statues, galleries and carvings.
We packed the car up with blankets and went shopping for food supplies. Carried away shopping on empty stomachs, more was spent on that shop alone than the cost of accommodation. Needless to say, we’re still eating BBQ back at home now. Into the trolley went duck, pork neck and belly, rice, sesame and lettuce leaves, kimchi, sweet pickled radish wraps, gochu-jjang and ssam-jjang sauces, punnets of blueberries and strawberries, a baby bottle of mountain berry wine and Bobby’s beer.
Let’s blow this popsicle stand.
I can imagine that this place would look absolutely magnificent during the long hot days of summer, frolicking by the water, followed by the changing of leaves and cool, lazy Autumn afternoons. While the water’s off-limits and the view isn’t as desirable as the warmer months, the perks of off-season travel are too good to pass up. There’s absolutely no bugs; the rates are crazy cheap; no-one else is doing it, so you have the place to yourself which means, drum-roll… no communal showering, huzzah! Ah Korea, bless you and your communal shower blocks everywhere.
Dress appropriately. Michelin man layering is in. It gets into minus temperatures and drops fast. They provided two toasty electric blankets and a plug-in fan heater, which feels like it’s not doing anything until you switch it off. The caravan was nice and clean, had adequate lighting, no funky smells and the bed was comfy. If you get cold easily, pack extra blankets (you need to take your own blanket and pillow) as it doesn’t have the best insulation. Each camper van has its own canvas outdoor area with a metal table and folding chairs. There’s a kitchen block with sinks and hot water. If you wash your vegetable leaves there, dry them completely otherwise they will freeze on you. Personally not a fan of frozen lettuce.
If you don’t have your own BBQ gear, you can pay 20,000won to borrow their BBQ grill, which comes with a box of fire wood, a large cooking rack, utensils and a gas stove. If you’ve got marinated meats, cook them last otherwise everything will be stuck to the rack.
Once the fire had died down, a cat came and sat beneath it for warmth from the glowing embers. It was much too cold for us so we called it a night and played go stop inside on the heated blankets.
Now’s a great time to get out and about, it’s cheap! Go have fun and be merry
Happy eating – Chan and Bob