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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. 

 

Independence Hall’s main website

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. 

Camping Zones

This campsite has 4 main zones: Daehan (대한), Dongnip or Independence (독립), Tong-il or Unity (통일-A, 통일-B), Manse (만새). 

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. 

Fees

Zones Size (m) Fees 

(+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 

(A, B)

5×7
Manse 2.5×3

3.3×3.6

Amenities

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.

Tong-il Zone, camping space and restroom

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. 

Convenience Store

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.  

 

Safety 

There are visible fire extinguishers in almost every zone and CCTV in strategic locations. The fire station is just within five minutes away. 

No pets allowed except that you may spot some animals that happen to be passing by the area. 

Parking

There are parking spaces but limited depending on the camping zone. You will have to bring your camping gears from your car to your spot. Nonetheless, the parking areas are quite near the camping zones. Except for the Daehan Zone, most would only allow one car and that is also subject to a parking fee of 2000 won for small cars. If there will be extra cars, it will have to be parked at the general parking area of the hall. 

Other Recreational Options

Reconciliation Yard (free) and Futsal Court (extra fee)

If camp life itself is not enough for a physical workout, one can rent the futsal court for a fee or play in the more spacious Reconciliation Yard. 

Access to the Independence Hall’s outdoor exhibits, Rose of Sharon Garden and Path of Maple Trees. Here’s another post to know more about the Maple Trees walking trail that is best seen in the fall. 

 

How to Get There

Turn right when you see this. You have just reached the camping grounds. The convenience store is the yellow and green small building at the entrance.

The campsite is located on the southwest side of the Independence Hall. Getting there is through the main gate for the parking area. Just inform them that you are heading to the campsite. You will be instructed to follow the maroon lane. When you get to the campsite guard post, they will check your plate number against their reservation list, as well as your temperature (because of COVID, of course.) You will also get a flyer with the map and campsite rules. 

Drive a bit more before you reach the campsite itself. You will pass by a playground on your left and the Rose of Sharon park on the right. The campsite is on right before you reach the baseball practice field. 

Once you get to your designated camping space, a staff will hand you some paper. Write your name and contact number which most likely states that you have read, understood the rules and agreed to it. You will not see any of the staff until you leave again unless there’s some problem. Which, of course, will possibly be the case if you follow the rules and some common sense when camping.

The camping grounds had been closed recently because of COVID. The closures had been unpredictable but they do post updates on their website. It had just recently reopened this October. We recommend to  sign up for the website now so there will be less hassle when you actually decide to go camping. Until then, you can read more about camping gear stores in Cheonan.

It is now, more than ever, that we need to recharge and commune with nature to keep our sanity during these times. As always, enjoy the place but keep social distancing guidelines in order for us to be able to continue our “new normal lives.”