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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Dumulmeori, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province: The place where Han River splits into two - Bukhan and Namhan Rivers


Dumulmeori literally means 'two water area' in archaic Korean and refers to the place where Bukhan River and Namhan River meet. The dock for an ancient-style ferry and weeping willows add to the rustic beauty of this area. Another attraction at this site is the three 400-year-old Zelkova trees that appear as one giant tree. A privately owned place, Dumulmeori remains as a popular site for shooting Korean TV dramas, movies, commercials, wedding pictures as well as nature pictures.

Seoulites know Yangsu-ri, Yangseo-myeon, Yangpyeong County, Gyeonggi Province - as a convenient and romantic getaway — the perfect place for a day-trip or weekend escape. Located at the confluence of the north and south forks of the Han River, the island-like Yangsu-ri is the kind of place that can put an urbanite back in sync with nature.

In recent history, Yangsuri was a bustling port of commerce. But construction of the nearby Paldang Dam in the early 1970s moved most traffic over land. As the area’s economy declined, the government realized that the picturesque spot’s true potential was in restoring its natural habitat. To that end, shipping and commercial fishing were banned and the area was designated a greenbelt.

Yangsu-ri’s southern tip is called “Dumulmeori” (두물머리), literally meaning the “head of the two waters.” The starting point of the mighty Hangang affords beautiful views around the clock, but is said to be particularly spectacular at dawn. During crisp mornings in October and November, the temperature contrast between day and night creates think blankets of morning fog that linger above the river’s placid surface.
 
After about 300 meters the path merged with an open area punctuated by a 400-year-old zelkova tree. Some Koreans still worship trees, and a simple altar at its base was for offerings. But that morning, several photographers had their lenses focused on a traditional skiff bearing a rectangular sail with a small island in the distance. Dumulmeori is accessible by using KORAIL JungAng Line to Station K130: Yangsu Station.