Ansan aims to become a global city!
Western part of Gyeonggi Province, hub of East Asia and locomotive of the ‘West Coast’ era!
Ansan, as the country’s first planned city, boasts a pastoral environment developed according to a well-arranged plan, including a 74% green downtown area, making it the greenest of all local autonomous bodies. The Ansan Smart Hub (previously the Banwol/Sihwa National Industrial Complex) plays a central role in the national economy. Other features of the city include Ansan Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant, the largest of its kind in the world; Daebudo Island with its salt fields and bountiful tourism resources; and a reed marsh park.
Multi-cultural village in Wongok-dong
If you leave Ansan Subway Station via Exit 1 you will come to Wongok-dong, which may feel something like a foreign country. Many migrant workers form a community here, so the area is often referred to as a borderless village. In fact, over 70,000 migrant workers from 67 countries live here, and there are more than 300 commercial establishments associated with them, including restaurants specializing in Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Bangladesh, and Chinese cuisine.
◇ In Ansan ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
◇ Diverse events are held at the Choi Yongshin Memorial Hall, which was founded in honor of Mr. Choi Yong-shin, on whose life Sim Hun based his novel Sangroksu (Evergreen Tree). ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
The Ansan Migrant Center (previously the Ansan Migrant Workers’ Center), a non-profit private organization, has been providing support for migrants in all matters concerning their rights and interests since 1994. The Ansan Migrant Community Service Center, the first of its kind in the country, was opened in March 2008 to provide administrative services and programs to migrants. Other facilities and events for migrants include Kosian House, which provides assistance to multicultural households and migrants, BLINK (the Counseling Center for Migrant Women), and the Borderless Village Festival. In conjunction with such efforts by locals in Ansan, the Government designated Wongok-dong as the Ansan Multicultural Village Special Zone in 2009. As such, Ansan is regarded as a leading city in matters pertaining to multicultural policy.
◇ The outer walls of the Ansan Migrant Community Service Center attest to Ansan’s status as a leading multicultural city. ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
The City has inherited the spirit of Yi Ik and Choi Yong-shin.
Yi Ik (pen-name: Seongho), who compiled the Silhak philosophy in a book, grew up studying in Ansan. When he was two years old, his mother took him home to Cheomseong-ri (now Il-dong), Ansan, after his father passed away in exile. His tomb is located at the foot of a low hill across from Seongho Park. The nearby Seongho Memorial Hall displays more than 2,000 relics related to Silhak.
◇ Ansan got its reputation from Yi Ik (pen-name: Seongho), who accomplished the feat of compiling the Silhak philosophy in a book. He grew up studying in Ansan. Nearby attractions associated with him include Seongho Park; his tomb, and the Seongho Memorial Hall, which displays more than 2,000 relics associated the Silhak. ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
Ansan is the place where Choi Yong-shin, on whose life and deeds Sim Hun based his novel Sanroksu (Evergreen Tree), engaged in rural enlightenment activities through Samgol Church in Samgol (now Bono-dong) in the early 1930s. Ansan City opened the Choi Yongshin Memorial Hall, a replica of the Cheongok School that Choi used to run, in 2007.
Daebu Grape and Grand Coteau Wine
◇ Daebu Grape ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
Daebudo Island has a natural environment that is favorable for grape growing, comprising fresh sea wind, a proper level of moisture, a big difference in temperature between day and night, and soil rich in minerals. Grapes produced on the island have a thick skin, high sugar content, and a very pleasant taste. Grand Coteau Wine made from Daebudo-produced grapes dominates the domestic market. The wine is available in two types, red and rosé, which are characterized by a fresh fruit flavor, pleasant sour taste, and soft sweet taste of two wines.
Daebudo Island is a very popular tourist destination on the West Coast. Visitors to Daebudo can have lots of fun collecting razor clams, surf clams, batilus cornutus, etc. It is also a favorite destination among anglers as goby fish, flat fish, black rock fish, and other species are abundant here. Other islands close to Daebudo are famous for short-necked clams, oysters (Yukdo), sorajeot (salted seasoning made from batilus cornutus) and Solomon’s Seal tea (Pungdo).
Daebudo Island Glass Museum
The Daebudo Island Glass Museum, which aims to rival the Murano Museum of Glass in Venice, Italy, displays a wide range of exhibits related to glass, and includes an introduction to the history of glass, the process of manufacturing glass, and manufactured glass objects in a 10-acre space. The museum is composed of an exhibition hall displaying glass works made by well-known domestic and international artists; Mac Art Museum; a theme-based exhibition hall; an outdoor glass sculpture park; and Lovers’ Walk, which symbolizes love stories in films along the beach. The museum is located on a place overlooking the sea and has an auto campsite for visitors.
Ansan Street Arts Festival
◇ Ansan Street Arts Festival ⓒ G-LIFE Editing Team
In May, the Ansan Street Arts Festival is held in Ansan 25 Hour Open Square. The street stage play festival, the first of its kind in the country, is a festival for artists from all over the world. It was originally conceived as a means of helping people release their everyday stress. Participants engage in diverse performances, including a small-scale circus, mime, juggling, or parades. At the 2012 event, sixty-six teams from eleven countries gave excellent performances, attracting crowds of more than 710,000 people.