Chuncheon

Chuncheon, Korea
Location of Chuncheon


Understand

Chuncheon (춘천, 春川) is the capital of Gangwon (강원, 江原), the northeasternmost province of South Korea. For travelers weary of Seoul's crowds and big city atmosphere, Chuncheon can be an ideal place to spend several days. The area, surrounded by rivers and hills, offers a variety of relaxing outdoor activities and small town pace.

It was featured in the popular Korean drama serial, Winter Sonata, and as such is now a popular destination for tourists from around East Asia.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 3.3 6.3 13.7 20.4 25.8 28.3 31.0 28.2 26.1 19.8 12.6 0.4
Nightly lows (°C) -7.1 -4.4 0.3 6.8 12.1 18.8 21.7 20.8 15.9 8.0 1.7 -10.5
Precipitation (mm) 10.4 22.1 6.8 25.5 66.6 64.0 117.3 169.9 88.7 60.4 28.6 17.1

Korea Meteorological Administration

Get in

By bus

You can reach the city from Seoul's Incheon International Airport via intercity bus. Tickets available at the bus booth in the arrivals hall at the airport. The approximate length of the bus ride is 2.5 hours (assuming no traffic). The fare is approximately ₩18,000. From Seoul, buses depart from the Dong Seoul Bus Station and leave regularly every fifteen minutes, between 06:00 and 21:20, and charge a fare of approximately ₩6,000. To reach the Dong Seoul Bus Station, take the Seoul subway system to Gangbyeon Station and leave through exit number 4. The bus station will be visible across the street. These buses take approximately 70 minutes or more depending on traffic. Buses to Chuncheon also depart from Seoul's Sangbong Bus Terminal once every forty minutes, between 05:40 and 21:30.

By metro

A new metro line has recently opened from Seoul to Chuncheon. The Gyeongchun Line runs from Sangbong Station in the northeast of Seoul to Namchuncheon and Chuncheon Stations. Metro trains leave every 15 minutes or so, and take a little more than an hour to reach Chuncheon. It's a brand new subway line, mostly aboveground, and winds through the mountains, alongside the rivers and lakes for which the Gangwon region is famous. A one-way ride costs ₩3,150, from Seoul station.

Get around

By taxi

Taxis are the most efficient way of getting around Chuncheon. Taxis are plentiful and you can easily find one within a few minutes if you wait on the sidewalk of most busier streets in the city. You may have trouble catching one if you are on the outskirts of Chuncheon or during rush hour when most are in use. The English word "Taxi" is used in Korean, so it's easy to ask someone where one might wait to find a taxi.

The taxis are identified by a sign mounted on top of the car, but also have a red LED sign with Hangul lettering inside their windshield. If this sign is lit, it signifies that the taxi is available for hire. They turn this sign off when they are already transporting a customer. Stick your arm out to the street as a taxi approaches and they will stop.

Taxis are the best option for short trips through town and are nice when you need door to door service. They are especially helpful when shopping and you have goods to carry with you as you can put them in the trunk or the back seat. Another benefit is when you have multiple people in your group as the fee is the same no matter how many people ride.

Most taxi drivers speak no English, so it is a good idea to have the address of your destination written in Korean to show the taxi driver.

By bus

Though bus numbers are clearly marked and always run the same routes, most are not on any kind of schedule and you could wait 5 minutes or over an hour at a bus stop. They can also become very crowded and you may have to wait for people to get off after several stops before you can acquire a seat. Bus stops are placed throughout the city, but may be a little walk from where you are staying or from your destination. However, buses are more economical when traveling alone or going very far outside the city. Bus fare is typically ₩1,100 per person. Most Koreans who ride the bus regularly have a chipped card they scan when they board. As a visitor, you will need to put the exact cash into a slot in the front when boarding.

When you approach the stop you need to get off at, press the red button to the right of the exit door located on the passenger side of the bus half way back. This signals the driver to stop and the side doors will open. Exit quickly as it seems they are often off and running again before you can hit the ground.

By bicycle

Bicycles can be rented in several shops in town. One is near Namchuncheon station, once you get out from exit 1, keep walking 200 meters under the railway tracks. Another store is located at Chuncheon station exit 2. The rental costs ₩3,000 per hour or ₩10,000 per day.

See

Do

Buy

Koreans rely heavily on small, individual stores to provide goods and services for specific things. The idea of a mega store that sells everything is more recent, but growing in popularity. There are a few of these type of "mega" stores in Chuncheon, making it easy for a foreigner to find most of the grocery and general household items they need.

Eat

Many dakgalbi restaurants can be found at its namesake, Chuncheon's Dakgalbi Street.

Chuncheon has various districts that are rich in restaurants. One such area is Dakgalbi Street, which is packed with restaurants that specialize in the dish. Dakgalbi (Hangul: 닭갈비) is a delicious grilled chicken dish with vegetables and topped off with a spicy Gochujang sauce. Most restaurants will offer both tables with chairs and tables with floor seating. Chicken, rice cakes vegetables are grilled before you on the table's skillet. Near Kangwon National University's back gate there are a number of places for both Korean and foreign cuisines. Starting a block east of the bus terminal, you will find dozens of restaurants serving a wide variety of Korean dishes. The downtown market has a number of inexpensive food stalls serving all kinds of Korean food. Also get fresh fruits here, sweets, rice cake, meat as well as gaegogi (dogmeat) in season. A five-day market near the main post office also has tasty dishes as well as produce, fish, etc.

Drink

Chuncheon has plenty of bars and small, local establishments that serve beer and coffee and a limited selection of food. These small establishments are called "Hof's".

Sleep

Motels can be found in many places throughout Chuncheon. While they vary in price, they tend to be around ₩40,000.

Go next

Buses depart regularly to most major cities, including Seoul, from Chuncheon's Bus Station, on the south side of town. It may be worthwhile to inquire in advance at the station if unsure of the bus schedules.

A popular place for locals and other East Asian tourists is Nam-i Island, which consists of tree-lined boulevards that are among the set locations for the popular Korean drama serial, Winter Sonata. Particularly romantic when it snows in the winter, and popular among couples.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.