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Best Autumn Getaway in Gangwon-do

Gangwon-do Province is indeed the best tourist destination in Korea with its mountains, sea, and numerous attractions that are enjoyed during all four seasons. In the fall, travelers visit the beautiful foliage in the mountains and the sea that is as romantic as in the summer. Whether alone or in a group, visitors can fully enjoy the autumn mood in Gangwon-do. Here is a preview of some of the major destinations in the province that can be easily reached within 2 to 3 hours from Seoul.

☞ Find out more!
- Korea Festivals: September - November



Chuncheon

Only an hour from Seoul by subway, Chuncheon is a favorite tourist destination for the Korean people. It boasts a beautiful landscape, a variety of things to see and enjoy, as well as green mountains and clean lakes. In particular, Namiseom is one of the famous filming locations of the Korean drama Winter Sonata. As such, it has attracted numerous international visitors who enjoy a leisurely stroll in nature.

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Getting There
By train
The Gyeongchun Line connects Sanbong Station (Seoul Subway Line 7) to Chuncheon. (12 minute interval, fare 2,500 won; first train 05:10 (express), 05:31 (non-express), last train 22:20 (express), 23:00 (non-express))
* The express train stops at the following stations: Toegyewon, Pyeongnae-Hopyeong, Maseok, Gapyeong, Namchuncheon (with additional stations of Cheongpyeong and Gangchon on weekends).

Wonju

Located in the Southwest of Gangwon-do Province, Wonju is within an easy, 2-hour drive from Seoul. Enthusiastic hikers are recommended to visit Mt. Chiaksan National Park. The mountain offers numerous tracks, ranging from 2.8 kilometers to 23.8 kilometers. In the fall, the mountain offers beautiful foliage. Along the hiking trail, one can also find historic Buddhist temples like Guryongsa and Sangwonsa that date back to the Silla Dynasty (BC 57∼AD 935).

Recommended Tourist Attractions
Chiaksan National Park
With its high peaks like Borobong (1,288m), Namdaebong, and Hyangnobong, Mt. Chiaksan National Park is counted among the best mountain ranges in Korea and attracts numerous visitors during the foliage season. Starting in early October, the leaves turn to crimson red and reach their peak in the middle of October. Visitors can also find thick woods, jagged rocks and cliffs that combine into a fascinating landscape.

Guryongsa Temple
Legend has it that the temple was built in AD 666, during the Silla Dynasty, on a site that was once a pond of 9 dragons. The path leading to the temple is a gentle slope. It is easy to walk, and visitors can enjoy the valley waters and woods along the way.

 
* MORE INFO: english.wonju.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
 
How to Get There
① By bus
Buses for Wonju leave from Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal (every 15 minutes, fare 7,200 won; first bus 06:10, last bus 21:30) or Sangbong Terminal (every 60 minutes, fare 7,200 won; first bus 07:00, last bus 20:00). It takes approximately 1.5 hours to 1 hour 40 minutes.

② By train
Trains leave for Wonju from Cheongnyangni Station (17 daily departures, fare 7,800 won; first train 06:00, last bus 23:00). It takes about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Yeongwol

Home to Donggang, a river famous for rafting, Yeongwol is a town of leisure sports, a photo museum, and Byeolmaro Astronomical Observatory. The area surrounding Jangneung, the tomb of Danjong who was the 6th king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910), is beautiful with its gingko and maple trees.

Recommended Tourist Attractions

Donggang Museum of Photography
Open in 2005, the museum is housed in a building with one basement level and two ground levels. It is the first public photo museum in Korea with exhibits of photos from the 2002 Donggang Photo Festival and those that capture the natural and cultural heritage of Yeongwol.

Yeongwol Byeolmaro Observatory
Built at an altitude of 799.8 meters on the peak of Mt. Bongnaesan, the Byeolmaro Astronomical Observatory is the largest of its kind in Korea. It has 11 telescopes, an astronomical gallery, and an observatory. Thanks to the clean nature of Yeongwol, the observatory offers great viewing conditions with over 50% clear skies throughout the year.

Jangneung Tomb
Jangneung is the tomb of Danjong, the 6th King of Joseon (1441~1457). After having the throne taken away by his uncle, Suyang Daegun, Danjong died at the early age of 17. Jangneung houses such buildings as Jeongjagak, Baesikdansa, and Danjongbigak for religious services and a history hall with relics of Danjong.


 
* MORE INFO: www.ywtour.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
 
How to Get There
① By bus
Buses leave for Yeongwol from Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal (every 30 to 60 minutes, fare 14,400 won; first bus 07:00, last bus 22:00) or Central City Terminal (every 3 hours, fare 11,800 won; first bus 10:00, 20:30). It takes approximately 2.5 hours.

② By train
Trains leave for Yeongwol from Cheongnyangni Station (7 daily departures, fare 12,700 won; first bus 07:00, last bus 23:00). It takes about 3 hours.
 

Jeongseon

A major mountainous region of Korea, Jeongseon is a town located at a high altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. As such, it boasts a beautiful landscape and offers interesting things to see and enjoy such as the rail bike, Auraji Resort, and Kangwon Land.

Recommended Tourist Attractions

Auraji Rail Bike
Spanning a total length of 7.2 kilometers, the rail bike is a continuous descent that is easy to ride as it goes along clean valley waters and crimson red foliage. Near the boarding area, there are cafés in the shape of a grasshopper and an eoreumchi (a type of carp designated as a natural monument in Korea). Visitors come back on a train, enjoying the surrounding view.

Auraji
Auraji (pronounced ah-u-ra-ji) is where Jeongseon Arirang, the no. 1 Intangible Cultural Asset of Gangwon-do Province, originated. Its name is derived from the Korean word ‘eoureojida’ meaning ‘to meet’ as the waters of Pyeongchang and Samcheok unite in this area. Surrounded by mountains like Nochusan and Sangwonsan, it boasts a beautiful landscape and continues to draw numerous tourists.

Kangwon Land
Kangwon Land is a leisure complex opened in an abandoned mine town. It has a large casino open to foreigners, High1 Ski Resort with 18 ski slopes, and a golf club and deluxe hotel set at an altitude of 1,100 meters, the highest in Korea.

High1 Ski Resort

 
* MORE INFO: eng.jeongseon.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
 
How to Get There
① By bus
Buses leave for Jeongseon from Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal (every 1 hour and 10 minutes, fare 16,500 won) and it takes approximately 3.5 hours.

① By train
There are no direct trains to Jeongseon. Take a train for Jeungsan from Cheongnyangni Station and transfer to a train for Jeongseon.
Trains leave from Cheongnyangni Station to Jeungsan Station (7 daily departures, fare 13,400 won). It takes about 3 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours 50 minutes.
Trains leave from Jeungsan Station to Jeongseon Station (2 daily departures, fare 2,500 won). It takes about 30 minutes.
 

Samcheok

Samcheok has been the filming location of so many Korean movies and dramas like April Snow and One Fine Spring Day, that one could call the whole town a film studio. You can walk along the beautiful and quiet beach for relaxation, or visit Haesindang, a theme park near the sea.

Recommended Tourist Attractions

Samcheok Beach
Located close to the downtown area, Samcheok Beach is easily accessible and has a vast white-sand beach that is 1.2 kilometers long and 100 meters wide. Every summer, it is visited by over 500,000 vacationers. The beach scene for the movie April Snow was filmed here. The view of the blue sky and the lonely sea in the fall is beautiful.

Haesindang Park
Haesindang Park has the nation’s largest theater aquarium, exhibits of folk materials showing the lifestyle of fishermen of the East Sea, an arboretum, and a park of sexual sculptures. Located by the sea, it is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy nice scenery.

Samcheok Ocean Railbike
Ocean Railbike is a marine leisure activity that allows riders to enjoy the scenery of the East Sea while pedaling along the tracks on a four-wheel bike. The railbike offers a convenient and safe touring experience suitable for visitors of all age. The railbike tour includes stops at an observatory and a rest station, as well as a journey through a marine tunnel, where riders get to experience the marine ecosystem and exciting laser light shows.

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* MORE INFO: eng.samcheok.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
 
How to Get There
① By bus
Buses leave for Samcheok from Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal (18 daily departures, fare 16,700 won) and it takes approximately 3 hours 10 minutes.

① By train
There are no direct trains to Samcheok. Take a train for Donghae from Cheongnyangni Station and transfer to a train for Samcheok Haebyeon Station. The train for Samcheok runs by the sea. All seats offer a seaside view through wide windows.
It takes 5 hours 20 minutes from Cheongnyangni Station to Donghae Station (7 daily departures, fare 21,300 won; first train 07:00, last train 23:00).
It takes 20 to 30 minutes from Donghae Station to Samcheok Haebyeon Station (3 daily departures, fare 15,000 won; first train 11:18, last train 14:53).
 
Date 08/23/2011



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