South Korea’s most northern state is known for its spectacular mountains, laid-back cities and mountainside temples.
Escape the bright lights and noise of Seoul and take the short train ride to Gangwon Province. The majority of the Gangwon region is made up of scenic mountains and pristine national parks. Discover a natural oasis where you can hike through forest for days, climb mountains or rest by peaceful lakes and beaches.
Experienced climbers should head to Seoraksan National Park, which has some of the highest peaks in the country. Odaesan National Park is just as impressive and has far fewer tourists. Hike through valleys filled with wildflowers in spring or take in the views of forests that burn red in the autumn.
Fans of adventure sports can bungee jump, whitewater raft, ski or speed down the mountains on custom-made fast rail bikes. Built into many of the mountains you will see temples or other significant structures. Sinheungsa Temple in Seoraksan National Park is one famous example and is said to contain some of Buddha’s ashes.
Chuncheon is the province’s laid-back capital and is a great place to base yourself. Ski down the runs at Gangchon Ski Resort or visit the ancient traditional huts on Jungdo Island. The quiet atmosphere and peaceful surroundings make it hard to believe the city is just a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride from Seoul.
During the summer months, join the locals who flock to the beaches of Sokcho to lie on the fine sands and swim in the East Sea. Popular spots include Gyeongpo, the largest beach on the east coast, and Jeongdongjin Beach, located in front of Jeongdongjin Train Station.
Internal flights run daily to Yangyang International Airport on the eastern coast of Gangwon and regular trains run from Seoul to Chuncheon. You can also reach Gangwon by bus from all major cities in South Korea.
Gangwon is beautiful at any time of year. Visit in spring and summer to find wildflowers in bloom or come in winter to see the peaks of the mountains dusted with pristine white snow.