South Korea Rural Travel Destinations: Must-See Places In Gangwon-do

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Are you looking for a unique travel experience in South Korea? Maybe you already visited Seoul and wanted to see something different but there is not enough information where to go.

Luckily, I lived in Gangwon-do for more than a year and has explored a lot about rural places. Most foreigners do not know how to experience life as a rural tourist so I have created a list of South Korea rural travel destinations.

 

 

South Korea Rural Travel Destinations In Gangwon-do

 

Gyeongpo Beach

Gyeongpo Beach. A famous beach in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

Gyeongpo Beach is in Gangneung – the venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics. This beach is always buzzing with tourists regardless of the season. During summer, music festivals are held here and during winter people enjoy relaxing while drinking coffee in the coffee shops lining the beach. The snow and sand mixing together is a spectacular view. Cafes line this beach so you can just go inside when you feel too cold.

 

How To Get There?

From the Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 202 to Gyeongpo bus stop. It might be easier for you to take a taxi though because taxis can also go straight to the beach. It is a famous destination so even if the taxi driver does not speak English, you can just show the name or the location on the map.

 

 

 

Gyeongpodae Pavilion

Gyeongpodae Pavilion, Gangneung, South Korea

 

 

Gyeongpodae pavilion is also in Gangneung. One of the things that I like about Korea is that they preserve old structures. This pavilion is on top of a hill overlooking the Gyeongpo Lake.  This is famous from the old times as a place to observe the movement of the heaven. People also visit this to admire the moon both from the sky and its reflection on the lake, especially during the full moon.

It is said that one can see the moon five times when you are at the pavilion. Once in the sky, once reflected in the sea,  once reflected in the lake, once reflected in your drinking glass, and once in your lover’s eyes. Today, the sea is not visible anymore from this pavilion because of the pine trees covering the shore.

Lights from the surrounding buildings also grace the lake nowadays which is a magnificent sight from this pavilion.

There is no entrance fee so you can just enjoy your stay and save money.

 

How To Get There?

You will be taking the same bus number when going to Gyeongpo Beach. You just have to take off the bus early. If you are planning to visit both the Gyeongpodae and Gyeongpo Beach, I recommend that you go to the pavilion first.

 

 

Gyeongpo Lake

South Korea Rural Travel Destinations - Gyeongpo Lake

Just across the Gyeongpodae Pavilion is the Gyeongpo Lake. This place is perfect for relaxing. Most families go here for a picnic during summer. It is also busy at night due to activities. There is also a telescope to see the other side of the lake.

The lake is lined with trees, flowers, and statues. You can also rent a bicycle there.

Beside the lake is another small lake with beautiful water lilies. There are bridges built above the lake so you can take pictures close to the lilies.

 

 

Gangneung Solhyang Arboretum

South Korea Rural Travel Destinations- Gangneung Solnyeong Arboretum

Looking for a perfect place to hike? Gangneung Solhyang Arboretum is the perfect place. The trees here are labeled with their scientific names for academic purposes. There is also a display of an old rice mill run by water. You can take a bus or if you have a car there is also a parking lot there. There are streams here that have clear waters. The sound is really calming.

There are several hiking trails here. I love the wooden bridges that are perfect for an Instagram picture.

 

Haeshindang Park (The Penis Park)

South Korea Rural Travel Destinations: Haesindang Park

 

No, boys don’t go here naked. It is a park full of penis statues. They come in different sizes in all their glory. This unique park is located in Samcheok, Gangwondo.

Of all kinds of statues, why penises? It’s because of the Legend of Auebawi and Haesindang. According to the legend, Haesindang died in the sea during a storm while waiting for Auebawi to pick her up. Since then, the villagers were not able to catch any fish. They made penis wood statues to soothe her spirit and soon they were able to catch fish again. Aah. What a wonderful legend.

Anyway, the park, even though a little different, is really beautiful and famous. The statues are on the mountain overlooking the sea.  It was raining when we visited this Penis Park but it did not stop us from exploring the mountain and seaside. There is also a museum and a telescope that you can use to view the beautiful sea and Haesindang’s statue.

 

 

Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium

South Korea Rural Travel Destinations - Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium-

 

This is an awesome place to be at while watching the game. There is an area at the top of this stadium for people to take a look at the surroundings and sip a coffee. There are cafes at the top. If you look at the picture above, there is a round structure at the top of the tower. That’s where the cafes are. The picture at the bottom is the view from above.

You need to purchase a ticket before you can go up the cafes.

 

How To Get There?

 

 

 

Ocean 700 Water Park 

Ocean 700 Water Park

 

Ocean 700 Water Park is near the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium. There is a wave pool that is good for both adults and kids. There is also an artificial river inside. I tried the water slide here and it was very exciting.

You don’t have to worry about the cold because they are using warm water during cold days. There is even a sauna inside and a “hot room” to keep you warm. There is also a restaurant when you get hungry.

 

How To Get There?

 

 

 

Ojukheon

Gangneung Ojukheon.

 

Ojukheon is the house of the great painter Shin Saimdang and Korean Confucian scholar Yulguk Yi I. This is located in Gangneung. This was built during early Joseon Dynasty and is one of the oldest Korean structures.

Who is Shin Saimdang and why is she famous? Her work is considered extraordinary for her time and is admired by many. It is a great achievement considering that women were not viewed as equal to women during the Joseon Dynasty. She is now in the 50, 000 Korean won banknotes.  There is even a Korean drama about her entitled Saimdang, Light’s Diary.

There is a museum inside this residence and is not only composed of one building. It rather looks like a village when you go inside. For a souvenir, you can take a picture with your face on the 50,000 Korean won banknote in place of Shin Saimdang’s inside the museum.

 

How To Get There?

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2 Responses

  1. Kossy says:

    Wow.. Kahlan!!!!!… these are really nice places, I wouldn’t miss the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics

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