Camping at the Independence Hall in Cheonan? Why not? You can set up camp at the camping site and explore the rest of the place for a day or longer if you wish. This post will introduce you to the camping ground: the different camping zones and amenities available onsite.
Make A Reservation
One reason that it’s not a popular place for non-Korean is accessibility starting from reservation. Like more and more public websites in Korea, reservation to this place can only be done through their website online, in Korean. It can be a feat to actually make a reservation if you have limited Korean language skills.
Reservation can be done 30 days before and until 9 PM of the same day that you wish to camp. Last minute reservations will depend on the availability, of course. This is usually filled up specially during weekends and peak season. You can stay overnight up to 4 nights. They are closed every first Monday of the month for disinfection and safety inspection.
There are more details regarding the reservation but let me just give you a heads up. The payment system can be tricky for a non-techy, non-Korean speaker. It is possible, yes, but be prepared with extra patience and determination.
First, you need to sign up for the Independence Hall website’s membership. You can only find this in the site’s Korean version. So one will need a little knowledge of the local language and a lot of patience. You would also need to have a phone number under your name. Kids under 14 can sign up after confirming their parent’s identity.
Next, you can finally start making a reservation for the camping area once you have created your account and logged in. In the main page, 과람정보 -> 얘약/신청 -> 캠핑장 예약.
A new window for the camping area website will open up. Click on the 캠핑장 예약 from the main menu. You can now choose the camping zone and date. Online payment will need you to download an app if you haven’t got it yet.
Daehan Zone (대한)
This is the only area that can accommodate bigger vehicles. Thinking of bringing your own RV? Sure! This is the most spacious zone for it and still has space for a tent or an extra car. The ground is well-levelled and tiled. It is basically a large parking lot with accessible power and drinking water sources.
Independence Zone (독립)
It is the first one that you can find on the left next to the entrance. It is a bit on the level area with just a few shrubs. The camping spaces look pretty small (5mx7m) and a bit too close to each other compared to Daehan Zone. There were some green spaces in between some of it but you have to know which ones. It’s best for solo campers and small families. The grounds are also tiled so setting up on a level ground is pretty easy.
Tong-il or Unification Zones (통일-A, 통일-B)
This is my second best bet if going with more than two people. There’s enough space for a larger tent and wider spaces before the next one. It is more on the flattened elevated part of the place. Most part of this zone faces the “Reconciliation Field”.
Manse Zone (만새)
If you want to camp under and in between pine trees, this is the place for you. It’s a cooler area or colder depending on the season or your personal preference. This is the only zone that has wooden decks to put the tent on. The decks were built into the sloping hill so it might not be that accessible for the less able-bodied person or for the little ones.
(+5000 on Fridays, Saturday, day before holiday)
|Daehan||9×10||25,000 won||Allowed: Caravan, modified camper, motor home, roof top, trailer, camper, etc.
(※ Only one is allowed)
– All normal tents are allowed
– car camping
|Dongnip or Independence||5×7||15,000 won||Not allowed: rooftop, folding trailer, camper, car camping, etc.|
|Tong-il or Unity
The campsite has toilets, coin-operated shower rooms, waste recycling area, futsal court, parking area, water and electricity.
Restrooms and Showers
There is a main two-storey restroom and second one located a little farther up in the Unification Zone. Coin-operated shower rooms are available to use just next to the main restroom. There is an automated bill-to-coin changer right outside the shower room door. The showers have hot water options so no worries during cold days. And one more thing, it is a common shower hall without any cubicles just like in most jimjilbangs or Korean public baths. Please keep that in mind if you are not used to the Korean ways yet.
Power, Water and Washing Areas
Electricity can be accessed for each zone but you will have to bring your rolled-up extension cords. This is usually for the lights or anything less than 600W per site.
Each zone has washing areas limited to use for the camper’s cooking needs. At least 20 people can do the dishes at the same time. There are also leftover food waste bins, think of those ramyeon bins in the convenience store, just bigger.
Waste Recycling Areas
There are waste recycling areas just like everywhere here in Korea. This includes cans, plastic containers, bottles and possibly special for a campsite would be a bin for empty butane gas cans. I noticed that there weren’t any labelled spaces for paper and plastic packaging though. Maybe that is to limit the disposable things we bring when camping or everything else just ends up in the general waste bin. Personally, I try to limit the waste I bring if I can.
There’s one right at the entrance but it was closed that day. Better check in advance or just bring everything that you will need. There are convenience stores outside the Independence Hall’s perimeter, roughly 5 minutes away by car.