A view of the meadow at Daegwallyeong sheep farm in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. / Courtesy of PyeongChang County
By Yun Suh-young
May is a month of greenery. After April pushes out the cold, May greets you with plenty of sunshine and fresh green leaves. It is a great month to take yourself to places far from the city, where you can greet Mother Nature with open arms.
Your mind, heart and body will be refreshed by the greenery once you indulge yourself in nature. You can see plenty of grassland, but if you want to enjoy something more than a good view of the dales, it may be a good idea to visit farms that are not far away from Seoul.
In the vicinity of the capital are several farms you can visit to relax body and soul.
For lasting memories
It's not easy seeing greenery in a city full of buildings, but just a few hours away, there are great places to enjoy peaceful meadows.
At the Daegwallyeong sheep farm, you will feel like you're in a fairytale. The farm offers different scenes every season and the beauty of the farm especially during the spring creates an illusion that you're in the Alps.
A round-trip tour of the farm takes about 40 minutes. In the middle of the meadows you can find sheep peacefully moving around.
Along the walking trails around the farm, there are royal azalea beds where flowers blossom forming a community. The flowers are at their most around the end of May, so this is the best time to visit the farm.
The farm is located in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. For more information, visit http://www.yangtte.co.kr.
Another farm to enjoy great scenery at is Samyang Ranch, located in the same region in PyeongChang.
The ranch is 850 meters above sea level, with its highest point at 1,400 meters. The scenery from the observatory located there will make you gasp — the view of the East Sea is indescribable.
Those who want a special memory from the farm can write a letter to their loved ones and put it inside a red "Wind & Wish" mailbox attached to a model cow. The letters will be delivered to loved ones with the scent of freshness of the farm.
For more information on the farm, visit http://www.samyangranch.co.kr.
For nice picnic
For those who want to take their family on a picnic, Wondang Stud Farm may be a good choice. Run by the Korea Racing Authority (KRA), it showcases beautiful stallions.
A racing stadium back in 1988, it is now a place for horse breeding. There are no special programs prepared for visitors to enjoy since it was not built for tourism, but the farm is still an excellent venue for an outing.
People can walk 4 kilometers across the fields where the horses are bred, take pictures and have a picnic. Because of the beautiful scenery with the stallions eating grass, the place has been used as a film set for various productions.
Entrance to the farm is free of charge and it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm is located in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province. For more information call 02-509-1682 or visit the KRA website, http://company.kra.co.kr/global/english/main/index.jsp.
For greater experience
If you want to enjoy nature and have fun with your companions or children, Anseong Farmland in Gyeonggi Province is a good choice. The farm, which is built like a theme park, provides various activities such as horse riding and feeding cattle.
There are exhibition halls of cows and birds where children can learn about them. The farm is also a set for the TV drama "Padam Padam" aired on cable TV last winter.
It provides programs for children and adults to experience farming and visit a traditional village all in a day. The farm was built by the government to boost farming in Korea in the 1970s but is now a great place to enjoy various activities.
The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the entrance fee is 5,000 won for children and 7,000 won for adults during weekends. The farm is closed on Mondays.
For more information visit http://www.nhasfarmland.com.