Pocheon Herb Island
Do you need to get out of the big city and enjoy some healing time? Then Pocheon Herb Island is the best place to go! The healing center in Pocheon was selected as one of the 25 must visit wellness destinations in Korea and over the last years became a popular destination among foreign travelers. Read on to find out more about Pocheon Herb Island.
- Things To Know Before Visiting Pocheon
- About Pocheon Herb Island
- What To Do In Korea’s Herb Island
- Personal Experience
- How To Get To Pocheon Herb Island
- Practical Info
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things To Know Before Visiting Pocheon
- What to wear: the items you need to pack depend on the season and time of the year. If you are coming in Summer, the night in Seoul will still be quite warm and no sweater is needed. The winter nights can go below 0°C, so make sure to layer up. Check what to pack for Korea here.
- Tour: Consider booking a tour when planning a visit to the herb garden as getting there using public transport can be quite hard. Click here for more info about tours.
- Tipping: Generally Korea has a no tipping culture, except for taxis and tour guides. If you are going out to bars in the busy areas, you’ll definitely come across tipping jars. Feel free to tip if they have a jar.
- Foreigner discounts: Many night activities you can book and pay online. Sites like Klook and Trazy have lots of foreigner discounts for these activities.
About Pocheon Herb Island
Pocheon Herb Island is not really an island, but it lies in the beautiful countryside of Pocheon and is all about herbs and wellness. As mentioned above, the Healing Center was nominated as one of the 25 must visit wellness destinations in Korea. The theme park is quite big but doesn’t feel too crowded like the Everland theme park most of the time does.
The park was established in 1998 and focuses on growing Mediterranean herbs. You can tell that the park is a bit outdated and is in need of redecorating as many of the colours have fainted and the decorations are damaged. In contrast with the outdated facades and decorations, the indoor facilities are in great condition and are as good as new. You’ll find loads of crafting experiences, a herb museum, herb/skin care souvenir shops, herb restaurants, lavender field (spring only), a Santa Clause village and some donkeys.
What To Do In Korea’s Herb Island
Listed below are all the different things to do at Pocheon Herb Island.
1. Herb Healing Center
In the healing center you can experience different wellness programs. These have to be booked in advance and you’ll need a Korean speaker to finish the reservation through their booking platform. They have a total of 10 different programs and each program has a different price and duration. Check the official website for more details on each program.
2. Herb & Plant Museum
The herb and plant museum consists of different parts a museum and a glasshouses filled with different plants. The museum displays a wide range of herb related artifacts like the 1st tea bagging machine, a herbs library and you’ll find the history of herb island in here as well. Not only is this a museum but is also an experience center and shop. In the experience center you can try the massage chairs and
The huge glasshouses have over 250 types of plants, it is also the biggest botanical garden in the country (except for national botanical gardens). You’ll also find a plant shop in one of the glasshouses which has many of the plants displayed for sale.
3. Santa’s Village
The Santa Village is open all year around, but best time to visit is obviously during winter. There are over 300 Santa Statues in the village, but they are a bit dated and colours are starting to fade. During spring, summer and fall there are different herbs in bloom in this area (lavender, basil, willow herb and lemon verbena).
Late autumn and during winter, this area gets transformed into the most beautiful light festival. Definitely worth a visit at night. Booking a package tour to this festival is highly recommended! Click here for more info and latest prices.
4. Venice Village
Upon entering, the first thing you’ll stumble upon is the Venice Village. This is a tiny replica of Venice where you can enjoy a gondola ride or dress up like one of the Disney Princesses. This place is a bit random, but hey, why decide on only one theme if you can have them all!
5. Street To The Past
In the Street To The Past you’ll find lots of fun photo zones, old school restaurant, cafes and a little cute candy store. You can try really delicious medicinal tea and sikhye in one of the cafes.
There are a couple of restaurants in Herb Island. The main and biggest restaurant is the Athens Hall Restaurant where you can try all kinds of food like donkatsu, seolneongtang, pizza and more. The prices are quite reasonable and food was prepared with herbs grown in one of the green houses.
I booked the Haneul Healing VIP Hub Detox Program for a Sunday afternoon at 2 PM. We arrived at the village around 12 PM, but getting there wasn’t easy. I found out about the shuttle bus too late, so couldn’t book it for our visit. Getting there by public transport is quite tough as the bus from Soyosan Station to Herb Island only runs once every 2 hours, so you have to make sure not to miss it as you might end up waiting quite a bit. We arrived at Soyosan at 11.48 and the bus was at 11.50, so we ended up having to run.
From the herb island bus stop to the entrance is a 7 minute walk, which was no problem but then from the entrance of the park you have to walk up a rather steep hill, we had quite a bit of luggage, it was hot, so we suffered. Learned my lesson, for our next visit I’ll definitely book the shuttle bus or a package tour.
Once we arrived, put our luggage in the locker and rested a bit, all was good again. The first two hours we just walked around and were really impressed with all the shops, the bakery, the Street to the past and the healing center. The facades of the buildings and the outdoor decorations are a bit outdated and damaged which give a weird and confusing vibe, but inside all the restaurants and museums were as good as new.
1. Detox Program Review
At 2 PM we started our wellness program which included a 10 minutes consultation. During this time you need to fill in a survey about any health issues, allergies, etc you might have. The survey is only in Korean but the therapist spoke a bit of English. Next you can get changed and have a aroma bathing experience of 30 minutes. We really enjoyed this, the bathroom is absolutely stunning, which is perfect to relax.
Next was a 30 minutes herb hay and detox experience. Here you get buried under some herb hay and have heated pads put on your shoulders and stomach. This was super relaxing and was perfect to clear your mind.
Last was an hour massage with herbal oils. This was actually the part I enjoyed the most. The massage was both relaxing and intense. I play a lot of sports, so my leg muscles especially are always a bit stiff, so this massage really helped to get them loose. I have done other massages in Korea, but this one was less painful. Not sure if it’s because of their technique or if I’m getting more used to being massaged.
I paid 540 000 krw for 2 people which is quite expensive compared to other massage centers like 청담 더 타이 (Cheongdam The Thai) but the facilities are in top conditions and the masseurs are very professional and experienced. We felt reborn, when leaving the healing center, so I guess it was worth the money.
How To Get To Pocheon Herb Island
Listed below are all the different ways of going to Herb Island in Pocheon.
1. Public Transport
Going to Pocheon Herb Island is quite hard as buses do not run frequently. It is recommended to book a tour or the shuttle bus instead of using public transport.
- Go to Soyosan Station (line 1), best carriage for quick exit 10-4.
- Upon arrival at Soyosan Station, leave at exit 1, cross the street and go to the bus stop to the left of the crosswalk.
- From the bus stop take bus 57 or 57-1
Soyosan(Mt.) Station → Herb Island (20 minutes drive)
|Departure Time||07:50 09:50 11:50 13:50 15:50 17:50 19:50|
Herb Island → Soyosan(Mt.) Station(Dongducheon city)
|Departure Time||06:30 08:35 10:35 12:35 14:35 16:35 18:30 19:25|
2. Shuttle Bus
Pocheon has its own shuttle bus as well leaving from Seoul in the morning. The bus price is 14 500 krw per person and it has to be booked at least 4 days in advance. Timetable is shown below. To book, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Package Tour
If you want to visit multiple places in one day, then booking a package tour is the best option. Listed below are different package tours which include a visit to Pocheon Herb Island.
- Pocheon Art Valley, Strawberry Farm, Picking Mini Apples, and Herb Island Day Tour
- Edelweiss Swiss, Yangpyeong Dumulmeori, & Herb Island Lighting & Illumination Festival Tour
- Pocheon Private Van Tour: Sanjeong Lake & Herb Island
- Bears Town Ski Resort Snow Sledding + Pocheon Herb Island Light Festival 1 Day Tour (Dec~Feb)
- Pocheon Herb Island + Pocheon Art Valley + Sansawon Brewery 1 Day Tour
- Opening times: 9 AM -10 PM
- Entrance Fee: 9000 krw
- Address: Gyeonggi-do, Pocheon-si, Sinbuk-myeon, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, 35
Frequently Asked Questions
A: From central Seoul it takes around 2-3 hours to get to Pocheon herb island (excluding waiting time).
A: The best time to visit is when the lavender is in full bloom or during the light festival.
A: Yes, you can pay everywhere with card or cash.