[Travelogue] 10 Things To Do in Gangneung, Gangwon

Gangwon is probably one of our favourite provinces to visit in South Korea. Besides successfully hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province is blessed with beautiful mountains and clean beaches that offers breathtaking scenery and vacation spots to visit all year along.

One of the most popular cities to visit in Gangwon is Gangneung. Known as the largest coastal city in Gangwon Province, Gangneung has many tourist spots for you to visit.

Have you read our recent travelogue on Chuncheon and our coverage at 2018 Leisure Chuncheon K-pop Mega Concert ? Click on the link if you haven’t.

After spent 2 days in Chuncheon, it was time to explore the next city of Gangwon, Gangneung. We had a chance to visit some of the attractions in the city, and we have listed out 10 things you shouldn’t miss out on when if you travel to South Korea.

 

1. Visit the historical site, Ojukheon

The first place we visited when we were in Gangneung is Ojukheon, one of the most famous historical sites in Gangneung. It was built during the time of the 11th King of Joseon, and remains as one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea.

Ojukheon gets its name from the many black bamboo trees that surround it. This is where Shin Saimdang (a Korean artist, writer, calligraphist, and poet) lived and where her son Yi I (scholar and politician), was born.

Shin Saimdang and Yi I have a long interesting story which you can listen to for a whole day, thanks to the tour guide who told us the story passionately.

Most of you are probably familiar with Shin Saimdang and Yi I, as both of them are the faces on the bank notes of 50,000 won and 5,000 won respectively.

Shin Saimdang on 50,000 KRW note. (Photo : Wikipedia)

Also, you may have watched the drama adaptation, Saimdang, Memoir of Colors, starring goddess Lee Young Ae and everyone’s first love oppa, Song Seung Heon.

Where : 24, Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there : 
[Bus] From Gangneung Express Bus Terminal, take Bus 202 or 302 to Ojukheon.
Or, from Gangneung Station, take Bus 202 or 300 to Ojukheon.

 

2. Strolling around Wolhwa Street and trying market food at Gangneung Jungang Market

Strolling around Wolhwa Street and Gangneung Jungang Market was next on our itinerary. Wolhwa Street is the street set on an old railway but since the rail has been moved underground, they decided to built a park here for everyone.

Before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a Wish Tree was built to wish a great success to this big event and good luck to the athletes. Now it became a wish tree for everyone’s dream to come true.

Another thing we learnt about Wolhwa Street is the love story between a girl named Yeonhwa, and a Hwarang named Muwollang.

Like a K-drama, Yeonhwa’s parents tried to match her with another guy so she decided to throw a letter into the pond and asked the carp fishes to deliver it to her love.

Fated enough, Muwollang went to the market to buy fish and found Yeonhwa’s letter inside it. That was how they got together. And that’s how the carp fish became the mascot of Wolhwa Street!

Hotteok, popular street food in Korea!

Gangneung Jungang Market is located next to Wolhwa Street, and it’s the main market for locals that sells fresh seafood and all kind of delicious market food. We bought a few kinds of hotteok as snacks and cold drinks to cool down the heat.

Where : 35-7, Gonghang-gil 127beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Bus] From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal.
Take Bus 202 and get off at Sinyeong Theater Bus Stop. (5 bus stops away)
[Walk] Walk straight until the first alley and take a right.

 

3. Challenge your fear with Aranabi ZipLine

Since it’s a summer trip anyway, why not fill it with some extreme sports! Aranabi Zipline brings the meaning of butterflies flying over the ocean. It was the first zipline in Korea that overlooks the beautiful ocean.

It was drizzling by the time we arrived there. Luckily the wind was not that strong, so we still can fly on the zipline. I was scared to try it out for the first time, but once I hopped on the zipline, it was so much fun actually.

 

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Where : 35-7, Gonghang-gil 127-beon-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Express/Intercity Bus] Take a bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gangneung.
[Bus] From Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 300, 302 or 315. Get off at Sodol Bus Stop and walk 5-10min.

 

4. Wishing for a true love at Jumunjin Breakwater

It’s a must-stop for K-drama fans! Jumunjin Breakwater is the shooting location for the popular K-drama Goblin. It is where Eun-tak (Kim Go Eun) and Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) meet for the first time! Bring your own buckwheat flowers here and re-enact the scenes!

Where : 1609, Haean-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Express Bus/Intercity Bus] Gangneung Express Bus Terminal/Jumunjin Express Bus Terminal

 

5. Pose like the hottest K-pop group at BTS Bus Stop

BTS has shot their ‘You Never Walk Alone’ album photos near the Junmunjin beach, and from the iconic photos, they were spotted posing in a bus stop.

Gangneung city has decided to set up the BTS Bus Stop as a photo zone for the tourists who visited Gangneung. It is not an actual bus stop and public buses never stop here. With the power of BTS, this bus stop instantly got famous and has become one of the hottest instagrammable spots!

 

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Where : Hyangho beach, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Express Bus/Intercity Bus] Gangneung Express Bus Terminal/Jumunjin Express Bus Terminal

 

6. Enjoying the view while riding the Sea Train

We rode the sea train from Gangneung Station to Jeongdongjin Station. The sea view was so beautiful!

The Sea Train is a tourist train travelling along the East sea. It has beautiful decorations with a marine theme. The seating in the train are all facing on one side, towards the window so you have ocean views.

It was interesting enough to have colorful lights that changes its color to green, red, and blue while passing through a tunnel.

 

7. Riding a bike at Jeongdongjin Rail Bike


We stopped by Jeongdongjin station to have more activities during this trip. Riding a rail bike while enjoying the beautiful view of ocean while we were on track was really a memorable one.

While Jeongdongjin has been famous as the best spot to see the sunrise, it is also recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having a train station which is located the closest to the sea in the world.

 

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The fee to ride the bike is 20,000 KRW for 2 seaters and 30,000 KRW for 4 seaters.

Where : 17, Jeongdongyeok-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Train] Take the train and stop at Jeongdongjin Station

 

8. Learn the history of time at Jeongdongjin Time Museum

Of course we had to stop by one of the famous museums in Jeongdongjin, called Jeongdongjin Time Museum. Using a steam locomotive and 180m-long train, this museum is a exhibition space based on the theme ‘Time’. We learnt the  interesting history of time and clocks while having a coffee break here.

Where : 990-1, Heonhwa-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Train] Take the train from Cheongnyangni Train Station towards Jeongdongjin (7 trains a day, travel time 4-5 hour)
[Bus] Take the bus towards Gangneung from Dong Seoul Terminal (06:31 – 23:00, travel time 2hr 30min)
* Take the city bus #111, #112, #113 from Gangneung Terminal

 

9. Fall deep into the meaning of arts at Haslla Art World

Haslla Art World is one of the popular museums in Gangneung that you’ll never want to miss. It is a contemporary art museum facing the East Sea, so you can enjoy the artworks with the beautiful nature together.

Where : 1441, Yulgong-ro, Gangdong-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there :
[Bus] Take an intercity bus to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal.
From Gangneung Terminal, take bus 111, 112 or 113 to Haslla Art World.
Or
[Train] Take a train to Jeongdongjin Station.
[Taxi] Take a taxi from Jeongdongjin Station to Haslla Art World. (10min-ride)
* Jeongdongjin Station (Sun Cafe) to Haslla Art World
Shuttle bus schedule: 09:00-14:00/ 1hr intervals

 

10.  Have a romantic coffee date at Anmok Coffee Street

For coffee lovers, Anmok Coffee Street is heaven on earth. Gangneung is well known as a city of coffee. There are too many choices of coffee which you can have here. We stopped by one of the cafes to enjoy the coffee and snacks with beautiful ocean view.

Where : 17, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do

How to get there : 
[Bus] Anmok Bus Stop. Green Bus No. 202-1 (bound for Gyeongpo-Anmok), 302 (bound for Anmok-Hyanghori)

 

 

After spending 2 memorable days in Gangneung, and 2 lovely nights at Value Hotel Worldwide Gangneung, we were ready to go back to Seoul. This time we decided to take KTX instead of the bus.

 

KTX

Korea Train eXpress (KTX) is a high speed rail system operated by Korail. The newly opened line from Wonju to Gangneung started operating officially last December to serve the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

You can save more if you buy Korail Pass from www.letskorail.com. Korail Pass is a rail pass for foreigners visiting Korea. It is the most economical choice since it allows a pass holder to take almost all trains operated by Korail in a selected period of time (2, 3, 4 or 5 days).

 

Our Korail Pass

 

The KTX ride from Gangneung to Seoul/Seoul to Gangneung took about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Definitely had another FUNtastic trip in Gangwon, we will sure to come back again soon. If you want to visit Gangwon like us, purchase your flight ticket now at www.airasia.com and ride the KTX from Seoul to Gangneung. It is much more easier now!

 

Special thanks to AirAisa X and hosting city, Gangwon Province:

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