If you are looking to explore a local attraction close to nature which is off-the-beaten-track yet relatively near to Seoul, Yangsuri’s Dumulmeori 두물머리 at Yangpyeong County (양평군) would be a good choice, especially during summer.
Dumulmeori [read: doo-mool-mo-ri] is a picturesque attraction at Yangsuri (양수리), Gyeonggi Province. “Dumulmeori”, literally means “the head of two waters (rivers)”. This place is the starting point of both the Bukhangang River and the Namhangang River. It is a great place for a day trip since it is reachable via the subway. Just hop on to the subway from any station in Seoul, get onto Jungang Line (중앙선), alight at Yangsu station (양수역) and explore the area by renting a bicycle!
Yangsuri has an established bicycle trail infrastructure which is great for cycling enthusiasts too!
The journey from Seoul to Yangsuri was like travelling via a time machine. I boarded the subway train from the hustle and bustle of Seoul and alighted right at the doorstep of peace and tranquillity. 90 minutes away from Seoul and now we get peace of mind!
The below picture is the outline of the trip, from departing to the last stop at Sumilwon cafe. Once you reach Yangsu station, you basically walk/cycle to all the spots below. Think of it as a trip by public transportation and foot. We took the subway from Seoul and transit to Jungang Line (Jade blue line) to Yangsu Station. It is a whole 4.5 KM walking trail throughout the trip, but I am pretty sure it is doable. Be sure to wear a pair of good walking shoes before embarking on your journey.
I’ve also mapped the places out here on the Google map below. Both the blue route and the purple route will bring you to the same places listed above. If you like to take more photos of the beautiful lotus farm, it is best to take the blue route as it guarantees you endless lotus farms along the way, especially during summer when lotus is in season.
The scenery was said to be particularly magnificent at dawn. Photographers who want to catch the magical moment of the first sunlight will have to wake up early. We set off from Seoul relatively late and arrived when the sun was already high up. To avoid the summer heat, we decided to head directly for lunch first before checking out the attractions.
The subway is the best way to reach Yangsuri. Basically, travel from any subway station in Seoul, transfer to Jungang Line 중앙선 (the only Jade Green colour line) and alight at Yangsu Station (양수역) then complete the course by bicycle, foot or cab.
1. Lunch: Korean Traditional Full Course @ Yeon-pat 연밭
Lunch was taken at this famous matjib called Yeon-bat (연밭) that serves traditional Korean full-course meals since 1981. “연밭” means lotus fields in English. During the lotus blossom season, visitors are able to enjoy their sumptuous meal by the lotus field admiring the beauty of the lotus flower.
Lotus fields are everywhere here in Dumulmeori, hence lotus roots, lotus seeds — basically everything lotus are the specialities here. We ordered the “Lotus Field Course” 연밭정식 [read: Yeon-bat Jeong Sik], which cost KRW 18,000 per person. It includes steamed Pollack and lotus leaf glutinous rice. The meal was served with homemade red wine, followed by the steamed glutinous rice in lotus leaf, and then a huge portion of pollack. A wide variety of side dishes is the highlight of the meal. I love the steamed glutinous rice. The lotus leaf left a nice fragrance on the rice and it matches well with the fish.
Since this is a very famous restaurant, we waited for more than an hour to finally get a seat for our meal. Morale of the story? Please make a reservation before your visit to avoid waiting.
Yeon-Pat 연밭 Gyeonggi-do, Yangpyeong-gun, Yangseo-Myeon, Yongdamni, 514. 경기도 양평군 양서면 용담리 514 Tel: 031-772-6064 Operating Hours: 11am-9pm
2. Saemiwon 세미원
Saemiwon Garden 洗美苑 is one of the popular attractions here in Dumulmeori. Visitors are able to visit the beautiful water fountain made of Hagari (Korean pottery jars), and also walk through two extremely huge lotus fields with white and pink lotus flowers respectively. There are also different species of lotus flowers planted in Saemiwon, an ideal place for some flora and fauna photography.
Since the exit of Saemiwon is directly linked to the walkway towards Dumulmeori, if you are visiting this place, I suggest you arrange your visit to Dumulmeori right after Saemiwon.
3. Snack: Lotus Ice-cream
Lotus waffle, lotus tea, lotus set lunch. Lotus, lotus, LOTUS. It is all about lotus if we are talking about snacking here at Dumulmeori. Be sure to try out some of these lotus-themed street foods at the snack booths right after crossing the bridge from Saemiwon. We got ourselves this lotus ice cream in a lovely shade of pastel green. There’s a fine hint of lotus, if not, green tea scent to the soft serve ice cream. It was a pure delight having ice cream in the summer breeze.
Continue walking down the path with your ice cream and you’ll reach Dumulmeori in approximately 20 minutes.
Dumulmeori is a popular spot for local dramas, movies, commercials and wedding pictures. According to visitkorea.org, there should be an ancient-styled ferry on the water, but we did not see one. I guess it was under construction when we visited the place. There are also three 400-year-old Zelkova Trees that appear as one giant tree, adding to the rustic feel of Dumulmeori.
The best pictures of the trip are all taken here at Dumulmeori. I love the beautiful landscape with water, hills and lotus fields. So be sure to bring your camera with you to Dumulmeori! If not, you can hire professional photographers here to take photos of you in the lotus field. That’ll cost you some money for sure. If you intend to DIY some portrait shoots, here are 3 great photo spots for pictures:
Photo spot 1: By the lotus field
Photo spot 2: By the picturesque river
Photo Spot 3: With the Dumulmeori picture Frame
5. Personalized Cartoon Sketches by the river
After long hours admiring the beautiful scenery, you can get cartoon sketch artists by the river to preserve your memory here at Dumulmeori. It is KRW 30,000 for a couple, and for one group sketch, it will KRW 10,000 for each person. It takes about 10-20 minutes to complete your personalized cartoon sketch.
6. Sumilwon Art Gallery + Cafe 수밀원
Sumilwon is an art gallery cum cafe by the river. Filled up with oil paintings and artworks, Sumilwon is a great place to cool off the summer heat. I love their outdoor seats facing the river — an excellent spot for people-watching. We ordered their red bean shaved ice and it was surprisingly good.
7. Tibits: Lotus Hot Dog
If you are feeling hungry, it’s time to enjoy some light snacks. Perhaps a lotus-flavoured hotdog? Before we call it a day, we discovered a stall selling “lotus-flavoured sausage” at Dumulmeori. Powdered lotus is added in the process of making the batter of the popular South Korean street food.
While I can’t really taste the difference between a Dumulmeori lotus sausage versus the usual ones I had in Seoul, it was quite yummy!
This is how we ended our Dumulmeori day trip. With a hotdog. I wish you had fun reading the blog. Let me know your experience visiting Dumulmeori down here in the comment box! Did you try any of their lotus-themed snacks? : D