Leaving footprints, heart and soul in Korea: Day 2 at Provence Villlage and Heyri Art Village

9 December 2014

From the English Village we made our way to Provence Village. To save time, we decided to take a cab there and the staff from English Village kindly assisted us. Since there were six of us, we had to be separated into two cabs.

The cab driver alighted us a this restaurant called ‘Provence Restaurant’. It looked a bit off because I had initially expected him to alight us at the entrance of Provence Village, just like how it was like in the English Village. I went into the restaurant to ask but alas, no one was able to speak english and they could not understand my limited korean. Finally a young boy, one who works as the fishmonger was able to communicate with me in simple english. The restaurant was on a little hill and he pointed a whole stretch of area below the hill, referring to those as ‘Provence Village’. It was only then that I realized that it was an open village thus there was no entry fee needed.

The whole area was full of colourful buildings so we started to walk there. The area looks pretty big too and we have no idea where the other three were since we did not really decide on a meeting point.

I saw this little shop that has giant poster from the korean drama ‘Man from stars’ and apparently they had a scene here. Of course I would not know because I started watching the show and its has been 23986872 years and I still have not finish watching the show thanks to my hectic schedule.

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Even though we were separated from the other group, we ended up taking photos at the centre part of the village. Yup, it was too pretty like that. They eventually turned up after 15 minutes and we were caught happily taking photos. Lol.

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Looks like the christmas decoration was up.

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The half frozen pond.

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The place was full of little cafes and colourful shops. Its actually a really pretty place to take photos, thus the place was littered with tourists. I love how the benches and buildings were all so colourful and cheerful!

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Beginning with a chic French restaurant in 1996, Provence Village is a themed village with a shabu-shabu restaurant, a garden restaurant offering delicious grilled meat, a Provence Living Gallery decorated with beautiful interior designs, an Herb Village full of sweet fragrance, a Fashion Gallery, a European bakery and cafes. (Credit to KTO)

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As it was winter, we did not have the chance to see any herbs garden. I love how all the shops had these benches outside so that we can sit while we wait for the shoppers.

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I wish we had the time to explore the cafes!

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I am sure this place looks so much more beautiful at night. Look at all the lights hanging.

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For people like me who loves taking photos, this place was perfect.

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It was freezing cold but who cares.

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What will happen if I step into the frozen pond?

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The buildings were in bright colours and decorated with paintings that will warm your heart.

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Aren’t these pretty?

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Chic and rustic just the way I love it.

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Who says a pink building is only for girls?

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Our stopover for lunch was at this little halal kebab restaurant.

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It would have been more beautiful to have lunch outside on the porch but alas it was too cold and we needed heat lol.

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We decided to walk on to the other unexplored side of the village.

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Even the dustbins were cutely painted. I am reminded of Michelle when I saw this.

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We arrived here and it was actually a shop that sells household decorations.

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I am still fascinated by the frozen waters. Lol. Please pardon me. I come from a country with super warm weather that anything cold melts almost immediately.

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Bare tree looking lonely even with decorations. Let me talk to it.

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Look what I found as I walked further to the back.

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There seemed to be construction going on and they looked like they are expanding the villages? I can’t wait to see the end product.

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Before leaving the place….

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We went back to centre and took more photos lol. Typical tourists but I am attracted to pretty places.

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This place is a place worth a visit if you are in Korea.

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Our last place to visit for the day was the Heyri Art Village, a minutes away from the Provence Village. We were trying to catch a cab but there were none in sight. Eventually we entered a shoe shop and asked for help to call 2 cabs. The sales boys were pretty helpful and could understand simple english so thank God.

Korean artists of various specialties such as writers, painters, actors, architects and musicians constructed the cultural town of Heyri. Within this community there are residences, workrooms, art galleries and museums. Artists make a living by opening exhibitions, trading or selling their art. Currently, there are about 40 museums, exhibitions, concert halls and bookstores, and around 30~40 more are expected to be added. Currently about 10 cafes and food courts are included in these buildings for the convenience of its visitors. (Credit: KTO)

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The place was huge and it was impossible to explore the entire area in such a short time. Furthermore it was almost 3.30 pm when we reached and the sun sets by 5.30 pm. In the end we only visited the Trick Eye Museum.

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The entry ticket to the trick eye museum was only 3000 won. It was so cheap its unbelievable.

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The thing about trick eye museums is that you need to visit it with equally crazy people to have an enjoyable experience.

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I did.

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It was like entering a different world.

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I really wish we had more time to explore Heyri Art Village. Prior to this, I saw some great posts on some blogs about this place. Its a pity we did not get to visit them all. You can read one great post here at this blog that I stumbled upon.

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Our ride back to Seoul was convenient since the bus stop was strategically located right outside the village. If you visit Paju, you definitely have to visit all these three places. The English Village, Provence Village and Heyri Art Village have their own special attractions. There is also a factory outlet store here for those who are interested to shop but we gave that a miss.

Is it possible to cover all three place in one day? Yes.

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Our dinner was simply fries. Yup, because its holiday, there is no need to eat healthily lol.