Yangpyeong County

Tour the largest county in Gyeonggi Province.

Yangpyeong County (양평군) sits on the South Han River (남한강; Namhangang) near the middle-north of South Korea. Its borders touch the bottom of Hanam City (하남시) in the north and the top of Yeoju City (여주시) in the south.

The region thrives on farming and the droves of big city citizens who visit for the rural atmosphere.

The Stats
Yangpyeong County
A picture of a clear fall day on the bike paths in Korea.
The Bukhan Bridge connects Namyangju City with Yangpyeong County in Gyeonggi Province.

Bike Paths

Yangpyeong County hosts both the Hangang Bicycle Path and the Bukhangang Bicycle Path.

The Hangang Bicycle Path follows the South Han River from Namyangju City (남양주시; Namyangju-si) in the northwest. It continues through the center of the county before draining south into Yeoju City (여주시; Yeoju-si).

The Bukhangang Bicycle Path travels along the North Han River (북한강; Bukhangang). 

Technically, Yangpyeong County borders only the east banks of the North Han. The official bike path travels along the western banks. However, bike paths straddle both sides.

The Bukhangang Bicycle Path shoots north from Yangpyeong County into Gapyeong County (가평군; Gapyeong-gun).

Geography

Yangpyeong County straddles both the North (Bukhangang; 북한강) and South Han Rivers. Two imposing mountains — Yongmun (용문산; Yongmunsan) and Yumyeong (유명산; Yumyeongsan) — separate the northern towns from the southern.

On the western edge of the country you can find Yangpyeong Dumulmeori (양평 두물머리), where the South Han and the North Han Rivers meet.

The Heuk Stream (흑천; Heukcheon) originates in the hills surrounding Cheongun Village (청운면; Cheongunmyeong) and flows into the South Han River.

Temperature

Winters in Yangpyeong County are famous for their frigid depths. How cold are we talking? Think exploding soju bottles. Dump trucks driving over the frozen rivers.

The Paldang Dam’s (팔당댐) influence on the South Han River drove the county’s temperatures to lowest recorded in South Korea: -32.6°C (−26.7°F), January 5th, 1981.

Adding to the extreme brew, because of global warming, Yanpyeong recorded a record high of 40.1°C (104.2°F) on August 1st, 2018. This 72.7°C (130.9°F) between record highs and lows marks the greatest variation in the country.

Economy

The land seeds Yangpyeong’s economy. Farming, logging, and fishing create the largest share of jobs in the county. 

Because the district sits upstream on the South Han River, the government restricts development. Why? In days past, cornering cutting farmers let runoff flow into the waterway. This choked downstream wetlands to near extinction.

Seoul Birds

In recent years, Yangpyeong’s housing and land prices spiraled upwards. Why? The county is the closest morsel of rural earthiness outside of Seoul.

An assortment of retirees and families with itchy disposable incomes migrate down the South Han and snatch up second homes or green pastures for when they escape their cubicle purgatory.

Local Dishes

Yangpyeong County has given birth to two nationally known dishes: Yangpyeong Haejangguk (양평해장국) and Okcheon Naengmyeon (옥천냉면).

Yangpyeong Haejangguk

Yangpyeong Haejangguk (양평해장국) spawned a country-wide chain of restaurants.

The dish arrives in a boiling earthen bowl. Thick slithers of beef, oxblood, and other vegetables roil around in a soupy broth.

Those who partied past their tolerance imbibe one of these suckers to cure their hangovers. This earned haejangguk (해장국) the nickname “hangover soup.”

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Yangpyeong Haejangguk
(양평해장국)

Okcheon Naengmyeon

Okcheon Naengmyeon (옥천냉면) is another local dish that gained popularity. Yangpyeong’s style of naengmyeon (냉면) includes thick buckwheat and sweet potato noodles served in a chilled pork broth. Side dishes include meatballs, kimchi radish, and salted pork slices.

Link button to Kakao Maps Highlights.

Okcheon Naengmyeon
(옥천냉면)

Government

Yangpyeong is the most populous county in South Korea. Impressive, right? Not so fast.

Remember, Gyeonggi is the most populous province in Korea. Twenty-eight (28) of its thirty-one (31) administrative districts are cities. The other three? Counties.

So, compared to its siblings, Yangpyeong County is the largest runt of the litter.

Towns & Areas

Quaint towns and villages settle throughout Yangpyeong Country. Let’s take a quick tour. 

Yangpyeong Town

Yangpyeong Town (양평읍; Yangpyeong-eub) is the county’s largest population center. It sits on the northern banks of the South Han River (남한강; Namhangang)

(The Hangang Bicycle Path passes by the settlement.)

The town’s attractions include:

Yangpyeong Dumulmeori

Yangpyeong Dumulmeori (양평 두물머리) is a park where the North and South Han Rivers meet. The park also straddles the border between Yangpyeong and Hanam.

 It’s famous for sunrises and sunsets. Many photographers flock to the scenic spot to capture nature and wildlife pics.

Yongmun

Yongmun Village (용문면; Yongmun-myeon) is a village just east of Yangyeong Town. The town itself is small. But the district’s borders encompass Yongmun Mountain (용문산).

Atop the mountain sits the famed for Yongmunsa Temple (용문사; a.k.a. Dragon’s Gate Temple), established in 913. Just outside the temple walls holds strong a 1,100-year-old ginkgo tree (양평 용문사 은행나무).

South of the village’s downtown, along the Heuk Stream (흑천), crawls the Yangpyeong Railbike (양평레일바이크). Railbike? Like a bike on railroad tracks? Exactly.

Seojong-myeon

Seojong Village (서종면; Seojong-myeon) lies on the northern border of the county, on the North Han River (Bukhangang; 북한강). It holds a literary museum, a congregation of coffee shops, and a monthly market.