By The Korea Post Reporter Hillary Kang
The Pocheon City, 37.3 miles north of Seoul, has a good number of tourist attractions, not very far away from the Capital Zone of Seoul, including picturesque waterfalls and other wonderful tourist attractions along the Hantan River. The City is preparing to have them registered as UNESCO Cultural Heritage in September this year.
This was disclosed by Mayor Park Youn-kook at a recent interview with Reporter Ms. Hillary Kang at the Office of the Mayor in the Pocheon City.
Speaking with The Korea Post, Public Relations Officer Bae Sang-keun said, "Pocheon is noted for many wonderful things and from among them stand out the incomprably clean air and water as well as the beautiful mountains and fields."
Pocheon is an inland city covering 826.48 square kilometers of land with a population of 154,763 people. Pocheon lies between Seoul and the mountainous northwestern areas of Gangwon province. The city borders Yeoncheon County with the cities of Dongducheon and Yangju to the west, along with Uijeongbu, and Namyangju of Gyeonggi province to the south. It also borders Hwacheon county of Gangwon province on its eastern border and Cheorwon is to the north. Alongside the adjoining Gapyeong, Pocheon consists of the highest mountainous areas in Gyeonggi province.
According to the history of the city, Pocheon belonged to Mahan during the Samhan (Three Kingdom) period, and was part of Mahol during the Goguryeo period. After the Korean peninsula was unified by Silla, it was called Gyeonseong-gun. As Silla was absorbed by the ruling dynasty, Goryeo, the name was changed to Poju-gun in 995, the 14th year of King Seongjeong's reign. During the King Hyeonjong's reign, the region belonged to Yangju-gun, Yanggwang-do. In the next ruling dynasty, Joseon, the region was named Pocheon-gun after the eight province system was established in 1413.
The peak of the Gwangju Mountains stretches from the northeast of Pocheon to the southeast. Except for the Pocheon basin, most regions of the city consist of high mountains.
Pocheon has two main water sources—The Yeongpyeong-cheon stream and Sannae-cheon stream. The tributaries of Yeongpyeong-cheon stream are the Pocheon-cheon stream running through Pocheon-dong and Seondan-dong areas and the Ildong-cheon stream passing through Ildong-myeon. The two streams merge into Yeongpyeong-cheon which passes Auraji Ferry in Sindam-ni, Yeoncheon county and finally ends up to reach Hantan River. The other main water source, Sannae-cheon, runs through Choseong-ni village, Yeoncheon county and also reaches Hantan River. The two stream areas are relatively wide, so that it enables for the residents to use as cultivation places and resident places.
Pocheon is located inland, so the weather shows a continental climate. The annual average temperature is 10.5 °C (50.9 °F). The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −7.3 °C (18.9 °F) while the hottest month is August with an average temperature of 25.7 °C (78.3 °F). The annual average rainfall is 1,300 millimetres.
Some 70 percent of the total area is forest, while arable land only accounts for 18.5 percent. The area with the lowest percentage of cultivatable area Idong-myeon with 6.5 percent in contrast to the highest region being Gasan-myeon with 39.6%.
The main crops produced in Pocheon include rice and barley as well as sesame and perilla as local specialties. Sesames are produced in Ildong-myeon on a large scale, as is Perilia in Yeongbuk-myeon. In addition, oyster mushroom and poultry farming are active in the city. Ginseng and pine nuts are also often harvested due to the geographical features. The cultivation of apples and Korean pears in Yeongbuk-myeon has been famous for many years. The livestock industry is active in Sinbuk-meyon, especially in areas such as raising Han-u (Korean traditional cattle) and pigs and in Hwahyeon-myeon.
Various types of minerals are produced in Pocheon such as feldspar in Naechon-myeon, coal, graphite, silica, gold, silver, and copper in Sinbuk-myeon and Changsu-myeon and iron ore, and limestone in Yeongbuk-myeon.