Paju (파주시, 坡州市, slope.province.city) is a city in Gyeonggi-do and is situated just south of the DMZ. Despite that its location may make some squeamish, Paju is a rapidly growing city and many Koreans and foreigners can be seen taking in the plentiful historical and cultural sites that the area has to offer. The city has earned the title of "rising future city" because of its large-scale development projects.
Two large rivers, the Han and the Imjin, along with Gamaksan, one of the five great mountains in Gyeonggi-do, help to create Paju's beautiful landscape. Paju is also a historic ciry with an ancient history dating back to ancient times. However, the neatly-designed culture and art venues such as the Heyri Art Valley and Paju Book City bring it back to the future. Paju is also home to the mlitarily-significant Panmunjeom, as well as a huge complex that manufactures LCD displays. The city government has made great efforts to shed its former image as being a military town and into a burgeoning business hub, a major art and culture attraction, and a center of economic cooperation between North and South Korea.
Paju is one of several cities in Korea where the main urban area is not the place for which the city is named. Paju-eup is a smallish part of Paju to the north of Geumchon, which is the main population and government center of Paju-shi. Munsan is another population center in the shi.
Paju is located to the northwest of Seoul next to the border with the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone, or 휴전선 in Korean) and thus there are a large number of military bases in the city. It does not share a border with Seoul.
The city is located at 127° 01’~126° 41’ East, and 37° 42’~38° 07’ North.
- Number of households: 83,824 (2003.5)
- Administrative divisions: 5 eup, 9 myeon, 2 dong
- Location of city hall: 215 Adong-dong, Paju-shi (파주시 아동동 215)
- City flower: 코스모스
- City tree: Ginkgo (은행나무)
- City bird: Dove (비둘기)
Some of the mountains in the city include Gamaksan (감악산, 紺獄山:675m), Nogosan (노고산, 老姑山:401m), and Myeongbongsan (명봉산, 鳴鳳山:245m). To the east are the counties of Yangju and Yeoncheon, and to the south is the city of Goyang.
The climate is the same as that in Seoul: the average yearly temperature is 10.3℃, the average temperature in January is －4.0℃, and the average temperature in July is 24.7℃. The average yearly precipitation is 1,210mm.
Art and Culture
The 123-acre Heyri Art Village in Paju has been developed to be a residential, commercial, and recreational community to house some 370 artists, writers, painters, architects, musicians, and filmmakers. The name itself comes from "Heyri Sori", a folk song that local farmers used to sing when working in the fields. With its unique exhibits, performances, and events, the appeal to this community has helped tourism.
Another contributing factor to Paju's status of a city of culture is due to Book City in Gyoha. Spanning 392 acres, the complex has been designed to combine all processes involved in publishing from planning and editing, to printing, logistics, and distribution. Most of Korea's large publishing houses have already moved into the complex.
Another noteworthy feature of Paju is the Paju English Village. Designed to resemble a town in England, the village is intended to provide children and adult citizens with an english-rich environment to better acquire English skills.
Built in April 27, 2006, the LG Phillips LCD manufacturing facilities form a key component of the Paju Display Cluster that stretches 1,144 acres. The plant occupies an area of 419 acres with the world's largest 7th-generation production line (named "P7"), module plants, dormitories accommodating 4,000 people, and infrastructure such as a sewage treatment facility. The Paju Display Cluster is rapidly developing into a major industrial complex with various plants.
The Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) opened in April 2005 as a world-class exhibition center, which is now becoming host to international fairs and conventions.
Ginseng is also produced from the city of Gaeseong in North Korea, and every once in a while a ginseng festival is held in the city.
Given its close proximity to North Korea, Paju is not only a centre for military activity but also for efforts towards reunification, such as the restoring and tracking of the Gyeongui Line, the expansion of Jayuro, and the construction of the Tongilro (unification road) bypass. Cooperation with the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in the city of Gaeseong is also usually done through Paju.
Nearby US military bases
Restaurants and Bars
As the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants are in abundance throughout Korea and are easy for foreigners to find, the following restaurants reflect a sampling of restaurants considered to be either popular or are western-friendly choices and other ethnic foods.
Sports and Recreation
Confucian Academies and Shrines
Mountains and Parks
Waterfalls and Valleys
There's a big not-too-bad hotel on the main street that runs in front of the Geumchon Station. Another one is just to the left of the cross street, about a block up. Otherwise, there are some yeogwans in back of the market (Good luck in finding them!) Or go a couple blocks south from the station and find the Hwanggeum Hotel. At 50,000 it's not the best deal for the money but you won't die here. Can't say the same for the yeogwan just beyond it - if you get that far just head thru the market and you'll find more at the south end.
The nearest subway station connecting to Seoul is 15 minutes south at Daehwa Station, in the vicinty of Ilsan and Goyang. Central Seoul will be about a 40 minute subway trip from there.
A Korail train runs stops at Geumchon Station on its way to Munsan.
Buses run from in front of the Geumchon Station to other parts of Paju-shi, as well as to Incheon via Ilsan (the #3000 bus). The bus to Uijeongbu runs along a road paralleling this one a couple blocks to the south - it stops near the Halal restaurant. Other buses run to Seoul.