Gangneung South Korea

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Description: Open source travel guide to Gangneung, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.

Gangneung (강릉) [1] is the largest coastal city in Gangwon Province, third largest overall. It is nestled at the east side of South Korea's longest mountain range, Taebaek. The Taebaek Mountains stretch along the eastern edge of Korean Penninsula and run along the East Sea. Geologically isolated from most parts of the country, Gangneung was able to preserve its own distinct culture and to date it has a tendency of being politically and culturally more conservative.

Tourist information office [2]. Gangneung-si Hongje-dong 992-3 (behind the bus terminal). Tel: +82-33-1330 / +82-33-640-4414, 4531 (English, Japanese, Chinese). Open all year round 08:30

18:00. Provides maps, guide books and bus schedules for the main attractions (English, Japanese, Chinese).

Gangneung Bus Terminal connects Gangneung to all major cities in Korea. Gangneung is a popular weekend destination during the summer for Koreans living in the capital area. There is only one expressway that connects Gangneung to Seoul. Consequently, traffic gets very heavy coming in on Fridays and leaving on Sundays. Here you can find the main tourist information centre (TIC).

Gangneung Station is the terminus for the Dong Hae line of Korail. There are 4 trains daily that connect directly to Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul, but it takes a circuitous but very pittoresque route through the mountains of Wonju and Taebaek and takes a 5:30 hours drive. A tourist information booth is in front of the station.

Downtown Gangneung is not very big. One can cross downtown on foot in 15 minutes. Getting to other popular areas will take less than 15 minutes by taxi from downtown.

The public bus system is good. Most signs on the buses do not have English. Sometimes one bus number will have two routes; be careful, particularly if boarding near the bus terminal. Fare is a flat 1,200 won for city routes when you pay cash and 1,080 won when you use T-money.

Most bicycle shops sell second hand bicycles starting at about 50,000. You can buy one and sell it back to the shop for about 50% of purchase price.

  • Gyeongpo Wetland Ecological Park, 경포생태습지공원 - a park to preserve and restore the ecosystem around Gyeongpo. This park helps lower the salt content of the water and maintains water flow in Gyeongpoho lake. Includes a facility to observe the wetland ecology. (In the Gyeongpo Area)
  • Gyeongpo Beach 경포해변 is located 6 km north from the centre of the city. It is a beautiful beach of white sands, perfect for swimming and even fishing. Restaurants around the beach offer fresh fish specialities. Numerous festivals take place at this site. Next to the beach there are many cultural sites. It is the third most visited beach in Korea, and as such is very crowded during the summer. To avoid crowds, go to the beaches just north or south. They offer the same beach conditions, but are far less crowded. 033-640-5129. (In the Gyeongpo Area)
  • Old Daegwallyeong Pass 대관령옛길. A hiking trail. It takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes to walk down the pass, and 2 hours and 20 minutes to walk up the pass. The pass is smooth and easily accessible. 033-640-8520 2 (Daewallyeong Area)
  • Daegwallyeong Recreation Forest. 대관령 휴양림 The first artificially created forest in Korea (made in 1988). Nice views of the sea and Gangneung city. Good for relaxing. 033-641-8327. (reservation is only available on the internet) (Daewallyeong Area)
  • Sogeumgang Mountain 소금강. Nice waterfalls, cool rocks, good scenery.033-661-4161. (Jumujin area)
  • Heonhwa-ro Road 헌화로. Heonhwa-ro Road, which is about 6km long, goes along the coast. You get a nice view of the ocean as you drive. (Jeongdongjin / Okgye area)
May 7 of the lunar calendar every year, mid June): Gangwon-do's largest folk festival was registered in 2000 with UNESCO Intangible Cultural Assets. The city becomes a festive ambience with over 50 official events. The greatest attractions are the Gwanno Mask Play, open-air market with a thousand shops and splendid fireworks.
  • International Junior Art Festival. IJAF for short, is an youth festival which is held annually at Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung, South Korea for four days at the beginning of August. With 300 participants from seven nations and 500 visitors every night, it is considered the biggest international youth festival in South Korea. The festival lasts four days (1.-4. August). Each group performs twice: one performance on the main stage at Gyeongpo Beach, one performance on the sub stage next to the Gangneung Arts Hall in the city. The first evening starts with a big parade of all participants through the city towards the beach. The opening and closing ceremony includes a big fireworks at the beach. During festival days, the participating groups attend several cultural workshops. The festival is free of charge for the participating groups, entrance is free for the audience.
  • Gyeongpo Rock Festival takes place at Gyeongpo Beach right after the IJAF from 5.-9. August since 2006. This rock festival, first and foremost attracting young people, offers young Korean bands from the Gangneung area a stage for their performances.
  • Gangneung Coffee Festival is an eleven-day long annual event which began in October of 2009. Gangneung has recently been called 'Coffee City' due to the emergence of privately owned coffee shops that serve high quality coffee.

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