Wednesday, 25 July 2012

17 April 2012 - Getting to 허브 아일랜드 Herb Island (Pocheon)

Two more days to go before I flew back to Singapore and I felt I was in a state of severe depression.  I will be back in Korea soon and I made a little wish for my next trip.
The itinerary for the day was 허브 아일랜드 Herb Island at Pocheon. I had a good breakfast before setting off.  Hey, the croissants were nice!

I took the subway to Changdong station, where I transferred to another subway for Uijeongbu Station 의정부역.

Waiting for my train at Changdong station to  Uijeongbu Station (의정부역).  
I stared at this LED screen for quite a while becos I did not understand what was reflected on the screen. The red arrow indicates 소요산 Soyosan. The green arrow indicates 의정부 Uijeongbu, and the purple arrow indicates 동두천 Dongducheon. 소요산 Soyosan is the first/last station on line 1, sharing the same line as Uijeongbu Station and Dongducheon Station. Since I was at Changdong station, the train will reach Uijeongbu first, followed by Dongducheon and Soyosan respectively. It shouldn't affect me since I will alight at Uijeongbu Station, right?  I wish I could understand what was reflected on the screen. 

The train heading to Uijeongbu station came along but I did not board it becos I wasn't sure which train to take. Not long later, a train heading for Soyosan came along. Should I or should I not?? Just board the train first and see how. Anyway, Soyosan is the last station.

Everyone will realised I am a tourist whenever I flashed out my camera. That is fine with me.  At times when I need help, I do hope the local people will know that I'm non Korean ㅋㅋㅋ

The online information stated to take exit 1 from Uijeongbu station and walk towards the main road in front of the station.  I looked to my right. The exit on the far right was exit 6.  

So I looked at my far left. That was exit 4 and 5. Where's exit 1????  I walked around searching for exit 1.  

Couldn't find exit 1. I looked down from the area near exit 4,5 and 6. Yes, there was a main road in front of the subway station and all three exits will lead more or less to the same place.  Ok heck, just go down and see how.

I took exit 5 and walked towards the main road.  

Facing the main road,  I saw many taxis on my left waiting along the road.  I turned left and walked straight with my direction against the flow of traffic.

Walked straight though I wasn't too sure if I was on the right track.

Some railway construction works going on. What''s Uline?  I read up kojects and got to know that the Uijeongbu LRT, branded as U Line, is light rail line in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea to the north of Seoul. It is the second line in Seoul after the Sin Bundang Line and the third in South Korea to be fully automated without drivers. The first official service will begin from the first morning trains on Sunday, July 1, but citizens will be able to try out the service free of charge from June 26 to June 30 .

Woww, free trial of train service. That's so cool!

Though I wasn't sure whether I was on the right track, I continued to walk straight and saw my first bus stop.  I went over to check if there's bus no. 138 cos I was supposed to take bus no.138. There was no bus no.138 at the first bus stop, so I walked on to the next bus stop.

I crossed the road.

Oh that's bus no.138!  Where was it coming from?  Though I missed it but I think I'm on the right track.

Reached the second bus stop. It took me about 7mins to reach here from the subway station. There was bus no. 138, 138-5 and 138-6 at this bus stop. I didn't have time to go through the bus route becos bus no.138 soon arrived.

Managed to quickly snap a picture of the bus route before I board the bus. Somehow, I couldn't locate the bus stop that I wanted to alight. I wanted to alight at 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy bus stop which was just one stop after 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall as directed by  Yup, this is one of my favourite blog ^^
I asked the bus driver if this bus goes to Pocheon. He didn't sound okay at all. In fact, he grumbled and told me to take my seat first. I took the seat nearest to him. The time was 9.14am when I board the bus. I didn't ask the bus driver any more question becos I knew it would take about an hour to reach Pocheon. Was I worried that this was not the right bus for me??  Ya, a little worried and I prayed hard!

Poor piggies :(

The long bus journey made me very drowsy but I told myself I have to stay awake just in case I missed the stop. Ermm... I was still not very sure when to alight becos I didn't see any announcement of the bus stops. All I knew was I will reach 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy bus stop in about one hour. I tried to look at the bus route which I took a picture of it before boarding the bus. It doesn't really help becos' I couldn't find the bus stop - 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy. With no better choice, I depended merely on the time taken to reach there but this would be inaccurate if there was a traffic jam. 

Throughout the entire bus journey, I did not take a good look at this LED screen which was right there above my head. I only notice it when it flashed "포천시청". Very stupid of me...This screen actually served as the announcement for the different bus stops. It was my first time to see such a big screen on Korean buses and all the while, I thought it was showing some kind of advertisements.

Well, discovering this screen in the nick of time was helpful but not very helpful as well. I knew I have to alight at 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy bus stop which was just one stop after 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall but the next stop as reflected on this screen was not 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy. The pink arrow indicates the stop which I will alight. The green arrow indicates 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall. This screen shows the bus stops before and after, which I think is good.
The bus driver suddenly turned to me when we were approaching the stop, 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall. He told me the next stop would be 포천시청. I nodded my head and told him that I wanted to alight at the next stop. Although he looked fierce and sounded impatient when I first board the bus, but I think he was really a kind hearted person. Some people may not look friendly but they are actually nice people. 정말 고마워. I'm grateful to him.

The green arrow is pointing to 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall. The pink arrow is the stop for me to alight although it did not reflect as 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy. The immediate bus stop after the pink arrow doesn't seem to look like the stop reflected in the picture above as indicated by the yellow arrow.  Did I read the bus route wrongly or was it becos the bus route will not reflect minor stops???  I really have no idea...
The orange arrow is pointing to 의정부역 Uijeongbu Station. was really a long journey.  I was a bit confused by this route when I first looked at it becos the red arrow doesn't seem to be pointing at the direction where I was going to.  Thank god, I got on the right bus and got off at the right bus stop. *Phew

Ermm...I don't know what this means but I snapped a picture of it.  I thanked the bus driver and got off the bus. 

This is the bus stop, 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy. No wonder the bus stop was called 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy.  It was "named" after the pharmacy behind the bus stop but you may not be able to see it from the bus. Just alight at the stop right after 포천시청 Pocheon City Hall.  My research states that I will have to take bus no.57 to Herb Island from the same bus stop.  It was 10.16am when I alighted the bus. From my research, bus no. 57 only departs from 한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy stop at specific times 0810, 1010, 1210, 1410, 1610, 1810.  I have missed the bus that departs at 10.10am. Omg...the next bus will come only at 12.10pm.

I obtained this brochure at the entrance of Herb Island. Yes...this picture is very colourful and I ran out of colours to differentiate the different timings!

Orange arrow refers to travelling from Pocheon to Herb Island.
Red arrow refers to the departing time 출발
 시간 of bus no. 57 from Pocheon.

Green arrow refers to the arriving time 도착 시간 of bus no. 57 at Herb Island.
Dark Purple arrow refers to travelling from Herb Island to Pocheon.
Yellow arrow refers to the 
departing time 출발 시간 of bus no. 57 from Herb Island.
Brown arrow refers to the 
arriving time 도착 시간 of bus no. 57 to Pocheon.

There's an alternative route to Herb Island from Soyosan.
Dark Blue arrows refers to travelling from Soyosan to Herb Island.
Light Purple arrow
 refers to the departing time 출발 시간 of bus no. 57 from Soyosan.
Light Green arrow refers to the 
arriving time 도착 시간 of bus no. 57 at Herb Island.
Pink arrow refers to travelling from Herb Island to Soyosan.
Light Blue arrow refers 
 to the departing time 출발 시간 of bus no. 57 from Herb Island.
Black arrow refers to 
the arriving time 도착 시간 of bus no. 57 at Soyosan.

Ermm...since I did not try the bus route from Soyosan, I am not sure where to take bus no.57 from Soyosan station...

Waiting at the bus stop for bus no. 57.
Pocheon is a very simple and quiet town.  

Trying to figure out what was written on this signage...

Ahem Ahemm...this signage was not of much help at all.
Missing consonants, vowels and numbers.
Perhaps I wouldn't be able to understand even if the wordings were clear.
No. 57 wasn't reflected at this signage at all, so is this the bus stop to take bus no.57???
Only the residents will know best...

한마음약국 Hanmaeun Pharmacy.  You wouldn't be able to see this from the bus.

Oh!  There's a LED screen.
Was it saying that bus no. 73 is arriving?
 I didn't see any bus no. 73 on the rundown signage.  Maybe that's not updated.

I decided to take a taxi to Herb Island.  The taxi uncle was quite elderly and could not speak English.  However, he understood when I mentioned Herb Island.  The time was 10.30am when I board the taxi. I observed the place as the taxi travelled along the winding road.  The place looked very deserted. Along the way, I saw bus no.57 on the opposite side of the road.  It was 10.43am then. I wondered did it travelled from Herb Island?  I also look out for bus stops along the way becos I think the bus stops in such quiet towns will look very simple and perhaps only recognised by the residents only..Well, I think I saw maybe about 2 bus stops with shelters??  I could have missed some of the bus stops if they were bus stops in the first place.

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