Finest day journeys from Seoul – Lonely Planet

Video Finest day journeys from Seoul – Lonely Planet

As soon as you have skilled the dynamic metropolis of Seoul, with its nonstop Ok-pop beat, high vogue and cutting-edge know-how, mixed with custom, palaces, and temples, you could be seeking to discover farther afield.

Listed below are a number of the greatest day journeys to take from South Korea’s capital.

On the Joint Safety Space, troopers face one another throughout the border between South Korea and North Korea © georgeclerk / Getty Photos

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Sitting simply between Seoul and North Korea, Paju is the closest metropolis to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). On the Panmunjom and the Joint Safety Space (JSA), North and South Korean troopers face one another throughout the army demarcation line. The environment is noticeably tense on this traditionally vital spot the place necessary occasions such because the signing of the Korean Armistice Settlement passed off. Because the Korean Battle, a complete of 4 unfinished tunnels constructed by the North into South Korea have been uncovered, and three at the moment are accessible by way of guided excursions. The third tunnel is especially well-liked and barely unnerving due to its proximity to Seoul – it is simply 52km (32 miles) away from the capital.

Positioned simply 7km (4 miles) from the army demarcation line, Imjingak park was constructed as a hope for unification and has many relics from the conflict on show together with tanks. A destroyed former practice that used to run between Pyongyang and Seoul is displayed as an emblem of hope for reunification.

Cease by the Dora Observatory, which affords clear views into North Korea, together with the cities of Kaesong and Kijong-dong. The latter is nicknamed the “propaganda village” due to claims the pristine-appearing city is definitely uninhabited (with a handful of caretakers employed to often flick lights on and off to present the impression of life) and exists merely to encourage South Koreans to defect for a “higher life” throughout the border. Close to the observatory is Dorasan Station, the northernmost station on South Korea’s rail community.

Methods to get to the DMZ from Seoul: Paju is northwest of Seoul, and it is simply accessible by practice from Yongsan Station, with a journey time of 1 hour. Buses additionally run to Paju from Seoul’s northwestern districts. A go to to the DMZ together with the Panmunjom and infiltration tunnels have to be achieved by an official guided tour with accompanying army escort. You’ll be able to solely go to Imjingak and the Dora Observatory independently.

The partitions of Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon stretch over three miles © Panya Khamtuy / 500px


The capital and largest metropolis of Seoul’s surrounding Gyeonggi Province, Suwon is a well-liked day journey for its historic and cultural heritage websites. The huge Hwaseong Fortress has partitions that stretch over 5.5km (3 miles) with 4 principal gates together with Janganmun, the most important gate in Korea. With scenic views and a wealthy historical past, this Unesco World Heritage web site is a should go to.

Haenggung Palace and the royal residential grounds are discovered inside the fortress partitions. They had been as soon as utilized by royalty as a brief dwelling whereas touring on royal enterprise. Although a lot of it was destroyed in the course of the Japanese colonial occupation, it has largely been restored and affords a window into royal lifetime of the previous.

Feeling hungry? Suwon is famed for its beef. Galbi (marinated beef ribs) is a must-try for carnivores, and the Gabojeong restaurant is among the greatest spots to pattern it, with the meat grilled on the desk. Elsewhere, Yuchi Hwoegwan knocks up a celebrated haejangguk (hangover stew). Chock stuffed with beef, cabbage, scallions and extra, this nutrient-rich soup is ideal after a giant night time out in Seoul.

Methods to get to Suwon: Suwon is south of Seoul. Trains run recurrently between Seoul’s Yongsan Station and Suwon Station, and the journey takes about one hour.

Discover Buddhist temples and historic sights aplenty in Ganghwado © Sanga Park / Getty Photos


Ganghwado is technically part of Incheon metropolis, and as Korea’s fourth-largest island, this scenic spot affords lots to see. It has additionally served because the setting of lots of Korea’s necessary historic occasions.

Jeondeung-sa has the excellence of being certainly one of Korea’s oldest Buddhist temples, courting again to 372 CE. The temple grounds are positioned inside the historic Samnang Fortress partitions, and the scenic environment are picture-perfect in all seasons. These focused on a extra immersive expertise can join a temple keep program.

It’s a reasonable hike up some steep steps to succeed in the summit of Mani-san, Ganghwado’s highest peak at 469m (1538ft), however the surrounding view is memorable. On the high is a sacred altar known as Chamseongdan, which is alleged to have been utilized by Dangun, the legendary founding father of Korea. Different high-altitude sacred spots on the island embody the beautiful Jeokseoksa Buddhist temple on the western facet of Mt Goryeosan.

If all that hilltop climbing wears you out, head to Toga restaurant within the village of Heungwang-ri (near the slopes of Mani-san) for a hearty bowl of tofu and salted shrimp stew, made with the island’s well-known tiny salted shrimp. The do-it-yourself tofu is available in a milky white broth that’s simply frivolously seasoned by the shrimp however deep in taste.

Methods to get to Ganghwado: Ganghwado is west of Seoul. Buses go away from Seoul’s Ganghwa Terminal within the west of the town and run to Ganghwado in simply over two hours.


The capital of Gangwon Province, Chuncheon and its environment, adorned with rivers and hills, is especially well-liked with nature lovers and outside exercise lovers. Nami Island on the Bukhan River has develop into extremely well-liked for its majestic bushes and scenic views. It additionally options cafes, vacationer retailers, a small museum and gallery. You’ll be able to discover the island by foot or hire a motorcycle. To achieve the island, catch the island’s ferry or, for those who’re feeling adventurous, take the zip wire.

In summer time, Chuncheon and the encompassing areas are notably good for water sports activities corresponding to water snowboarding, kayaking and rafting. Numerous water sports activities exercise facilities may be discovered alongside the Bukhan River. Korea’s largest synthetic lake, Soyang Lake, is well-liked for its scenic trails and roads. You can even journey to completely different cities throughout the lake by ferry.

Relating to meals, Chuncheon has a whole alley of eating places devoted to dakgalbi, a preferred dish by which hen is marinated in a gochujang-based (pink pepper paste) sauce and cooked with greens in a giant pan. Eat the stir-fried hen in lettuce wraps or on their very own.

Methods to get to Chuncheon: Chuncheon is northeast of Seoul and is accessible by direct practice from Seoul’s Dong Seoul Terminal in about an hour.

Busan, South Korea’s second largest metropolis, is only a practice journey away from Seoul © CJ Nattanai / Shutterstock


Regardless of being positioned on the exact opposite facet of the nation, the coastal city of Busan is reachable in lower than three hours from Seoul by practice and might make for a unbelievable (although considerably lengthy) day journey or – higher nonetheless – a weekend break from the town.

Mountains, coastlines, avenue meals and a cosmopolitan vibe make Busan, the nation’s second largest metropolis, certainly one of South Korea’s most pleasant cities to hang around in. Its high attraction is the atmospheric waterside Jagalchi Fish Market, the place you should purchase and eat the freshest of seafood.

Different highlights embody the wonderful, golden sands of Haeundae Seashore; Busan Cinema Middle, an architecturally dazzling construction with the largest display screen within the nation; strolling the lanes of Gamcheon Tradition Village; sampling the native dessert bingsu (flavored shaved ice); and knocking again photographs of potent soju in a tent bar.

Methods to get to Busan: Busan is on the southeastern coast of South Korea. Direct high-speed trains run from Seoul to Busan, connecting the 2 cities in as little as two and a half hours.

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