Sure, it may be the final destination for many DMZ tours, but there are also plenty of great non-military-related spots to explore. Here are five of them.
Paju Premium Outlets
This three-story shopping complex, known for having the largest number of individual brand stores in the entire nation, contains 165 stores. Discounts at the outlet range from 25-65 percent, and are often even better than those offered at Korea’s duty-free stores.
In addition to designer brands such as Armani, Banana Republic and Comme des Garcons, the complex also boasts a range of sportswear, accessory and home furnishings shops.
Get there: Take bus 2200 to the Paju Premium Outlets stop.
Paju Book City
Bibliophiles should most definitely dedicate a couple hours to this charming village near Heyri, which is home to over 250 publishers that conduct the entire process of publishing from planning to printing and distribution.
Thoughtfully designed book cafes and used bookstores are a few of the highlights of the book city. Visitors can even participate in a printing demonstration at a fully operational moveable type workshop with the tools the printing master has been using for decades.
Get there: Take bus 2200 to the Paju Book City stop.
Since an upscale French restaurant opened at Provence Village in 1996, the area has transformed into a small but colorful themed village that aims to evoke a European charm in a quintessentially Korean way.
Visitors can browse small cafes, ceramics shops and bakeries.
Get there: Take bus 2200 to the Seongdong Intersection stop.
This quaint village, home to some of Korea’s most creative artists, is the definition of cheerfulness, with its quirky museums, beautifully landscaped parks and funky modern architecture.
Heyri Art Village is also a popular filming location for a number of K-dramas, music videos and movies so Hallyu fans might recognize certain spaces and places like Farmer’s Table, the setting for the school cafeteria in Boys Before Flowers.
Get there: Take bus 2200 to Heyri Art Village, Gate 4.
It’s impossible to see all of Paju’s attractions in a single day, so why not consider making it a weekend trip?
Located in Heyri Art Village, Motif 1 is a guesthouse managed by artist Lee An-soo.
Words by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.