The Daegwallyeong Yangtte Sheep Farm (대관령 양떼목장) is one of those places I don’t expect to find in Korea.
The nation is not known for its high quality wool sweaters, nor a love of mutton. But since 1988, some 200 sheep have roamed the gorgeous 200 square kilometers of hilly terrain in Gangwon Province’s Pyeongchang County.
Named for the nearby pass in the Taebaeksan mountains, the area is a popular spot in the winter, when it hosts a festival, and when its fields make for some pretty stunning scenery.
Should you wish to avoid the snow, every March and April is when the sheep are sheared, which explains their full (and filthy) woolly coats when my friend and I visited in October.
Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm features about 1.2 kilometers of trails that wind around the property. Supposedly there’s no entrance fee… just a 3,000 won fee for a basket of hay to feed the sheep. It’s worth the price of admission.
Aside from the K-Pop and occasional Celine Dion that belt from the path-side speakers, it’s a beautiful part of the country that’s done an unusually fine job of encouraging tourism without looking like a theme park.
The landscape includes old oaks and an impressive number of wildflower species.
For the photo enthusiast, aside from the sheep, the Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm features two rustic gray shacks make for nice snapshots.
For a close encounter with the resident beasts, there’s a building where you can hand feed the greedy sheeps. These ones were noticeably cleaner than the outdoor lot.
Finally, if you’re the kind of person who wants to eat a sheep meat kebab to conclude your visit, you can do so at the trail head snack stand.
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About Matt Kelley
Matt Kelly is native of the US Pacific Northwest and is half-Korean by ethnicity. He lived in Korea for five years and has written hundreds of travel guides for Wallpaper, TimeOut, the Boston Globe and Seoul Magazine and was a host for several different variety shows on Korean radio and television.