Soju think you’ve seen all there is to Seoul? Think again! Beauty masks and street food aside, here are five day trips beyond the city that will have you falling in love with Seoul all over again!
1. Uncover the magic of Korea’s O and V trains
Arguably the best way to travel around South Korea, take a leisurely trip on Korail’s One (O) and Valley (V) trains. Discover the beautiful pastures of Korea’s rural and mountainous regions. Compared to the concrete jungles of Seoul, this is definitely a welcome sight!
The O-Train circles around the central inland region, running through the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do, Gangwon-do, and Gyeongsangbuk-do. The V-Train, also known as the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range Canyon Train, runs through a scenic valley connecting Buncheon and Cheoram.
Start your journey on the O-train at Seoul station. Next, transfer to the V-train at Buncheon station and take a picturesque and refreshing journey to Cheoram. Don’t forget to roll down the windows of the V-train for a breath of fresh air! Additionally, the V-train stops for about 5-10 minutes at Yangwon and Seungbu Stations for passengers to take pictures.
Once in Cheoram, take a stroll around the Coal Mine History Town and learn about the “largest living coal mine museum in Asia”. Next, take Bus 4 to Taebaek Market to eat a hearty special of hanwoo beef cooked over yeontan coals at Hyundai Silbi. When you’re done exploring, simple hop on the V and O train back to Seoul.
Klook yourself a Korea Rail pass for UNLIMITED train rides! With options ranging from a day ticket to a week-long pass, finding a suitable one for your travel needs is easy peasy and hassle-free!
2. Eat the best bimbimbap in Jeonju
Jeonju village is the birthplace of bibimbap and home to 800 traditional Korean houses known as hanoks! This traditional village offers visitors respite from the bustling city life and a glimpse into ancient Korea. Soak up the traditional atmosphere and historic architecture, taste the best bibimbap of your life and watch both visitors and locals walk around in traditional costumes as you travel back in time for a truly exciting history lesson.
Mention bibimbap and most Koreans will point you in the direction of Gogung Bibimbap and there’s no better place to try it but in its birth-town. Gojung boasts 40 years of history and translates literally to “old palace”. Unlike the stereotypical bibimbap we’re familiar with, Jeonju-style bibimbap comprises of as many as 30 different, meticulously prepared ingredients compared to your regular 6-7 ingredients. This detail is exceedingly evident at Gogung where the serving spread is palatial and a feast for one’s eyes. The ingredients are also carefully curated to visually symbolise the five elements of tree, fire, earth, water and gold. Definitely an unforgettable experience.
From Jeonju Hanok Village, take bus 974 or 976 (10 stops) to the Jeonju National Palace headquarters. To get a good look at this quiet city, try visiting Chimyeongjasan Mountain and Omokdae Pavilion which is 10-20 minutes away. The entrance is past Namcheongyo Bridge and near the Hanok Village shuttle bus parking lot. Just 306m above sea level, it gives you a panoramic view of Jeonju after 30-40 minutes of hiking.
Explore Jeonju with the Hanok Village tour which allows you to traverse Jeongju leisurely or if you have a Korail pass, maximise it and take the KTX there!
3. Immerse yourself in nature at Gapyeong
Reconnect with nature on Nami island and in the Garden of Morning Calm at Gapyeong. Propelled to fame by the popular Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, Nami island is an oasis of tranquility. The tiny half-moon shape isle has tree-lined avenues and no electrical wires to mar its beauty.
Complete your day with a visit to the Garden of Morning Calm. The grandest private garden in South Korea, scenic walkways, beautifully manicured grass and flower beds connect the garden’s 20 different themed sections within 30,000 square meters. It is truly a sight to behold.
Get to these idyllic spots hassle-free with Klook’s customisable tour which allows you to combine visits to Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm and even a ride on a rail bike that takes you through the countryside.
4. Go skiing at Daemyung Vivaldi Park
Best thing to do in Winter? Definitely curling up with your loved ones and watching the snow fall. However, step out of your warm blanket and into a white blanket of snow this Winter! The most visited resort in South Korea, join both locals and tourists alike at Daemyung Vivaldi Park. A short 80 mins journey, quality snow conditions across 13 slopes and a variety of lifts to take experienced and beginners to the slopes await.
Get your sporting needs at Daemyung Vivaldi Park settled with Klook’s day pass that includes transport, ski gear and clothes rental and even basic lessons! A perfect day of skiing awaits!
5. See street art at Gamcheon Culture Village
The term ‘street art’ often conjures images of graffiti-ed walls in dark alleys. However, in South Korea, it takes on a different meaning. Neighbourhoods are given makeovers in the form of vibrant murals and art installations. A former slum nestled into the side of a mountain, Gamcheong Cultural Village is located in the coastal city of Busan. A mixture of pastel-hued, lego-like houses, it was painted in 2009 by students as an art project. Since then, it has become famous for its street art, which crawls down staircases and splashes over old houses. One of the best things to do is to simply get lost in its labyrinth of alleys. While residents are friendly, do remember to be mindful of their privacy.
Only have a day? Make the most of your trip to East Busan by getting lost among the cliffs at Taejongdae, gazing down at a glass-bottomed Songdo Skywalk and exploring the art at Gamcheon Cultural village. Flash your mobile e-voucher from Klook and you’re all set!
Ready, Get Set, Kimichi!
Finally, get started with $10 off $100 minimum spend on all Korea activities on Klook when you check out with promo code “KTOKLOOK”. There’s much to be explored so keep looking!