These 7 Reasons Will Convince You To Visit Gangwon For Your Next Korea Trip
Gangwon is more than just a province in South Korea. It is an ultimate travel destination for everyone.
Traveling is a passion that millions of people around the world love to do for cultural experiences in particular, visiting different cities and countries around the globe. One such country that has become popular as one of the top travelling destinations in the past decade is South Korea. If you are a Korean lover, you might already known or heard of the more popular but common places like Seoul, and at the south, Busan and Jeju Island, just to name a few.
For this list, we are going to introduce one of the less talked-about destinations in South Korea – Gangwon. In fact, the province is huge, covering a big part of northeast region of South Korea, with a wide variety of activities that tourists love to indulge in.
1. Yangyang Market
How can anyone miss out on local shopping when he or she visits a foreign country? And the best place to have that type of authentic local shopping experience is certainly the markets. While Yangyang is a business district that exhibits the signs of a bustling economy, Yangyang Market is also one of the most popular shopping places in Gangwon. It offers a wide variety of product categories, ranging from agriculture to marine. The herbs and local specialties are surely something that you absolutely can’t get them anywhere. Shop for yourself or gifts for your friends and family, there is surely something for everyone.
2. Sangwonsa Temple
South Asian cities are famous for their rich histories ranging back to the ancient religious era. In Korea, you can find ancient temples and pagodas all around the country. In Gangwon, one of the most highlighted historical and religious attractions is the Sangwosa temple, which was first built by Buddhist monk Ja Jang in 643. After that, it has gone through several restorations due to calamities and natural disasters over the course of history. The oldest relics left behind are Dongjong, Munsu Child Figure, and the Jungchang, the promotion of virtue in rebuilding Sangwonsa Temple, written by the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty King Sejo. To know more about Sangwonsa Temple, go here.
3. Pyeongchang Trout Festival
This unique festival takes place during winter in a specific town called Jinbu-myeon, located in the district of Pyeongchang-gun. Pyeongchang Trout Festival is an eye-opening cultural experience that will add an unforgettable experience to your Korea trip. Apart from ice fishing, you can also indulge in a variety of activities in snow programs, ice programs, folk programs and others. You can also participate in snow sports like sledding, top spinning, snow rafting and sleigh trains. You can learn more about the trout festival here.
4. Jeongseon Rail Bike
We specially highlight this must-visit place because this is a new type of leisure sport which you can’t find anywhere else easily in Asia! Located in Jeongseon which is a county in Gangwon, this place gets its name as Jeongseon Rail Bike naturally. In fact, the sport is considered eco-friendly since it makes use of an unused railway track. It goes on a continuous descent with a total track distance of 7.2 kilometers. The route starts from Gujeol-ri and ends at the Auraji station, as you breeze through a journey surrounded by natural valleys and foliage.
5. Namiseom Island
One of the most well-known Korean dramas Winter Sonata, starring Hallyu star Bae Yong Joon, was filmed in the romantic Nami Island. This had then instantly pushed the small half-moon shaped island to become one of the top tourist spots to visit in Korea with a sharp surge of domestic and foreign visitors since 2002. The island is adrift with greenery as acres of chestnut and poplar trees make it a natural habitat far away from the pollution and noise of the big cities. Want to visit a place where every photo you take is like an exclusive scene from a K-drama? This is it. Don’t miss this opportunity to create your own Winter Sonata memories in Nami Island.
Feeling nostalgic already? Please find below for inspiration:
6. Seoraksan National Park
This is not just a park by itself but with many fascinating natural places of interest for tourists and nature enthusiasts. One of the most awe-inspiring sites is the Mount Seorak area. This mountain not only features some of the most scenic trekking trails in Gangwon province but also displays the distinctive beauty of the four seasons. The highest mountain in the midst of the Taebaeksanmaek Mountain Range was named Seorak for a reason – the snow would not melt for a long time, keeping the rocks in a permanent state of whiteness. At 1,708 meters high, you can’t miss the picturesque sunrise from Daecheong Peak too.
7. Yongpyong Resort
Yongpyong Resort is located at the foot of the majestic Balwangsan Mountains (1,456m). During the winters, the resort always attracts millions of tourists every year who comes for recreational skiing. With an high annual average snowfall of 250 cm, the location has the perfect skiing conditions. It also has a range of ski slopes to cater for different levels of skiers. Apart from the winter activity, the resort also offers many sport facilities to cater to tourists for all-season activities, such as a 45-hole golf course, gondolas and swimming pool.
One disclaimer though is it’s not possible to include all the attractions but at the very least, these are absolute compelling reasons (market, temple, festival, activity, island, park, resort) to convict you to include Gangwon in your next trip to Korea, be it at any season.
We highly recommend you to browse through the official Pyeongchang website for all essential information before you finalize your itinerary.
See you in Gangwon!