I had a conversation with Mr. Kim of the Korea Tourism Organization Cheongbuk-do Division while we were having a BBQ party and I asked him his favorite place in Korea and why. He told me he liked Jecheon because it's called the Healing City and it's very true for him. I guess that warrants a second look at the Northern Chungbuk Province on what cool things and experiences it has to offer. This province is located between Seoul and Busan and can be reached via Korail. We spent our last night at a Korean-style resort villa in the Club ES Resort near Chungju Lake. And I wouldn't mind going back to this place because I had some memorable experiences here ;)
Many thanks to our wacky driver and guide ;)
The drive from Chungju Lake to ES Resort was only 20 minutes by car. There's a convenience store C4U beside this area. Check-in was fast, the staff can't speak English though. While at the lobby, I noticed the Gomoku table which will later on be a great past-time for us!
If you're staying here and if you get the same rooms we did at the main building, an overnight bag will be the best option. We were given the 2nd floor - near enough and great exercise but no elevator for our luggage (maybe not wheelchair friendly).
The rooms were like the Korea-style condo or villa. Maybe you'd like to check out their other guest rooms here.
There are single beds in a room with a fan and window. This room could accommodate around 4 comfortably - 2 in beds, 2 at the floor.
I liked the sala for the open space. The airconditioning and TV set were there. There's WiFi in my room.
It could fit around 10 people (we just brought the chairs from inside the room)! We stayed here for our last late night socials with the group. Haha.
Here you can also see a wonderful view of Chungjuho.
There are parking spaces below since guests usually drive here. You can reach this resort thru Korail also then maybe take a taxi. Some rooms are also located in other buildings.
The breakfast area Cafe Vinorosso is located across.
I loved the BBQ picnic setting. We were ready for our picturesque send-off!
As for me, I was momentarily enthralled with the gorgeous backdrop. I even saw a bunny running around the meadow... It was that easy to declare that I wanted to come back here (to explore more of the resort and surroundings) haha.
I would like to thank the Korea Tourism Organization (both in Korea and Manila) very much, the provincial government and Mayor of Chungcheongbuk-do and the tourism representatives from Chungbuk province for taking great care of us.
You've definitely filled our hearts and tummies with this great Korean countryside adventure. Usually, tourists only get to visit Seoul and Busan. I am very fortunate to be able to go on repeat travels to Korea and explore more areas for my 9th time here hehe.
Time flew so fast and just as we have experienced many sunsets, I was excited for the promise of many more in the following days, months and years. I was afraid for a while this year that my love for Korea has dwindled a bit, but it was renewed with reflections and another refreshing appreciation in this trip.
I also learned to play the Omok courtesy of Mr. Lee. It's called Omok 오목 in Korea, Gomoku in Japan and Wu Zi Qi 五子棋 in China. There are guides and drivers I've met in tours that I don't probably remember already but given our many bonding and kalog moments, him I probably won't. He's taught me something I've wanted to learn for decades...
together with the other Mr. Kim who made me remember the Silla, Goguryeo and Baekje Kingdoms hahaha.
After many tries, my noodle was working in this (as it turns out) very simple first-to-5-in-a-row game. Of course, I think this is the straightforward version, I think there are many other rules, versions and strategies to this game hahaha.
Here's my partner Kat with me, equally determined to win for a Banana milk. We were at it for around 2 hours. Hahaha.
It was lights out for me at around 12 p.m after our late night socials with the group. Fell asleep thinking where to buy an actual Omok board in Seoul. Hehe.
This trip was made possible by Asiana Airlines Philippines, Korea Tourism Organization Manila, USTravel, Korea Tourism Organization Daejeon Chungcheongnam-do Promotion Office, Korea Tourism Organization Sejong Chungcheongbuk-do Promotion Office, the Chungnam Tourism Industry and both the Chungcheongnam-do and Chungcheongbuk-do Provincial Government. Korea is now MERS-free according to KTO and I just went there this August 2015.
Asiana Airlines flies once daily from Manila to Busan or Seoul and vice versa. You can book through your favorite local travel agencies about this tour. Chungnam and Chungbuk may be reached via Korail.