Riding with KORAIL Tourism Development

Written by on December 6, 2011 in Travel

I travel. I mean I travel a lot. Given any week, one will find me navigating the streets of Seoul, traveling to one of the far-reaching provinces, or taking in some of the unique history and culture of Korea. It takes a lot of time to get all the cars, trains, and buses scheduled correctly to ensure a smooth trip. That’s why, from time to time, I like to let someone else take care of all the details. Thankfully, if you’re traveling in Korea and don’t want to arrange everything yourself, KORAIL Tourism Development can be your one-stop service. KORAIL’s Tourism Development offers four unique trips, suited to meet just about everyone’s needs.

All aboard the Hallyu Express!

The daily trip to Jeong Seon takes visitors to the local traditional market, along the scenic rail bikes, provides a singing performance of Airing, the opportunity to make rice cakes, and visit a local museum. It departs daily from Cheongnyangni Station at 7:32am and arrives back in Seoul around 10pm. Also leaving from Cheongnyangni on Saturdays (7:32am), is a two-day tour of Gangwon Province. The first day mirrors the Jeong Seon trip, but then expands on the offering by taking visitors to Gangneung. There, travelers will be treated the wonders of the seaside city. A highlight of the trip is the stop at Seonam Village, which is famous for it’s beef. The train returns to Seoul after two days around 10pm. For those wanting a truly luxury experience, a three day “rail cruise” is also available that takes travelers to some of Korea’s most amazing places. However, if one is just looking to have a little fun, then the Korean Wave Express is the trip for you!

The Korean Wave Express departs every weekend from Seoul Station and makes its way north to Gaypyeong Station. The train provided is only four cars long, meaning that space is limited and that everyone traveling gets an opportunity to know one another. Furthermore, the KORAIL hosts do a great job  of making you feel welcome by providing some snacks and musical performances.

A pair of musicians performing traditional Korean songs on the Korean Wave Express.

After a few short hours, everyone is guided to the ferry terminal for a trip to Namiseom, the site for the famous Korean Drama, Winter Sonata. Namiseom is beautiful any time of year, so no matter when one makes the trip out this way you’ll be in store for a treat. On our visit, the leaves were full of splendor and freshly cleaned by morning rain. The extra humidity in the air caused fog patches to roll throughout the mountains, creating a picture postcard wherever you looked.

Namiseom, a place for couples.

General Nami’s gravesite.

Capturing Namiseom’s beauty.

Tranquility next to the lake.

Mother Nature made sure to clean everything for her guests.

From here, guests are bussed to Chuncheon’s Myeong-dong street where they can sample the city’s most famous dish: Dalkgalbi.

Entering Chincheon’s famous Dalkgalbi Street.

Stir-frying marinated and diced chicken in a chili pepper paste-based sauce, sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions, and tteok (rice cake) together on a hot plate is why it is so popular. It also isn’t something you order for yourself. It’s best when shared between three or four friends. The way the flavors and textures blend are amazing and your taste buds will thank you for the treat. If you don’t like spicy food, have no worry, the restaurants will be happy to tone down the gochujang.

Looking for some gifts? Myeongdong has you covered!

Once finished with lunch, you’ll be able to explore a little of Chuncheon’s Myeong-dong street and pick up any souvenirs you’d like to take back with you. What ever you’re looking for, this street is sure to have it. In addition, along the street are several stalls with every imaginable kind of street food, tempting your palate – just in case you’re not already full. We even were taken to the Makguksu Museum, where we learned about the regions famous buckwheat noodles and had the opportunity to make it ourselves.

Using a press to form the buckwheat noodles.

The last stop on our trip was a visit to Kim Yu Jeong’s House of Literature. Kim called Chuncheon home and was one of Korea’s most prolific writers. In fact, many Koreans still read his books in school. He wrote stories about his life and that of life in the rural areas of Gangwondo. The home is humble and offers a great look into the past. The ride back to Seoul starts from the nearby Kim Yu Jeong Station – the only train/subway station in Korea named after a person.

A welcoming pond rests before the house of Kim Yu Jeong.

A boy plays with one of the statues at the house.

The trips provided are fun and well organized, but as with all tours, don’t allow for a lot of flexibility. When traveling with the KORAIL Tourism Development group, you will be on a strict timetable that must be followed. Failing to do so could result in being left behind – something that no one wants.

Of the four tour packages listed above and on the website, which one would you like to take? If you’ve been on a KORAIL Tour what was your experience?

Information:

Web: http://www.korailtravel.com

Tel : +82-2-2084-7744

Fax : +82-2-2084-7719

Email : Tour@korailtravel.com

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About the Author

Steve Miller

Steve Miller, the QiRanger, is Korea’s best-known travel video blogger-journalist. His videos have been viewed by millions and seen on media outlets in throughout the word. In addition to sharing his entertaining and informative videos, he writes about life abroad and releases a popular podcast. Steve appears regularly on international radio stations, talking about travel, Korean culture and East Asian news. He’s also appeared on Arirang Television sharing unique aspects of Korean life. You can follow Steve on Twitter @QiRanger or visit his site QiRanger.com.