Gyonggi Province, South Korea
Welcome to Dongducheon the Green City ‘Hwangyong-hamnida‘
Dongducheon City is at the Northern side of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. The first thing that meets your eye as you drive into the city is the monument, designed, I presume to describe economic, social and cultural activities within the city. Within the city is the special tourist district where various cultures and people come together. Local markets, cultural heritages, traditional temples are also an important part of the city.
It is winter season which has relieved trees of their cover replacing it with bitter cold snow. However the beauty that the city beholds is beyond censure, a sparkling piece of impression that is worth a trade in. This is a city that lies beautifully in between successive mountains with high altitudes ranging from 588m to 754m. Beyond the mountains are successive beautiful valleys: Tapdong Valley, Soemok Valley, Wangbang Valley, Jangnin Valley, famous spots for valley and mountain tours . Slithering beautifully, in a gentle descend along the city, is the beautiful, clean, clear river, alive with fishes and other aquatic flora and fauna. Along the river are also the perfect pathways designed for recreational purpose.
Residential houses, which are more pronounced during the night unlike during the day, are spacious, complete with preset gas supply, internet, TV Cable, an elevator in some instances, floor heating system which comes in handy during the extreme winter spell. As a measure of keeping the environment green and clean, each residential flat has a waste treatment plant controlled and run by the city council; where waste is treated, filtered before being released to the dumping site. Recycling of waste is a strict practice in South Korea backed by a harsh penalty for those who go contrary. Each resident is expected to put trash in prescribed trash bags and place it on the collection points while for those who cant afford the trash bags, one is expected to take the trash and sort them out in the various trash containers provided for by the City council. Each and every property owner has the responsibility of keeping the environment greener by planting trees around the compounds and maintaining a greener landscape.
Recreation is an important practice in Gongducheon city, and Korea at large. The city council boasts of state of the art stadium, open to everyone, at any time and day of the year. Parks and play grounds have been set aside on residential backyards, along the rivers, or on the roadside with manual GYM workout apparatus.
Basketball Courts, soccer, badminton, lawn tennis and children playgrounds have also been erected within these parks.
Transport around the city is well organised with plenty of options to choose from. The train , which takes the lead in this category, is convenient, cheap, fastest and operates on a fixed time depending on the venue and frequency of passengers. Buses play a vital role in places where the train can’t reach and also in connecting between one city to another. Cabs/ Taxis are expensive to rent for long distances but is very efficient in short distances. Interesting enough, the fares for all the systems are fixed and cuts across the city and the entire country. The swipe card system is also a convenient way of paying fares unlike solid cash.
Mountain Climbing, hiking and skating is a famous hobby among the Korean people from old to young. Each mountain designated for hiking is complete with a foot path, resting bays, and water fountains tapped from natural springs.
You can never talk about Dongducheon City without a mention of the Freedom Protection Peace Museum which according to Travel Wire Asia, is a euphemism for the tools and weapons of war.
Isaac Cheruiyo Tanui