Sightseeing Around Korea (순천)

 


Sightseeing Around Korea (순천)

 

Do you want to see more of Korea but are unsure where to go? Do you want to get out of the city and get a breath of fresh air? Today I have another short weekend trip you can take to the southern coast of Korea in the South Jeolla Province (전라남도).

Located close to Yeosu is another city called Suncheon. Suncheon is in the middle of the southern coastline of the Korean peninsula. It was host to the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 and is known for its scenic coastal wetlands and agriculture.

 

Getting to Suncheon is not expensive and is quite convenient by bus or train. Personally, I recommend taking the KTX. A one-way fare on the KTX is around KRW 44,000 and will get you from Seoul to Suncheon in less than 3 hours. You can save about KRW 20,000 by taking a slower train but the trip will take between 4 and 5 hours. Buses are similar in price and duration to the slower train.

 

순천 (Suncheon)

 

After arriving in Suncheon, the first recommended place to visit is the Suncheon Bay National Garden (순천만국가정원). Constructed in order to help preserve the bay area, the garden hosts many different garden styles, trees, and plants. You can enter the garden from the east or west end, both have parking and ticketing gates. From the train station or main bus station, the gardens are about a 10 minute taxi ride away (Taxi fare should be less than KRW 4,000). Prices to enter the gardens are as follows. Note that admission to the garden includes admission to the Wetland Reserve:

 

 

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Above is the Suncheon Bay National Garden Map - the gardens are quite large. If you are short on time, I recommend planning out ahead of time what you will want to see as trying to see the whole garden grounds could take a long time. Be prepared to do a lot of walking as bikes are not allowed inside the grounds.

 

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Korean Garden

 

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Above is The Dream Bridge connecting the west and east areas of the gardens. The bridge features tiles with artwork as well as panels with different Korean phrases as seen in the picture above.
 

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Pathways around the hills in the eastern section of the gardens

 

In the east section of the National Garden are different themed gardens from around the world. One iconic garden area is from the Netherlands and features a large windmill. Other nations featured include Italy, England, Spain, and Japan, among others.

 

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Windmill in the Netherlands Garden

 

Also within the gardens is the Suncheon Bay Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) SkyCube. The unmanned electric cars can carry six to nine passengers. The SkyCube line features two stations and is 4.64 kilometers (~2.88 miles) long. One station is within the Suncheon Bay National Garden and the other is at the Suncheon Bay Literature Center. Tickets to ride the SkyCube are as follows:

 

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The SkyCube route is highlighted in pink above

 
Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve (Formerly Suncheon Bay Ecological Park) (순천만습지 (구, 순천만자연생태공원))
 

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After visiting the national garden, head south towards the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve. Depending on the weather and time of day you visit the wetlands, you may be waiting in traffic to get to the main entrance. The quickest way to get to the wetlands is by car, however, public buses are available. Outside the entrance of the wetland reserve, there are are a variety of restaurants, pensions, and cafes. Many of the restaurants serve seafood, especially 꼬막 (cockles).

 

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꼬막정식 (cockles set menu)

 

Upon entering the wetland reserve, a series of paths will lead you through the tall reed fields. You are also able to climb the mountain within the reserve to reach the Yongsan observatory. This is perfect for taking pictures and taking in the view of the whole reserve. If you don’t wish to or are unable to make the full climb, there are other lookout points along the way. The pathway up the mountain is about 2 kilometers to the observatory.

 

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The elevated boardwalk pathway through the wetland reserve. Many different species of birds and other wildlife call the reserve home.

 

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Mudflats in the Wetland Reserve

 

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View from the Yongsan observatory. You can see the mudflats on either side of the water.

 

Near the bottom of the observatory path there are pressurized air hoses to blow the dust and dirt off your shoes as the path up to the observatory is unpaved.

 

Do take note that if you are there near closing time/sunset transportation can be congested. If you drive yourself, you may have to wait a long time to get out of the parking lot. If you rely on public transportation, buses are not very frequent and a long line forms near the main bus stop outside the wetlands entrance. You may not be able to hail a taxi unless it is reserved in advance as it is a smaller town with not that many taxis to begin with.

 

Lodging

 

There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in the area as well as pensions. You may need to make the reservations in Korean for local guesthouses and pensions. Below are some helpful phrases as well as map screenshots of the locations of guesthouses, pensions, and hotels.

 


English

Korean

I want to make a reservation

예약하고 싶은데요

From when to when do you want to reserve?

언제부터 언제까지 예약하고 싶나요?

From___to___

__월 __일부터 __월 __일까지 

How many people are you?

몇분이세요?

We are ____ people

__명이요

You can check-in/check-out from___

탑승 수속 시간/체크아웃 시간은 __시부터 하시면 됩니다

Breakfast is from____to____.

아침 시간은 ___부터___까지입니다.

 

 

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Please take a moment to read about my previous post about traveling to Yeosu here.

Contact the G.O.A.’L Community Mentor for any other questions!

 

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