By Shim Hyun-chul
Walking up the steep hill for 10 minutes, visitors of the Hoeryongpo Village find themselves looking down at a small town surrounded by a dragon-like lake, twisting and turning around the houses and walls.
Hoeryongpo Village, in North Gyeongsang Province, got its name from the bends of the Naeseongcheon River, a tributary of the Nakdong River. The river takes a 350 degree turn around Mt. Biryong, which is 190 meters high, offering an interesting, yet breathtaking landscape to villagers and visitors.
The area is small enough to scoop up with a shovel and is known as the ``island within the mainland,'' as it is surrounded by the river.
The best way to enjoy the view is to walk up to the observatory along the 1.5 kilometer trail that leads up to Jangan Temple on Mt. Biryong, which was built during the Unified Silla Kingdom (668-935).
Moving up to the second observatory, visitors can find the ``bongsudae,'' or the beacon mound, which was restored in Nov. 1997. Walk along the hiking route for about 40 minutes to the ``Wonsanseong,'' which has seen many battles since ancient times. Turn to the south and you can find the ``Sam-gang,'' or the Sam River, where the Nakdong, Naeseongcheon and Geumcheon rivers converge.
The ``Byong byong Bridge'' near the village's entrance is also a popular tourist spot, with its numerous holes decorating the 80-meter-long bridge.
The area has been developed as a tourist spot ever since 1997, with numerous hiking trails and parks, and was also the location for the hit drama ``Autumn in My Heart'' (2002). For more information about the village, visit http://tour.ycg.kr or call (054) 654-3801.