A 5-Day Gangwon, Korea Itinerary: Exploring this Breathtaking Coastal Province

A 5-Day Gangwon, Korea Itinerary: Exploring this Breathtaking Coastal Province

Want to explore a new area in South Korea outside of Seoul? Consider the beautiful province of Gangwon! With endless activities from theme parks to nature walks down forests and the coasts, there is a plethora of things to do.

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism gangwon korea itinerary

Home to some of the most spectacular natural parks and scenic landscapes, Gangwon, Korea is an awe-inspiring province filled with hidden gems waiting to be explored. 

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism

Get ready to experience the Demilitarised Zone up-close, along with tranquil coastal towns and deep blue beaches on the East Sea. Gangwon is an area where you can truly wander and uncover the many wonders of nature in the hills, mountains and oceans!

You can also feast on the many gastronomical delights of the coastal region, which includes tofu, seafood and the much beloved fiery chicken dish, dakgalbi! Here is five-day (tried and tested!) Gangwon, Korea itinerary to try, the next time you find yourself in this impressive province!

Day One

  • Start with a meal in Chuncheon Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street
  • Utilise the Tourist Taxi Experience to visit Soyanggang Skywalk, Organic Cafe, Soyang Dam
  • Take the Passenger Ship service at the Dam to visit Cheongpyeongsa Temple
  • Stay at Vivaldi Park Resort gangwon korea itinerary

Chuncheon Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street

Starting your day with amazing food is always a good idea and one of the most famous dishes that hails from this province is their beloved dakgalbi, or fiery chicken! This dish is so popular that there is not only one, but three entire streets dedicated to restaurants specialising in the dish in the city of Chuncheon, Gangwon.

The most famous of the three is Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street located in Chuncheon’s downtown Myeong-dong. 

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

Due to the generous amount of food for its low price, dakgalbi is initially popular amongst soldiers and college students. Now, it is a popular restaurant menu item that is nostalgic for the locals – making it one of the most representative dishes in Chuncheon.

Chuncheon Foreign Tourist Taxi Experience

After filling your stomach with a glorious meal, burn your energy by checking out the many attractions in the area. You can do so with the help of the Foreign Tourist Taxi Experience, which will surely make your exploration of the area so much easier and accessible. Together with Chuncheon and Gangneung City, Gangwon province has hired 200 taxi drivers dedicated to assist foreign tourists. gangwon korea itinerary

For only 20,000₩ (S$23.46), you are able to employ these drivers to bring you around as many attractions in Chuncheon for three hours! This Tourist Taxi service can be found at the Tourist Information Center by Chuncheon Station Exit 1, where passengers can decide whether to take a basic tour course of the major attractions or other attractions of their choice.

Personally, having made use of this service, I find it extremely useful and an absolute value for money. You are able to visit all the attractions you wish to see without needing to worry about getting from Point A to Point B! Best of all, like all taxis, it is comfortable and transports up to four passengers.

Soyanggang Skywalk

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

Stretching out a distance of 174m, this skywalk is the longest glass structure ever built in the country. Set atop Uiamho Lake, Soyanggang Skywalk is actually an observatory. The thrill of walking on top of the four-centimetre tempered glass will surely be unforgettable!

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board 

The entrance fee is only 2,000₩ (S$2.35) and the walk is an absolute treat, especially with the glorious mountains and hills on the horizon!

Organic Cafe gangwon korea itinerary

Image credit: Gangwon Tourism

Located in the Sinbuk area in Chuncheon, Organic Cafe offers organic homemade drinks made from local produce . The cafe is also known for its beautiful surroundings of a canola flower field in Spring and pink muhly in Autumn. 

In the late season, the muhly boasts a gorgeous pink hue, making it one of the best photo spots in the area. Don’t forget to grab a drink or dessert as you enjoy the sights!

Soyang Dam gangwon korea itinerary

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

Make sure to stop by Soyang Dam as well, which was made famous after popular boy band member RM from BTS visited the area. Soyang Dam is Asia’s largest – world’s fourth largest – rock-fill dam. With the hills by the waterbank, the spot paints a wonderful scenery, especially when the sun is setting.

On top of the dam, there are also many facilities, such as a restaurant, a coffee shop and a rest area. There is also a passenger ship service, which brings visitors to Cheongpyeongsa Temple. gangwon korea itinerary

Cheongpyeongsa Temple 

Located on the beautiful awe-inspiring slopes of Obongsan Mountain and just a mere 10 minutes ferry ride from Soyang Lake Ferry Dock, you can find the old Cheongpyeongsa Temple.

The climb up might be a little intimidating as the slopes get more steep as you go on, however, the clear sound of water down the stream will surely refresh you! There is also a cafe along the path to the temple, where you can take a breather and enjoy the surroundings.

Yuklim Street and Nangman Market

Image credit: Chuncheon Tourism

End your day in one of the largest commercial areas in the past, which is now known as Yuklim Street. There is a Makgolli Village, a spot many young travellers enjoy due to the old and chic atmosphere of the space.

Nangman Market located in the center of Chuncheon City has more than 60 years of history and was formed after the Korean War. This market is also focused on culture and tourism, perfect for the tourists who are exploring this city! Grab a meal and a drink before heading back for some rest.

Daemyung Four Seasons Vivaldi Park Resort 

Image credit: Daemyung Resort 

During my stay, I stayed in Vivaldi Park Resort, which was not only comfortable, but filled with a plethora of facilities! Noted for being the most visited ski resort in Korea for seven consecutive years, Vivaldi is also home to the largest ski area in Seoul metropolitan region.

There is also fantastic views of the ski slopes from outside the room windows!

Also Read: A Week in South Korea’s Jeju Island on An Ultimate Wellness Retreat

Day Two gangwon korea itinerary

  • Start your morning with adorable animals in Alpaca World
  • Visit the gorgeous Ginko Tree Forest
  • Stay at Yongpyong Resort

Alpaca World

Image credit: Alpaca World

Perfect for families, Alpaca World is located within the green forest in Hongcheon. It is the biggest zoological theme park in Korea where you can get in close proximity with the animals. 

Image credit: Alpaca World

Surrounded by lush greenery, this is a wonderful pit stop, especially early in the morning! You can come over to pet or feed the alpacas and other animals. Within the park, there are many different sections where you can rest, play and enjoy the company of adorable animals and amazing sights.

Hongcheon Ginkgo Tree Forest 

Only open to the public during the month of October, this private forest was planted and has been maintained by only one man for over 30 years. He had settled in the area in 1985 with his wife who was sick. He started planting these trees after he heard about its medicinal effects. 

The forest remained private until 2010, when it became popular by word of mouth. Now, the gracious owner has opened up his private land for free when the whole forest is colored in a beautiful golden hue – only in October!

Yongpyong Resort

Image credit: Yongpyong Resort

Located 700 metres above sea level, Yongpyong Resort is at the eastern edge of Asia. The resort is surrounded by hills, and during the colder seasons, ski slopes! On its 4,300-acre space, there is a 45-hole golf course, 28 ski slopes and many other leisure facilities.

First established in 1975, this ‘Korea’s Ski Mecca’ is growing to be an internationally-renowned resort!

Day Three

  • Ride on the Balwangsan Cable Car in the vicinity of Yongpyong Resort 
  • Descend to the famous BTS Bus Stop 
  • Have a meal and do some shopping at Jungang Market 
  • Live your K-Drama dreams at Jumunjin Breakwater
  • Stay in the culturally rich Gangneung Ojuk Hanok Village

Balwangsan Cable Car

Image credit: Yongpyong Resort

The Mount Balwangsan Cable Car tour takes Asia’s longest course stretching over 7.4km – it also boasts a brilliant view of Balwangsan Mountain. At the top, make sure to completely indulge in the view unlike any other!

BTS Bus Stop

A popular stop for many Korean pop enthusiasts, this bus stop is made famous by K-pop superstars, BTS. Featured in their album, You Never Walk Alone, this bus stop is known as BTS Bus Stop and it is located in Jumunjin Beach – where some scenes of their music video was shot. This bus stop was set up by Gangneung City and is now a photo zone for visitors!

Jungang Market

One of the oldest markets in Gangneung, Jungang Market, was first opened in 1980 and offers a variety of local delicacies such as Hotteok, croquettes, fried chicken and more!

The market is also divided into two sections: traditional market and an underground fishery market. On the second floor, you can find a restaurant and coffee shops. Vendors in the market display their products in the open and you can window shop endlessly as you explore the area!

Jumunjin Breakwater

Situated on the beautiful Jumunjin Beach, you can find the iconic Jumunjin Breakwater, which was featured in the popular Korean drama, Goblin. The breakwater was built to protect the coastline from the effects of erosion and longshore drift and now attracts visitors thanks to the K-drama!

Standing over the breakwater, especially as the sun is going down, is one of the best sights the beach has to offer.

Gangneung Ojuk Hanok Village

Consider staying at Gangneung Ojuk Hanok Village, which offers and authentic cultural stay in a traditional Korean house. While it has been renovated for the convenience and safety of guests, the traditional Korean style and sentiment still remains. 

This hanok village in particular is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a very natural space. The bamboo and cool colours of the area also boasts a calming effect!

Also Read: A Guide to the Most Festive Ice Skating Rinks in Japan & Korea

Day Four

  • Have breakfast by the sea at Anmok Coffee Street
  • Experience the culture in Ojukheon House
  • Ride the Sea Train to the East Sea
  • Explore the coastal town of Nongoldamgil
  • Enjoy the sea views on the Jeongdongjin Rail Bike 

Anmok Coffee Street

In the 90s, vending machines were an abundance along the beach, and after the first Gangneung Coffee Festival was held, a few cafes stared to pop up until it became the Anmok Coffee Street we know today.

Not only are there many instagrammable cafes, there are also artworks scattered all over the beach! Enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the works and the ocean breeze – the perfect start for the day.

Ojukheon House

Stop by Ojukheon House, a culturally important relic where Shin Saimdang and her son Yi I,a scholar and politician of the Joseon Period, lived.

Built during the early Joseon Dynasty, this remains to be one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea. There is also the household shrine, Munseongsa, where many people go to pay their respects to their important scholar and his mother.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to don the traditional garment for the royal family and it was an experience!

Sea Train to the East Sea

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

Take a ride down to Jeongdongjin and the East Sea by hopping onto the Sea Train service! The ride takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes for a one-way trip.

The train windows are tall and wide, ensuring you get splendid ocean views. Inside the train, the walls were decorated with underwater motifs and images of sea animals – exciting for children on board.

The ride is extremely enjoyable too, as the train puts on motion-sensor games and music for all to enjoy. There is also a live DJ who interacts with the riders through the monitors available in all cabins.


Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

This mural village by the sea is a treat for the eyes! As you climb up the steps enjoying the art, you will also find impressive views of the sea from the top. The art is also representative of life in Mukho, a visual representation of history. 

Image credit: Korea Tourism Board

The neighborhood is also stacked with slate-roofed houses that are vibrant and cheerfully decorated. The streets in the village were also featured in popular Korean dramas, The Heirs (2013) and Shining Inheritance (2009).

As you venture around the village, you will find many coffee shops and rest areas, where you can fully indulge in the art and the view of the sea. One of the most popular coastlines in South Korea is the East Sea. It is shines a brilliant blue and it’s definitely a sight you should not miss! 

Jeongdongjin Rail Bike 

After enjoying the village, head on down to the Jeongdongjin Rail Bike to enjoy the vast East Sea up close. Best of all, the rail bike is motor-operated, which means that you can simply sit and enjoy the ride.

The rail bike starts from either Jeongdongjin Station or Hourglass Park Station and goes along the coast, where you can feel the ocean breeze while relaxing!

Day Five

  • Learn more about the history of the Korean Peninsular and its divide at Goseong Unification Observatory
  • Explore Inje Birch Forest
  • Stay at Inje Speedium Hotel

Goseong Unification Observatory

From 1945 to 1953 this area was a part of North Korea. Now, this building is the closest South Koreans can get to seeing a part of that detached world. On the viewing deck, there are binoculars that you can use to get a closer look. 

Inside the observatory, there is a large detailed map of the mountains in the area and the locations of the military installations. One of the most memorable takeaway was learning that there is a train rail connecting the two Koreas – hoping we can use it one day when reunification is possible!

Inje Birch Forest 

With over 700,000 birch trees planted across 138-hectare landscape, Inje Birch Forest offers impressive scenic hiking courses, which you can join and enjoy the tranquility. The tall white bark birch trees are magnificent scattered all around!

Opened in 2012, this forest is visited by over 224,000 visitors annually, especially during winter when the landscape is snow-covered. So far, this forest is still frequented by the locals only – plan a trip here while it’s still a hidden gem!

Inje Speedium Hotel

Located by the Inje Speedium circuit, Inje Speedium Hotel offers a spectacular view of the beautiful town of Inje and its natural surroundings. With amenities like a sauna, lounge, bar and more, you will find the hotel to be comfortable and accommodating for all!

Plan a Trip To Gangwon

Why should you visit the exciting province of Gangwon? With so much to see and do, five days are barely enough to thoroughly explore this vibrant region – from ocean views to incredible mountains, the natural landscape of Gangwon will take your breath away. 

While it is still winter in South Korea, consider visiting the province and admire the snowscapes. AirAsia is also currently having promotions for flights from Singapore to Incheon, South Korea (via Kuala Lumpur) and prices starts from SGD194 for BIG members! Head on to airasia.com to book your getaway to South Korea today!

If you need more ideas to bulk up your itinerary around this incredible region, head on over to Gangwon Tourism Board’s official website where you can find even more sights to see!

About Author

Natasha Shadeanna
Natasha Shadeanna

Natasha is always on a quest to find a place where it is always spring. Until then, she spends her days reading travel journals, watching travelogues and searching for cheap flights to anywhere around the world. If a bar is playing good music, she’s probably there with a drink in hand.