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[Korea] Train Ride: Another Joy of Traveling Korea
Summer is the season to travel around and enjoy the sun, and what better way to do that than by taking a ride on a train?

KORAIL, the state-run Korea Railroad Corporation, has begun a special travel package for summer vacationers, starting from mid-July to late August. The trains, including Korea's high-speed KTX, will deliver tourists to various resorts, beaches, islands and valleys nationwide.

The tourist packages come in a variety of sizes from a pair of tickets for honeymooners to discounts for families and large groups of friends.

Festured Destination: East Sea (Donghae)
Jeongseon Bike RideThere are two travel packages for the East Sea, a one- and two-day course. Tourists can enjoy the stunning sunrise of Jeongdongjin from the east coast beach you can step onto from the train platform. Other tourist packages include “Myeulchi-huri” (catching anchovy) along with a view from Samcheok. The “Summer Dragon” course takes in a salt water sauna and massage pack among other things.

A unique bike ride that runs back and forth from Gujeol-ri Station to Songchen Stream is ready in Jeongseon County. The 90-minute Jeongseon Rail Bike which was established after closing down a local train that once transported coal and wood, runs 10-20 km/h and covers 7.2 km in total. Divided into four- and two- people bikes, families, friends and lovers are encouraged to sit close and pedal together as they stroll around the mountain.

Another popular travel package includes a single day trip all the way up to Chujeon Station deep within Mt.Taebaeksan. It is Korea's highest station at 855 meters. Heading down the coastal side, the train passes the romantic Seungbu Station surrounded only by mountains before finally reaching Jeongdongjin.

Gyeongsangnam-do travel packages include trips to Milyang and Busan, both two-day excursions. Milyang was the setting for the movie “Secret Sunshine,” which garnered the Best Actress award at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Visitors can look around Milyang's Ice Valley at Mt. Chunwangsan. Surrounded by piles of rocks this is the place where ice forms naturally around March- April and doesn't melt until fall. Then there's the well-known Haeundae Beach of Busan, the largest port city of Korea with an aquarium, hot springs, Beomeosa Temple and Jagalchi Market.

The three-day travel package from Seoul to Busan includes Jagalchi Market and Haeundae Beach and further travel to the southernmost regions of Oedo Island with its marine botanical garden, Haegeumgang Lake on Geoje-do and Boriam Temple of Mt. Geumsan. The scenic view will continue till Jeolla-do Province where people can look around Songgwang Temple and the green tea plantation in Boseong.

Those who prefer looking around island only, should try travel packages that take you to Hongdo and Heuksando off the south coast; Ulleungdo and Dokdo in the East Sea; Geomundo and Baekdo at the southwestern end of Korea; Bogildo with three beaches, silver sand and subtropical trees; and Oedaldo, the island of love and mothers. These islands boast some of the best natural habitat of Korea and are filled with rich flora and fauna.

Finally, check out the rafting trip via train. Taking off from Seoul Station and Cheongnyangni Station on Saemaeul and Mugunghwa-ho trains, it will take you to Donggang Lake in Yeongwol where you can do all the rafting you want.

Keep choosing because you can go to various mountains in Korea by rail, even Mt. Hallasan on Jejudo Island and Mt. Geumgangsan in North Korea are reachable through KORAIL tickets.

→ For more information on the rafting and kayaking, click here!
→ For more information on the Mt.Geumgangsan tour, click here!

Sea Train Launch

Sometimes, riding on a train regardless of its destination can be a good trip itself. On July 25, this year Korea launched its first “Bada (Sea) Tourist Train” after a week-long pilot run.

The newly re-modeled train -- a joint project with KORAIL's Gangwon-do branch, Gangneung City and Samcheok City each investing 300 million won -- travels from Gangneung to Samcheok, giving a full view of the sea through enlarged windows.

Comprised of three cars -- the first for lovers, second for families and elderly, and third for private parties -- the room for lovers provides wine and photo rooms suitable for marriage proposals. Movies and music are available through PDP and wireless Internet. All the chairs face the window to make sightseeing easy.

The train will pass Jeongdongjin, Mangsang and Chuam and five other stations in close proximity to the sea on a round trip run four times a day during the holiday seasons of summer and winter and three times during the off-season.

For more information on the travel packages:
(1) Sea Train: Tel: 1544-7786, 033-573-5474 (Korean language only)
(2) www.Korail.com : Tel: (02) 1544-7788, 1588-7788

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Article courtesy of Korea.net
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Date 08/03/2007