Deokpyeong Eco Service Area & Pyeongchang

Every summer, my boyfriend and I try to take at least one trip out to the countryside. While we both love living in the city, we really appreciate being closer to nature and giving our pets the space to roam freely. Our summer spot is always Pyeongchang (where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be hosted) in Gangwon-do.

One of the things I like best about road trips are the rest stops. On our way to Pyeongchang this Saturday, we made a pit stop at Deokpyeong Eco Service Area (highway rest stop/area). I wasn’t expecting anything special since most rest stops are pretty similar but this one totally won me over within seconds. Like its name, the rest stop was totally rocking the eco-friendly theme. It’s nothing like any of the other rest stops I’ve been to. It’s beautiful, it has a touch of nature and it’s HUGE. But the thing I loved most about it was their dog park. That’s right, a dog park…in Korea! I know they exist in Korea, but they’re are hard to find outside of Seoul. While I love Korea, I find it hard on my dogs at times. We can’t really walk them without their leash and there aren’t many places we can take them.

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Dog Park at Deokpyung Eco Service Area
A place made especially for dogs!

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Admission is 10,000 won for each adult and his/her pet dog, each additional dog thereafter is an additional 5,000 won. Since there were two of us, we were charged 20,000 won.

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Juno was super excited to be off her leash.

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I was ecstatic we had sunshine. I mean, it’s been raining nonstop for nearing two weeks so I was hardly optimistic we would see any sunshine but luckily, the sun came out for us on Saturday!

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My little man was having a blast!

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After my little guy started to pick a fight with a cocker spaniel in the dog park, we decided it was time to head inside for some cool drinks and AC. He’s a short-legged maltese with a temper.

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Heading inside to check out their dog cafe and get our complimentary drinks!

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Since I’m used to my two little animals, this guy scared me at first but he was the sweetest thing so I grew immediately fond of him while we were there.

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I loved everything about the dog park and their employees were so sweet. We are already talking about a second visit!

After we left the park, my boyfriend and I decided to check out the rest of the place.  There’s literally something for everybody. You can shop, eat, take pictures, and be one with nature. There are plenty of places to walk and it looks like they are planning to expand the place even more. It was pretty crowded but we still found it pretty easy to navigate our way around.

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Isn’t it funny how we always capture other people in our photos? I wonder how many people have pictures of me and my boyfriend in the background. XD

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The boyfriend tried to buy a shirt but they didn’t have his size so we left to grab some lunch. There were tons of things to choose from but we settled with…

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HAMBURGERS! We decided to try out one of the hamburger joints there since my boyfriend said some people left really favorable reviews online. I had my reservations but it really surprised me! It was definitely good and really filling.

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I love potato wedges and I love them more when they aren’t coated in salt! This one had the perfect amount of saltiness to them.

An hour later, we made it to our pension. I’m usually very pleased with the pensions that we reserve but I was a bit displeased with this place since we got there after three but our room wasn’t even ready.

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Our lodging was actually on the other side but I didn’t take any pictures of it. It was pretty neat because the kitchen was downstairs and the bathroom and bedroom were both upstairs. We also had a balcony and some space in the back of our lodging for barbecuing. The pool was pretty big but most found it uncomfortable to be in there with other people they didn’t know,  so no more than two or three people were in the pool at the same time.

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I was too scared to get into the water so I just took pictures of the boyfriend and our pets swimming around in the pool.

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Poor Joey was forced to swim. Look at him trying to get my attention here.

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After they got out of the pool, we sat in the sun for a bit for the boyfriend and our pets to dry off a bit. Then Cookie (the pension owner’s dog) came over to our pension. She just plopped herself down right in front of our screen door. We couldn’t figure out why she was there until we walked over and realized she was looking at our pets’ food bowl. XD

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She got sleepy sitting there so she left a short while after.

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After Cookie left, we decided to head inside to get some rest before dinner. Joey started to drift off himself.

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He tried to stay awake as best as he could but his little body was pretty tired and sleepy.

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After an hour nap, we woke up and barbecued!

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Give me some food!

The next day, we got up around 8 and left the pension. We tried to make it home early so we wouldn’t waste our day stuck in traffic. We made a second stop at Deokpyeong Eco Service Area for our dogs to stretch their legs and to get some food.

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After eyeing the many choices we had, the boyfriend decided wherever we ate there had to be AC. So we went with bibimbap!

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Bulgogi bibimbap!

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Haemul pajeon. The boyfriend stuffed his belly good with this but I found out too greasy for my liking.

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We got mini cream puffs (baby choux) to go with our drinks at a place called “Beard Papa’s”. The whole time I kept asking my boyfriend “Shouldn’t it be Papa’s Beard?” XD

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I’m not a big fan of creamy pastries but I wanted something with my coffee so we got some cream puffs for the drive back.

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And that brings our trip to an end! For more information on Deokpyung Eco Service Area, you can visit their official website here (in Korean). Hope you had a good weekend.

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