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Best Tour in the Suburbs of Seoul
09:00 : Departure from Seoul
11:00 : Korean Folk Village (Lunch)
15:00 : Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (Paldalmun Gate ~ Hwahongmun Gate)
17:00 : Suwon wanggalbi (Yeonpo Galbi /Dinner)
18:00 : Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (Hwahongmun Gate~Yeonmudae)
20:00 : Arrival in Seoul
The focal point of this tour is the Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, a world cultural heritage, and the Korean Folk Village (한국민속촌) in Yongin, a major folk village in Korea. Conveniently located on the outskirts of Seoul, the two destinations combined make the best tour outside the capital city. The city of Suwon is also well known for its galbi, or barbecued Korean ribs, which is a popular Korean food. And this tour will enable visitors to learn more about the traditional culture of Korea.
Photos, Tour Description & Links to More Information
Tourist Information Center in front of Suwon Station
Seoul Subway Line 1, Jonggak station → Suwon station
The subway Line 1 connects Seoul with Suwon. Both Jonggak station and Suwon station are on Line 1, so there is no need to transfer. Total traveling time is about 65 minutes, and fare is 1,400 won.
Suwon station → Korean Folk Village
After getting off the train at Suwon station, take exit 4 and walk towards the Tourist Information Center located at the left side of the Suwon station Plaza. It takes 1~2 minutes by walk. If you buy an admission ticket to the Korean Folk Village at the Tourist Information Center, you will receive a free shuttle bus ticket to the village (Full package ticket for adults 19 or over is 16,000 won). The free shuttle bus is scheduled at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 01:30, and, 02:30, so if you want to cover both the folk village and the fortress on the same day, it is best to take the 10:30 shuttle bus. The ride takes about 30 minutes.
Korean Folk Village
The Korean Folk Village, which attracts many local as well as international visitors, features reproductions of life in the late Joseon period. Set on an expansive 243-acre site, the village features the cultures and lifestyles of each social class, with 260 or so restored traditional houses and 30,000 folk materials and artifacts on exhibit.

Visitors can see how the Joseon people lived, thanks to the reproduced farmhouse, commoner’s house, government office, school, blacksmith, marketplace, and the nobleman’s house (yangban) with 99 rooms. It would take about half a day to take a careful look around, but it is also possible to see major attractions in about an hour and a half. International travelers will find several nice restaurants to suit their needs, and there is also one area where numerous restaurants cluster together like in a rural market. We had lunch at Hangukgwan (+82-31-286-4605), a pleasant-looking Korean restaurant near the entrance.
  • Three Most Popular Menus at Hangukgwan
      Bulgogi (grilled marinated beef): 10,000 won
      Dolsot bibimbap (rice and vegetables on a hot stone pot): 7,000 won
      Beoseot jeongol (mushroom casserole): 10,000 won
    → Click here for more on the Korean Folk Village
To go back to Suwon, take the shuttle bus at the entrance of the Korean Folk Village. From March through October, the returning bus starts at 14:00, 15:30, 16:30 on weekdays, and at 14:00, 16:00, and 17:00 on weekends and holidays. In the winter from November through February, there is a bus at 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 on weekdays, and at 14:00, 15:00, and 16:30 on weekends. The ride takes about 30 minutes.
→ Bus schedule is subject to change every season.
We took the 2 o’clock shuttle bus and returned to Suwon station. From the Tourist Information Center, we walked to the left and found a bus station. Bus no. 11, 13, 36, 38, 39 go to Hwaseong Fortress. We got off at Paldalmun bus stop. (The ride takes about 10 minutes, fare is 850 won.)
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (Paldalmun Gate ~ Hwahongmun Gate)
The Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon is a fortress city built in the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Along with Changdeokgung Palace, the fortress was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in December 1997. The total perimeter of the fortress spans 5.52 kilometers, with 50 or so structures along the walls. Among those, seven were destroyed as a result of wars or natural disasters, but the remaining ones are well preserved. Some of the major structures are the south gate Paldalmun (Treasure no. 402), the west gate Hwaseomun (Treasure no. 403), the north gate Janganmun, and the east gate Changnyongmun. Between these gates are gongsimdon, sentry towers built to keep an eye on enemy’s activities outside the walls.

Suwon Stream flows through the interior of Hwaseong Fortress. The Hwahongmun Gate is built above seven arched aqueducts that allow the water to flow through. Together with nearby Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion and Yongyeon Pond, Hwahongmun Gate is considered the most beautiful of the Hwaseong Fortress structures.

While the fortress is opened 24 hours a day, the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is closed at 5 pm in winter and at 6 pm during other seasons. With that in mind, we started our tour at Paldalmun Gate, near Hwaseong Haenggung. At a leisurely pace, it takes about two hours to see the sights from Paldalmun, Seojangdae, Hwaseomun, Janganmun, and Hwahongmun. After finishing the tour, we exited Hwahongmun Gate and had dinner at Yeonpo Galbi, a popular galbi restaurant nearby.
  • The Four Major Gates of Hwaseong Fortress
Paldalmun Gate Hwaseomun Gate Janganmun Gate Changnyongmun Gate
  • Hwaseong Haenggung Programs
    1. Jangyongyeong Gate Guarding Ceremony
    The ritual of the Jangyongyeong, royal guards of King Jeongjo, is a precise re-enactment of the ceremony during King Jeongjo’s reign. The event is held every Sunday at 2 pm at Hwaseong Haenggung Palace from March to November.
    2. Twenty-four Martial Arts Exhibition Performance
    At 2 pm every Tuesday through Saturday and 3 pm on Sundays, a performance is held featuring 24 martial art demonstrations.
    3. Weekend Experience Program
    Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, a weekend experience program (March ~ November) is held at the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace. The program offers a variety of activities, including a royal court experience, Daejanggeum experience, Korean paper-making (hanji) and ink-rubbings, Korean traditional cookie- making, ceramics, and finally, trying on a suit of armor. The fee ranges between 1,000 won to 2,000 won per experience. Just like chips in a casino, old Korean coins called yeopjeon are used for every transaction in Hwaseong Haenggung.

  • Hwaseong Haenggung Visitor Information
    Hours: 09:00~18:00 (Mar. ~ Oct.) /09:00~17:00 (Nov. ~ Feb.)
    Closed on Mondays
    Admission: 1,000 won for 19+ / 700 won for 13~18 /500 won for 7~12 / Free for 65+ and 6-

    → Click here for more on Hwaseong Haenggung Palace

  • Hwaseong Fortress Visitor Information
    Hours: 24 hours
    No closing days
    Admission: 1,000 won for 19+ / 700 won for 13~18 /500 won for 7~12 / Free for 65+ and 6-
    Ticketing booth: Seojangdae, Janganmun Gate, Yeonmudae, Changnyongmun Gate (opened 09:00~18:00, after-hours admission is free)
    Note: With one ticket, you can make multiple entries into the fortress. Just show the ticket at the entrance.
    → Click here for more on Hwaseong Fortress
At Hwahongmun Gate, there is a stair going down the fortress. Go down the stair, and you will see Yeonpo Galbi restaurant.
Suwon Wanggalbi (Yeonpo Galbi /Dinner)
Suwon galbi is made only with Korean beef, which is marinated in a sauce of sesame oil, garlic, spring onion, fried sesame seeds, pear, and other ingredients, and charcoal grilled. Suwon galbi is also called wanggalbi because of its considerable size, and it is loved by both Koreans and international visitors. Near Hwahongmun Gate is a famous galbi restaurant called Yeonpo Galbi, so we had a late lunch there. The long ribs are cut in shorter pieces by a waitress. You can take a piece of galbi, place it on a lettuce leaf with other vegetables and a small amount of seasoning called ssamjang, wrap the whole thing up and eat it. Side dishes can be refilled many times in most Korean restaurants (the main dish is one serving only).
  • Yeonpo Galbi Visitor Information
      Tel: +82-31-255-1337 (Korean)
      Address: Near Hwahongmun Gate of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

  • Menu
      Yangnyeom (marinated) galbi 28,000 won
      Naengmyeon (cold noodles) 5,000 won
      Galbitang (Galbi soup with rice) 7,000 won (11:40~14:00 only)
      Galbijeongsik (Galbi set menu) 15,000 won (11:40~14:00 only)
Near Yeonpo Galbi restaurant, there is a stair leading up to the fortress. Go up the stair and walk to the east.
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (Hwahongmun Gate~Yeonmudae)
18: 00
After relishing galbi, we headed back to the fortress and climbed the stairs near Hwahongmun Gate. We walked eastward and found the Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion and the Yongyeon Pond. From there, we walked another 20 minutes to Yeonmudae, the final destination in our tour.
Yeonmudae → Suwon station
In front of Yeonmudae, take bus no. 7, 7-2, 60, 660, or 720 and get off at Suwon station. The ride takes about 20 minutes, and the fare is 850 won.
Suwon station → Jonggak Station
The subway Line 1 connects Suwon with Seoul. Both Suwon station and Jonggak station are on Line 1, so there is no need to transfer. Total traveling time is about 65 minutes, and fare is 1,400 won.
  • Travel Tips
    In Hwaseong, a tourist train travels between Mt. Paldalsan and Yeonmudae. It starts in front of the Kang Gam-chan statue at the top of Mt. Paldalsan and ends at Yeonmudae, covering a distance of 3.2 kilometers. The train makes round trips between the two locations, so visitors can board and exit the train at either place. It is a welcome option for those who have difficulty walking long distances.

  • < Hwaseong Tourist Train Visitor Information >
    Fare:1,500 won for 19+ / 1,100 won for 13~18 / 700 won for 7~12 / Free for 6-
    Hours: 10:00~17:00
    Trains do not run on Mondays, rainy or snowy days, and when temperature goes below zero Celsius.
▧Map of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

  • Traveling Expenses _ As of October 2005
    Subway from Jonggak to Suwon: 1,400 won
    Korean Folk Museum full package ticket: 16,000 won
    Hangukgwan bulgogi (lunch): 10,000 won (per person)
    Bus from Suwon station to Paldalmun: 850 wonAdmission to Hwaseong Haenggung: 1,000 won
    Admission to Hwaseong Fortress: 1,000 won
    Yeonpo galbi: 28,000 won (per person)
    Bus from Yeonmudae to Suwon station: 850 won Subway from Suwon station to Jonggak station: 1,400 won

    Total: 60,500 won
Date 11/25/2005

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