Gangchon Rail Park Review: Ride the New ‘VR Rail Bike’ for Only 1,000 KRW!

Gangchon Rail Park’s ‘VR Rail Bike’ Review: The cheapest and most creative way to experience VR!

Gangchon Rail Park, the best rail-bike park in Korea, has launched the world’s first ‘Virtual Reality (VR) Rail Bike’ and now visitors can enjoy the VR while riding a rail bike!

The new ‘VR Rail Bike’ is an additional attraction for visitors to Gangchon Rail Park and it is available at an additional cost of 1,000 KRW.

The VR experience is currently only available at the last tunnel, out of four different tunnels in the entire course, but it is definitely worth the experience.

| NOTE: Visitors must first purchase a regular ticket to try this new VR attraction. Scroll down for detailed ticket information.

To find out what this new VR attraction is all about, I, a member of Trazy Crew, visited Gangchon Rail Park.

Gangchon Rail Park (10).jpgFor those who have never heard of or visited Gangchon Rail Park before, it is one the popular attractions near Seoul where you can ride a rail bike all year round. Gangchon Rail Park (12)While Gangchon Rail Park is one of the largest, with a total of 8.6km course, and most popular rail-bike destinations in Korea, there are other places where you can ride a rail bike as well, such as Gapyeong Rail ParkYangpyeong Rail Park and more.

It is also famous for being the filming location of many Korean TV variety shows such as ‘Running Man‘ and ‘We Got Married‘.Gangchon Rail Park (9)Gangchon Rail Park has 2-seater (blue) or a 4-seater (red) rail bikes available for visitors and the rail bike departs every hour from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
Gangchon Rail Park (5)While pedaling along on your bike, you can enjoy the scenery of Gangchon area and the Bukhangang River. Gangchon Rail Park (8)Since the scenery is stunning every season, you can have a completely different experience each time you visit Gangchon Rail Park.Gangchon Rail Park (7)You will pass through four different tunnels during the entire course, and it is the last or the 4th tunnel where you will ride in VR.

Hopefully they make the VR available for all tunnels in the future. 😉

Before you enter the tunnel, you will be given a VR headset. There will be staff who will help you wear the headset and guide you along the course, so don’t worry if this is your first time trying VR.
Gangchon Rail Park (6)If you press the button on the right side of the headset, you can shoot missiles and kill the villains. And when there are explosions going off, you can actually feel the heat of a fire on your face, which is absolutely awesome!
Gangchon Rail Park (4)After you pass through the fourth tunnel, you will reach a rest stop. From here, you will take Nangman Train, or the ‘Romance Train’, to Gangchon Station.Gangchon Rail Park (3)Along the way, you can sit back and relax while taking in the gorgeous landscapes of Gangchon.Gangchon Rail Park (2)After you get off the train, you can take a free shuttle bus at the parking lot back to Gimyujeong Station.

| NOTE: The entire course takes around 1 hr 30 mins (50 mins of rail bike ride + 20 mins break time at transfer stop + 20 mins of Nangman Train ride).

Gangchon Rail Park Ticket Information

Where Can I Buy Regular Tickets?

Regular tickets can be purchased via online booking. The official website is not available in English, but you can book tickets to Gangchon Rail Park via Trazy.com, an online booking website for foreigners.

You may also purchase tickets on site, however, it is recommended that you purchase online in advance to guarantee your tickets as it is first come, first served.

Booking must be made at least 3 days prior to the date of your visit at Trazy.com.

To buy Gangchon Rail Park tickets online, click here.

Where Can I Buy VR Rail Bike Tickets?

The VR tickets are only available on-site and they will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For anyone wanting to visit the rail park, read on to find out how you can go to Gangchon Rail Park from Seoul.

How to Go to Gangchon Rail Park from Seoul?

Gangchon Rail Park (14)Planning an independent trip to Gangchon Rail Park from Seoul can be tricky as it is located in the city of Chuncheon. By public transportation, it will take at least 2 hours or more in general.

  • By Express Bus: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal ▶ Chuncheon Intercity Bus Terminal (approx. 1 hr 15mins~) ▶ Namchuncheon Station (Subway Gyeongchun Line) ▶ Gimyujeong Station
  • By Subway: Any subway station in Seoul ▶ Gimyujeong Station (Subway Gyeongchun Line)
    • Ex. Myeongdong Station▶ Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station > Wangsimni Station ▶ Gimyujeong Station (approx. total time: 2hrs 20mins~)
  • By ITX Train: Yongsan Station/Cheongnyangni Station ▶ Gangchon Station (1 hr 7 mins) ▶ Gimyujeong Station (Subway Gyeongchun Line)

★ Tips for Subway & Train Travel 

Since Gyeongchun Line is usually packed with people, taking the ITX train is strongly recommended. However, the ITX train tickets usually sell out quickly and there may not be any train running on your desired schedule. Make sure to check the train schedules and purchase the tickets in advance at official Korail homepage.

★ Advice

If you still find these methods confusing, consider taking one of the organized tours offered by Trazy, which provide you with admission tickets and round-trip transportation.

These tours are ideal for travelers who want to visit Gangchon Rail Park and nearby tourists attractions, such as Nami Island, Petite France and the Garden of Morning Calm, all in one day.

Interested in taking a tour? Check out these tours below:

Did you enjoy reading this travel review? Check out our previous travel review on Gangchon Rail Park: Gangchon Rail Park & Nami Island & The Garden of Morning Calm.

Looking for more rail bike destinations in Korea? Visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, today.gangchon-rail-bike-cta.jpg

Nami Island Guide for Foodies | Where & What to Eat

Treat yourself after enjoying the beautiful scenery in Nami Island!

Being one of the most-visited tourist hotspots near the capital city of Seoul, Nami Island attracts large crowds of visitors looking for beautiful natural scenery.

While it is widely known for its amazing natural attractions, the island also offers fun foodie experiences.

For foodies, here we have picked our favorite restaurants and cafes in Nami Island, with their signatures or must-try menus!

For the locations of the cafes and restaurants featured in this blog post, refer to our map below.nami-island-trazy-map

Looking for the best way to go to Nami Island? Click here.

5 Best Places to Eat & Drink in Nami Island

1. Dongmoon

Dongmoon Restaurant serves Asian fusion cuisine and it is the only halal-certified restaurant on the island which gives more choices for Muslim and vegan travelers.

| Must-try Menus: Stir-fried eggplant with eohyang sauce (22,000 KRW~)

| Location: 1st Floor of Baplex building

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2. Yeonga Lunch Box

Yeonga Lunch Box serves ‘dosirak’, or a Korean-style lunch box, which is one of the cheapest menus you can find on Nami Island. The best way to enjoy ‘dosirak’ is to shake the lunchbox before you eat!

| Must-try Menus: Korean-style lunch box (6,500 KRW)

| Location: 1st Floor of Baplex building

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3. Book Café

Looking for a light lunch? Head over to Book Cafe. It is a unique cafe where you can find walls filled with books, and a variety of drink and dessert options.

| Must-Try Menus: Natural Ice Cream (4,000 KRW)

| Location: Inside the Baplex building

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4. Swing Café

Offering a gorgeous view of Bukhan River, combined with soft music playing in the background, no other cafe can beat the atmosphere of Swing Cafe.

| Must-try Menus: Croissants which are freshly baked 3 times a day (2,200 KRW for each), Pine Nuts Flavored Gelato (5,000 KRW)

| Location: 1st Floor of the Song Museum near the entrance of the island

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5. Snow Cafe

Stop by the Snow Cafe where you can find cute snowmen statues to take pictures with. Try the bread that looks like a snowman or enjoy the sundaes and cakes!

| Must-try Menus: Snowman Bread (3,000 KRW for 6 pcs)

| Location: Near Customer Service Center in Gapyeong Wharf

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| NOTE: Except for Swing Cafe and Snow Cafe, the rest of the spots are located in and around ‘Baplex’ building, a large food-and-drink complex situated in the center of Nami Island (refer to the map above).

Other must-try treats in Nami Island

Don’t miss out on Nami Island’s tasty sweet treats, ‘Snowman Hotteok (Korean sweet pancake)’ and ‘Mayak Oksusu (roasted corn)’! They are extremely popular especially during the winter months.

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People standing in line to buy Snowman Pancake.
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If you haven’t tried Korean sweet pancakes yet, now’s your time.
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This roasted corn is sooo addictive!

Planning a trip to Nami Island? Check out more of our guides and tips:

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If you are planning a visit to South Korea, don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for the latest and trendiest things to do!

Photo Credits
Nami Island Official Website & Facebook Page

Nami Island Bucket List: Top 5 Things to Do in Nami Island, Korea

Visit Nami Island in Korea, one of the best tourist destinations near Seoul!

nami-island-guide-(40)Nami Island, located near Seoul, is one of the most popular destinations for tourists to Korea for its various natural and cultural attractions.

With so many ways to experience the magic of Nami Island, here we have come up with five experiences you absolutely must have on your trip to Nami Island.

As you read, use our map below to find the spots featured in this blog post.nami-island-trazy-map

To go to Nami Island, simply book this shuttle bus package.

1. Step into nature

| Tree-lined paths

Among the beautiful tree-lined paths in Nami Island, below are the three most popular paths you should definitely take:

  1. The Central Korean Pine Tree Lane 

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    A main pine tree-lined path that leads to the center of the island.
  2.  Ginkgo Tree Lane

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    A tree lane that comes into its full glory in autumn.

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    During autumn, Ginkgo Tree Lane offers a splendor of the vivid yellow ginkgo leaves.
  3. Metasequoia Lane

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A magnificent redwood-lined path.

| Woods & Riverside Paths

Take a stroll along the scenic riverside paths in the southern part of Nami Island.

As soon as you walk out of Lovers’ Wood (refer to the map above), you can find wooden walks for strolls around the water’s edge.

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Lovers’ Wood, a romantic path to walk through with your other half.

2. Navigate on fun transport

For those who want to navigate the island easily and conveniently, there are various modes of transport available in Nami Island.

If you are not a walker, we recommend you to get a bicycle or hop on an electric tour car!nami-island-experiencesnami-island-experiences-(2)nami-island-guide-(27)

For more info on transport options available on Nami Island click here.

3. Follow in the footsteps of Winter Sonata

While Nami Island is one of the popular shooting locations for Korean dramas and variety shows, including My Love from the Star, Secret Garden and Running Man, it is most famous for being featured in the 2002 hit drama, Winter Sonata, starred by Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo.

On the island, you can find a statue of the main characters and a special photo zone for visitors to take pictures.

nami-island-guide-(32)
A statue of the main characters from Winter Sonata in Gongsaengwon Garden.

There are also replicas of snowmen from the iconic kissing scene in Winter Sonata, or also known as the “Snowmen Kiss”, where the male lead character builds two snowmen, makes them kiss and then steals a kiss from the female lead character. Try and recreate this scene with your other half while in Nami Island!

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A replica of mini snowmen statue from the kissing scene in Winter Sonata.

Want to visit more K-Drama spots? Book our tour to Nami Island and Petite France.

4. Take photos with Nami Island’s superstar ostrich

Don’t be surprised when you see an ostrich on the loose in Nami Island.

They are one of the animals you can find on the island and sometimes they get out of the pen and roam around. Don’t be afraid and try taking photos with them (but don’t get too close)!

You will find ostrich pen on your left when walking along the Central Korean Pine Tree Lane.

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Nami Island’s superstar ostrich, “Gganta.”

5. Buy a souvenir to cherish your memories of Nami Island

Drop by a gift shop near the entrance or around the center of the island before you leave (refer to the map above).

  • Artshop Snowman: Near the Maple Lane of True Love
  • Artshop Imagine Nami: Near Baplex

You can find a variety of accessories including rings, bracelets, bookmarks, key chains and many more, all of which are designed with the iconic “snowman”.

These umbrellas with designs of the best natural attractions of Nami Island below can be great keepsakes as well. Costs 35,000 KRW for each.nami-island-guide-(11)

Are there any other experiences in Nami Island you would love to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you traveling to Nami Island? Check out more of our guides and tips:

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While visiting South Korea, don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more ideas on your trip!

Photo Credits
Peter Kim/PMP, http://www.ProjectResearch.co.kr 남이섬 단풍 2009 via photopin (license)
Peter Kim/PMP, http://www.ProjectResearch.co.kr 남이섬 단풍 2009 via photopin (license)
golbenge (골뱅이) Bicycle (자전거) via photopin (license)
golbenge (골뱅이) DSC07608 via photopin (license)

What’s the Best Way to Go to Nami Island from Seoul?

Visit one of the most popular destinations near Seoul, Nami Island.

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Nami Island (Namiseom), or officially called Naminara Republic, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Korea for its breathtaking natural scenery.

Located in the city of Chuncheon, the island is only about two hours away from Seoul – perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

However, visitors must travel out of Seoul and transportation can be a bit tricky.

But don’t worry, Trazy is here to help you find the best way to go to Nami Island.

How do I go to Nami Island from Seoul?

There are three ways you can get to Nami Island from Seoul:

If you can’t decide which one to take, use this chart below to see which is suitable for you.nami-transporation-table

Book a shuttle bus or a tour to Nami Island.

For personalized day trips or custom tours, request a quote to inquiry@trazy.com.

How do I get inside Nami Island?

Since Nami Island is inaccessible by land transport, the only way to get to the island is to take a ferry and zip wire from Gapyeong Wharf.

1. By Ferry

Taking a ferry to Nami Island is a great way to take in the surrounding mountains and lake, and a one-way ride takes takes about 5 minutes. nami-island-guide-(43)

| Price: 8,000 KRW for foreigners, free for children 36 months and younger. Round-trip ferry fare is included in the entrance ticket.

| Where to Buy Tickets: Ticket office is located near the Immigration Gate.

| TIP: Entrance ticket is included in the shuttle bus package and all the Nami Island Tours offered by Trazy.

| Ferry Schedule:

  • 7:30am-9:00am Every 30 mins (First ferry at 7:30am)
  • 9:00am-6:00pm Every 10-20 mins
  • 6:00pm-9:40pm Every 30 mins (Last ferry at 9:40pm)

2. By Zip-wire

Another way to get into Nami Island is by a zip-wire run by Nami Skyline ZipWire ZipRider.

The ride lasts about one minute and the riders are able to see the lake and island from above.

nami-island-guide-(42)| Price: 38,000 KRW one-way, per person. Admission to Nami Island and one-way ferry fare are included in the price.

| Where to Buy Tickets: Visit the ZipWire Tower located near the dock in Gapyeong Wharf.

| NOTE: Only on-site registration is available. The waiting line can be very long.

| Operation Hours:

  • 9:00am-7:00pm (Summer)
  • 9:00am-6:00pm (Winter)

Did you find this guide helpful? Don’t miss our other guide on Nami Island Guide & Tips for First-Time Visitors.button-nami

Be sure to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for all the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea.

Photo Credits
Nami Island Official Website

7 Best Festivals in May 2017 | South Korea Festivals Guide

From romantic spring flower festivals to star-studded spectacular music festival, the month of May in Korea is filled with plenty of wonderful festivals.

Check out all ongoing and upcoming festivals and events for May 2017 in South Korea and find the perfect fest with our festival guide!

1. Taean Tulip Festival 2017

Immerse yourself in 1.5 million tulips and other spring flowers!

Recognized as one of the World’s Top 5 Tulip Festivals by the World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS), Taean Tulip Festival is by far the largest tulip festival in South Korea.

While you can appreciate the beautiful tulips and spring flowers during the day, you can enjoy a fantastic array of impressive light displays at night!

  • Date: April 13~May 10
  • Venue: Taean County, Chungcheongnam-do Province (western part of Korea)
  • Book one-day trip

taean-tulip-festival

2. The Garden of Morning Calm Spring Flower Festival

Come and see the stunning gardens of colorful spring flowers at the Garden of Morning Calm, which is one of the most beloved gardens that offer fantastic flowers all year round.

Visit Nami Island nearby as well! It’s another famous destination where you can enjoy a stroll along scenic tree-lined paths and gardens.

nami-island-gardenofmorningcalm-flower-festival

3. Boseong Green Tea Festival 2017

Prepare to be stunned by the endless stretches of green tea fields covering the entire hillside of Boseong Green Tea Plantation!

Selected as one of the “31 Beautiful Sights on This Incredible Planet” by CNN, this breathtaking natural scenery awaits you in Boseong Green Tea Festival.

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  • Date: May 3~May 7
  • Venue: Boseong County, Jeollanam-do Province (southwestern part of Korea)
  • Book one-day trip

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4. Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival 2017)

Every year, Busan, a beautiful port city in South Korea, offers an incredible display of colorful lanterns in celebration of Buddha’s birthday, giving visitors an unforgettable experience.

busan-3d2nbusan-small-group-city-tour

5. Seoul World DJ Festival 2017

After 7 long years of waiting, the World DJ Festival is finally returning to Seoul on May 13 & 14! Bringing top-notch EDM artists and DJs including Alan Walker, Brennan Hear, Jauz, Sultan+Shepard, Party Favor, Zeds Dead and many more. seoul-world-dj-festival-(2)

seoul-world-dj-festival

6. Gangneung Danoje Festival Tour

Gangneung Danoje Festival is one of the biggest folk festivals in Korea that is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. During the festival, you will be able to witness shamanistic ritual of the Joseon Dynasty and enjoy folk performances, Korean traditional wrestling called ‘ssireum‘ and many other cultural events.gangneung-danoje-festival

  • Date: May 27~June 3
  • Venue: Gangneung City, Gangwon-do Province (eastern part of Korea)
  • Book one-day trip

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7. Samcheok Rose Festival

Take a stroll through the vast, open gardens of beautiful roses in Samcheok City. Nearby the venue of the rose festival, you can also enjoy a rail bike with your beloved ones while taking in the beautiful scenery along the east coast of Korea.samcheok-rose-festivalsamcheok-rail-bike

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For more latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea, check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!button_main 2

Photo Credits
The Garden of Morning Calm Official Website
Busan Yeon Deung Hoe Official Website
Nami Island Official Website

Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival | Travel Review & Tips

Usually, when the cherry blossoms are gone, pink and purple azaleas explode in spectacular bloom in Korea.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(120)Now, if you are thumbing through guidebooks searching for the best place to see these breathtaking azaleas, Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival is the perfect place to be!

About Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival

Every year from mid-April to the end of April, a fantastic azalea festival takes place in Goryeosan Mountain, or Mount Goryeo, in the heart of Ganghwa Island in Incheon.

As Incheon is a city bordering with Seoul, it only takes 2 hours to get to the festival from Seoul by car, making it an ideal destination for a short excursion.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(127)

  • Festival Date: April 12 – 23
  • Location: Goryeosan Mountain, Ganghwa Island, Incheon
  • Best time to visit: Mid-April – late-April
  • Book a shuttle bus ride

To witness this otherworldly sight of flaming pink bloom myself, I visited the azalea festival via a shuttle bus package offered by Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop. goryeosan thumbnail_1And it was a fantastic experience, definitely not an ordinary trip that you can take anywhere else except with Trazy. Read on to find out why! 🙂

Top 4 Highlights of Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival Trip

Take a look at the four highlights of my trip to Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival, and you will see why this is ‘no ordinary’ trip.

1. Make your way to the top of Goryeosan Mountain to witness the breathtaking azaleas

Since the Azalea Habitat, the main feature of the festival, can be viewed from the peak of Goryeosan Mountain at 436m (1,430 feet), you will have to do some hiking during the trip, which gives you a ‘totally different’ travel experience you can’t get from other spring flower tours. goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(27)While hiking, you can find gorgeous pink azaleas along the way. So stop for a minute and take up-close photos! goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(124).jpgHonestly, I must say I am not a mountain person. But other than some relatively steep inclines on the way to the peak, the hiking trail that I took is enjoyable in overall even for non-climbers, like me.  goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(126)Plus, the spectacular views of breathtaking ripples of pink azaleas definitely pay you off when you reach the top of the mountain.
goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(129)goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(128)The festival also offers a photo zone where you can take pictures against a backdrop of Goryeosan Mountain covered with azaleas, too!goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(130).jpg

Take a look at the map below if you want to follow in my footsteps from my trip with Trazy!goryeosan-mountain-map

  • Total Distance: 2.9km
  • Duration: Approx. 1~1.5 hours; one-way
  • Difficulty Level: Easy – Moderate
  • Detailed Course: Cheongryeonsa Temple Entrance (Drop-off location) > Cheongryeonsa Temple > Peak of Goryeosan Mountain & Azalea Habitat

2. Stop and replenish at Cheongryeonsa Temple

On the way to the top, you will pass by this beautiful Buddhist temple called Cheongryeonsa Temple, but I recommend you to fully enjoy your time at the top of the mountain and then drop by this temple on your way down.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(12)There is a rest area with a bench where you can replenish after burning off all your energy on your hike as well as a stunning magnolia tree, which was full in bloom during my visit.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(125)

3. Enjoy the tranquility at Gukhwa Reservoir

If you have spare time, take a brief moment at the reservoir where you can soak in the scenery and enjoy the tranquility.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(118)A short walk from the entrance of Cheongryeonsa Temple will have you at this calm and serene reservoir.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(131).jpg

4. Travel like a local at Ganghwa Pungmul Market

Before heading back to Seoul, there was a short stop at Ganghwa Pungmul Market during the trip. It was quite an authentic place that gives you a glimpse of a thriving and vibrant local Korean market scene.goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(117)Check out this cute map of the market!goryeosan-mountain-azalea-(114)

Checklist for Travelers to Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival

1. What to bring
Bring a sunscreen, hat, handkerchief, a water bottle and, of course, your camera, hiking poles if you have one. 😉

2. What to wear
Wear casual clothing and comfortable lightweight walking shoes!

3. Where & What to eat
While you can find vendors selling ice creams and cool beverages along the way to the peak, you can find outdoor food stalls around the entrance of Cheongryeonsa Temple and at the top of Goryeonsan Mountain.goryeosan-mountain-food.jpgThese food stalls serve Korean spicy cup noodles and local dishes such as ‘Muk-muchim (seasoned acorn jelly salad)’, ‘Pajeon (green onion pancake)’ and ‘Janchi-guksu (banquet noodles)’. The prices range from 5,000 to 15,000 KRW for the meals.

But bringing your own lunch box and enjoying it during the hike is a great option as well!

Enjoyed reading this travel review? If you have any questions about the trip, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and book Trazy’s trip now while it’s available!

Looking for other cool spring festivals in Korea?

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Don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more spring tours and the best things to do in South Korea!button31

Photo Credits
By Byungjoon Kim (IMG_1392Uploaded by Caspian blue) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons