Send to

[Drama Tour] Relaxing weekend trip to Yangju

June 22, 2024 - 16:01 By Lee Si-jin
This screenshot image shows drama characters Yoon Hye-jin (left) and Hong Du-sik on their first date at Yangju's Chang Ucchin Museum of Art in “Hometown Cha Cha Cha” (tvN)

YANGJU, Gyeonggi Province -- One popular way to create an interesting plotline in Korean drama series is by depicting the changes and growth of a lead character since their countryside move to Seoul.

Ranging from “When the Camellia Blooms” (2019), a hit drama set in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, to “Welcome to Samdal-ri,” (2023) which heavily features Jeju Island, Korean dramas offer a great window of opportunity for provincial governments to promote their cities and counties.

Yangju never made a name for itself as a top tourist destination or a famous filming spot by becoming a major stage for mega-hit TV shows.

The city’s museum and cafe, however, caught the attention of several content creators who went on to feature them in their works.

For those used to crowd-packed, dynamic travel spots, these places might be a little uninspiring. But, they are more than enough to entertain those seeking a quick weekend getaway.

Chang Ucchin Museum of Art

Chang Ucchin Museum of Art shown in "Hometown Cha Cha Cha" (tvN)

Located in the southern part of Yangju, the Chang Ucchin Museum of Art is a place for everyone.

With the museum lying between the two mountains -- Gyemyeongsan and Bukhansan -- visitors can immerse themselves in nature and take in the serene atmosphere.

After passing through the main entrance, people can take a light stroll along the outdoor exhibition area, where sculptures and other artworks are displayed in a wide field.

Visitors enjoy a light stroll around the outdoor exhibition area at Chang Ucchin Museum of Art in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

The outdoor area can be easily explored by anyone as the paved trail is without stairs or slopes, making is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.

“For the locals, the museum is a great choice for a springtime picnic with families and friends. There is an open field, a small river and a calm classical music for the guests to enjoy a relaxing time,” a 41-year-old housewife surnamed Park told The Korea Herald on Tuesday.

“Even though my children may not know much about the artist Chang Ucchin yet, the cute artworks here are more than enough for me to discuss a little bit about art with them,” the mother of two daughters added.

Upon crossing a bridge, visitors can spot the white silhouette of a triangle on a rectangle, home to Chang Ucchin’s paintings.

A couple comes down the stairs near Chang Ucchin Museum of Art on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

The museum was where “Hometown Cha Cha Cha” characters Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-ah) and Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho) went on their first date right after they became a couple in the drama’s 11th episode.

As Hong Du-sik said in the series, the artwork may look plain and simple. But, Chang’s paintings have their charms and power to present the genuine side of the artist.

Visitors view displays at Chang Ucchin Museum of Art's exhibition on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

The two-story building allows even a visitor without any knowledge of art to understand who Chang Ucchin was, not only through the paintings but also through a virtual reality trip, media facade and audio commentary rooms.

Cafe Coffee and Tree

Kim Doo-sik (left) and Lee Mi-hyun enjoy their Korean tonkatsu dishes in "Moving" (Disney+)

While there is a small cafe at Chang Ucchin Museum of Art, a 20-minute ride to central Yangju will take you to a cafe featured in yet another drama series.

Coffee and Tree -- a wood workshop and cafe -- was shown as a Namsan-based Korean tonkatsu (or pork cutlet) restaurant in Disney+ smash-hit series “Moving,” where Kim Doo-sik (Zo In-sung) and Lee Mi-hyun (Han Hyo-joo) enjoy their first date.

The cafe is, in fact, not a restaurant located in Seoul, but it has everything to please even the pickiest visitors.

While the warm orange lights and brown-colored interior create a warm, comfortable atmosphere, the savory smell of melting butter and baked bread adds another cozy element to the space.

One of the go-to dishes here is the fish-shaped pastry with five different fillings -- sweet red bean paste, custard cream, mozzarella, blueberry cream cheese and Nutella chocolate.

A couple enjoys a bowl of bingsu at Coffee and Tree in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Fish-shaped pastries and iced Americano served at Coffee and Tree (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

As the temperatures expected to soar this summer, another sought-after dessert is “bingsu.”

Bigsu is a national summer delicacy made with shaved ice, milk and condensed milk, and is often topped with sweetened red beans.

Visitors can choose from different topping options, including strawberries and mangos, or add a different taste with green tea.

Feel free to look around the cafe to see some of the wood art, products and small photo frames featuring the romantic scenes shot at Coffee and Tree as well.

In this series, The Korea Herald introduces travel destinations featured in hit drama series with the hope of inspiring readers to immerse themselves in the popular scenes and scenery of their favorite shows. -- Ed.