The Anyang Art Park: Fun, Forests and It’s Free!
The Anyang Art Park (안양예술공원) is one of those places that makes its rounds in the blogosphere almost every year.
It’s always fun and always provides cool photos for whoever wants to head south from Seoul just in to Gyeonggi-do. Because of that, I was sort of laughing at myself for taking so long to enjoy the place that is so enjoyable. I am certainly glad that I finally got down to the park that is easy to get to for any Seoul dwellers.
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To be fair, I did try to go there last summer… or maybe it was two summers ago but it was SO humid and SO hot, climbing up and around anywhere was unbearable and so I ended up sitting in the stream with my daughter and husband and everyone else that had headed to the art park that day. With that in mind, I hereby proclaim that if you want to visit Anyang Art Park, DO NOT go in the middle of the summer but visit in the spring or the autumn instead. Okay, actually, there is a stream and a water park there, so if you do go for the art and it’s too hot, at least you know there’s a good back up activity to enjoy. I was happy to finally find the art installations though.
There are a few art installations that are the most popular… and yet some of these still seem to be off the radar of the locals that live and work there. The installations are a bit spread out so go up into the mountainside to see what you can see and then head down for a cafe break before heading back out again. Don’t worry, the installations aren’t all that difficult to get to though they can be quite hidden due to the forest and if you ask for directions to things, it’s quite likely people won’t know where to direct you… so be prepared for a little wander is all I’m saying. A mirror installation is just a couple minutes up from the main road and then you can see where to go from there.
The Anyang Art Park has not only art installations to see, but if you’re a hiker, you can take a jaunt into the forests and the mountains, or if you’re a cafe goer, there are cute cafes and restaurants all around. There really is something for everyone here. There are recreational facilities like a swimming pool which gets its water from the valleys of Gwanaksan and Samseongsan Mountains. There are walking paths, a stream to dip your feet in or for kids to swim in, museums, art galleries and plenty more to see and do.
Just FYI, this art park is a ton of fun, but there are also parks in Seoul that have various art installations as well. My favorite park for art installation viewing IN Seoul is the World Cup Park’s Pyeonghwa Park or Peace Park. There are art installations there from a flower expo some years ago and they provide some great photo ops as well.
There are a ton of cool and quirky artistic installations along the stream. Some are big enough to walk into and some are small and hang along the streams edge. There are some that spout water in the summer and some that are just… odd. If you want to see ALL of the some 52 installations, take a look at the map on the main road as it has them laid out easily. Once you get onto the mountain and the paths, there are maps carved into stones but they change depending on where you are and can be rather confusing. Don’t just walk around and see what you can see because I tried that and didn’t see much.
Get some direction and you’ll have much more fun finding things.
At the peak of the mountain nearest to the stream, don’t worry, I say mountain but it’s not too strenuous as I was literally carrying my 3 year old up, there is a tower which snakes you up to an amazing viewpoint. I was happy to have a blanket to wrap that little one up in though as it was very windy atop the structure. The winding installation is so fun and really offers spectacular views for being up 141 meters.
As you can see the installations are not only fun for adults but for kids too. My little kid in tow was having a great time seeing her reflection and how the light played with the colors of the crates, windows and mirrors. This is definitely a great spot to enjoy a little day trip outside of Seoul away from the crowds. If you have kids, this is a great area to get them out and about because no path is all that far from the main road with restaurants and cafes so if you, or the kids with you, need a break and a rest, it’s easy to get back and forth. The paths in the mountains aren’t difficult and kid will definitely have fun finding the various structures and installations. I’ve pictured the more chic and aesthetically pleasing for me, but for the kids in tow there are animals and other creatures to find too. They just weren’t my particular jam.