Cheongju

Cheongju (청주), also spelled Chongju, is the capital of North Chungcheong, South Korea.

Sangdangsanseong — Sangdang fortress

Understand

Cheongju (not to be confused with nearby Chungju), in addition to being the provincial capital, is also a historic city credited with creating the world's oldest movable metal type print book: jikji. Do not expect to get a glimpse of the UNESCO-registered artifact as the Jikji (or what remains of it) is stored in France. Nonetheless, Cheongju is proud of its place in international history and subsequently hailed 2011 as a Jikji celebration year.

For a domestic traveler however, perhaps Cheongju's most notable asset is that it houses one of Korea's major domestic (with a few international routes) airports, servicing not just Cheongju but also the nearby major city of Daejeon.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 5.1 7.8 14.2 21.3 26.3 28.6 31.3 28.9 27.5 21.6 13.9 3.1
Nightly lows (°C) -4.5 -1.4 3.7 9.1 13.9 19.5 22.6 21.7 17.8 10.1 4.6 -4.9
Precipitation (mm) 5.9 6.8 51.1 43.7 35.0 92.6 125.1 197.5 147.5 151.1 24.8 32.6

2014 Korea Meteorological Administration

Get in

By plane

Cheongju Airport is located on the outskirts of the city and offers limited flights to Bangkok in Thailand and Hangzhou in China. Flights to Jeju are available.

By train

The main train station is located at Ogeunjang. Trains are limited, making this a lesser reliable method of transport into the city.

By car

By bus

Most of the major cities in South Korea have an express bus to Cheongju. There are two major bus stations:

Get around

Cheongju has an extensive bus system accessible for ₩1150, but it can be difficult to figure out. Taxis are the easiest way to get around, as they are cheap and quick.

See

The Iron Flagpole of the Yongdu Temple site

Do

Buy

Cheongju has various markets scattered throughout the city that any traveler is bound to stumble across.

Eat

Cheongju's local specialities are chestnuts, and little packets of them are widely available at tourism and convenience stalls across the entire Cheungchong Province. It is also a major growing region for apples, pears and peaches.

Cheongju has a reasonably good mix of Korean and Western restaurants. Most of the American fast food chains can be found somewhere in the city. The downtown area is home to McDonalds, KFC, Mr Pizza and Burger King.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

The local specialty, Cheongju daechusul is a type of takju, unrefined liquor fermented from grains. It would be in the same family as the popular makgeolli and its cousin, dongdongju. Carefully brewed with jujubes, glutinous rice, yeast, malt, pine needles and spring water pumped from an underground rock bed daechusul tastes sweet with a bitter aftertaste. The alcohol content is 16 percent.

Cheongju has hundreds of drinking establishments scattered across the city. The most popular spot is the area around Chungbuk University, Chungdae Jungmun, frequented by Koreans and foreigners every Friday and Saturday night.

Chungbuk University area

Elsewhere

Sleep

There are various love motels throughout the city that are clean and economical.

Cope

Religious Services

There is a Presbyterian English Service offered by Sangdang Church (which is next to E Mart) every Sunday at 11:30. It is led by a native English speaker and is attended by people of many different denominations.

For an English Catholic mass, visit Heungdeuk Catholic Church beside the baseball stadium and Arts Center at 5:00 on Sundays.

For Seventh-Day Adventists, there is an English Sabbath worship in Bokdae 2 dong, near ChungDae, at the Sahmyook SDA School Church. Service is held Friday nights at 8:00 and Saturday mornings from 10:30. Lunch is usually offered by the church.

Go next

The metropolitan sprawl of Daejeon and the rotting early-90s glory of its Expo Park are only an hour away by bus. Alternately, North Chungcheong Province's most convenient hub, Chungju and its most iconic natural landmarks can be found at Danyang, are both a short hop away.

For access details, see Korea's Express Bus website. However there are many buses that are not listed on here that also go from Cheongju, including buses to Gyeongju, Incheon Airport, Nam (South) Seoul, SongniSan and pretty much every other place you could ever want to go. Unfortunately without going to the terminal it can be really difficult to get English-language information about bus timetables. As mentioned above, the information office is located next to the Cheongju Intercity Bus Terminal and should be able to help you out if you need it.

About 25 kilometers southeast of Cheongju is the town of Boeun, which is the gateway to Beopjusa, one of the more famous Buddhist temples in Korea and location of the tallest Buddha statue in Korea.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.