For budget, travel info, culture, see Itinerary Part 1.
For Seoul Itinerary Days 1-3, and Days 12-14, see Parts 2 & 8 respectively.
For Andong Itinerary Day 4, see Part 3.
For Gyeongju Itinerary Day 5, see Part 4.
For Busan itinerary Days 6-8, see Part 5.
For Jeju Island Days 9-10, see Part 6.
For Haeinsa at Gayasan National Park Day 11, see Part 7.
Seoul Itinerary Day 3: Day Trip to Suwon
The male English-speaking guide at Suwon’s tourist information booth was the most helpful one I met in Korea. On this map, he listed all the bus numbers, where to get off and on, and most importantly, the best galbi I had in my life.
Take an-hour train ride from Seoul to Suwon and take the free shuttle at the tourist information booth to see Hanguk Minsokchon (Korean Folk Village) and try to catch a performance. Lunch at the Korean food court in the village. But because I was going to Andong on Day 4 and Andong has a more authentic village, I skipped this.
Take the shuttle back and from the tourist info booth, take a 20-minute bus ride to Suwon Haeng-gung, a temporary palace where a king rested or retired from war. The very popular drama dae jang geum 大长今 is filmed here. You should also catch the performance outside the palace (pictured below).
After the palace, walk behind the palace to the Suwon Hwasong, a UNESCO site, the fortress wall that used to surround the city. It’s a 5.5km, taking 2.5-3 hours of walking, or take the “Dragon Train.” But the train doesn’t run during inclement weather.
At the end of the fortress, before you return to Seoul, you MUST-EAT Suwon galbi. Suwon is famous for their marinated beef ribs (galbi) using charcoal grill and when I ate it, it made me cry. So good!
Restaurant: Yeonpo Galbi
Address: 56-5 Jeongjo-ro 906beon-gil, Buksu-dong.
T: +82 31 255 1337
Budget: ₩38K for two.
Namecard (click to enlarge):
For the young-at-heart or families with children, Suwon also offers Everland, Korea’s largest amusement park, and 5th most popular in the world. Beside the theme park, Caribbean Bay is a water park, requiring a separate admission fee.
How to Get to Suwon
There are two ways to get to Suwon from Seoul, the subway or KTX railway line and I strongly suggest the latter because the subway takes 75 minutes from Seoul Station and it is crowded, whereas KTX has assigned seats and takes 30 minutes and costs only about ₩3000.
To take KTX, go to Seoul Station and buy a ticket. To take the subway, line 1 to Suwon Station.
How to Get to Suwon Korean Folk Village
Free shuttle bus at Suwon Station.
Address: 10 Bora-dong, Giheung-Gu, Yong-in-si, Gyeonggi-do
T: +82 31 288 0000
Admission fee: ₩15K (adult) / 12K (youth) / 10K (Child/Senior)
Summer daily 9am-6pm, Winter 9am-5pm
Performances: Farmer’s music & dance: 11am & 2pm; tightrope acrobatics 11.30am & 2.30pm; traditional wedding 12pm & 4pm; horse performances 1 & 2.30pm.
How to Get to Suwon Haeng-gung & Suwon Hwasong
From the tourist information booth, walk 5 minutes to the big bus-stop, take bus no. 11, 13, 36, or 39 to Paldalmun stop, a roundabout with an old fortress gate in the middle. When you’re returning back to Suwon station, take the same bus numbers but use the bus-stop outside Lotteria (a Korean fastfood chain) at the same roundabout.
Haeng-gung Performances: 24 Martial Arts Demo Mar-Dec 11am, 3pm Tue-Sun; Permanent Event Mar-Nov 2pm Sat only; Jang Yong Yeong Guards Ceremony Mar-Nov 2pm Sun only.
How to Get to Everland
Bus 66 from Suwon Station. Or bus 5002 from Gangnam Bus Station or Jamsil Station.
To be continued…
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.