Exploring Korea: Fall in love with Chuncheon

Ginkgo trees on Nami Island (Credit: Cayly Warner)
Ginkgo trees on Nami Island (Credit: Cayly Warner)

Exploring Korea: Fall in love with Chuncheon

Korea Tourism Organization

As the season is changing, so to do the ideal holiday spots. The sizzling beaches of Busan are just not as enticing in fall. Chuncheon, the capital of Gangwon-do, is an ideal fall getaway. The trip is suitable for a day trip from Seoul or an overnight stay. The fall months see an average day time temperature of 20 degree Celsius in October and 11 degrees Celsius in November.

 

Dakgalbi

Chuncheon is well know as being a lake side city with a lot of delicious food. You might have heard of dakgalbi. Dakgalbi is Chuncheon’s speciality. Starting your day off with a steaming hot bowl of dakgalbi is how every trip to Chuncheon should begin. There is a huge selection of eateries to choose from in the city. In fact, there is a whole street called Dakgalbi Street.

This warm and hearty dish consists of marinated chicken, glass noodles, sweet potatoes, scallions, carrots, cabbage, tteok (rice cake) and a spicy sauce. Many restaurants in the city have the black grill plates built in to the table. The food is served raw and cooked on the grill plate at your table. When it is ready to eat, you can enjoy it with rice or wrap some of it up in a bite sized perilla leaf. This is a beloved dish in the province and is celebrated every year with a dakgalbi festival.

Nami Island


Nami Island (Credit: Cayly Warner)

Once you have feasted, you can head outdoors to enjoy the crisp air. There are many beautiful outdoor spaces to visit in the area. The famous Nami Island is a hotspot for those wanting to see rows and rows of the Ginkgo trees decked out in their bright yellow leaves. When a gush of wind blows, leaves come falling down, which is perfect for those wanting an Instagram worthy photo of raining leaves. The island is a boat ride away from the main land. The island is a lovely place to take a walk and enjoy nature.

 

Nami Island

  • Address: 1 Namisum-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 춘천시 남산면 남이섬길 1)
  • Admission: Adults 13,000 won / Teenagers 10,000 won / Elementary school students & younger 7,000 won
    * Free admission: Preschoolers (ages 3 & younger)
  • Parking Fees: Small cars 6,000 won / Large cars 10,000 won
  • Inquiries: +82 31-580-8114
  • Website: www.namisum.com

 

Happy Meadow Ranch

 

Happy Meadow ranch is a great spot to visit during any season, but I think fall is the best time. The meadow is large and more enjoyable without the sweltering heat. You can meander the calm grounds, feed the farm animals and breathe in fresh air. Some visitors have even gone as far as to call it the “Alps of Chuncheon”.


Happy Meadow Ranch (Credit: Cayly Warner)

The entrance fee of 5,000 is well worth it as you can see a picturesque landscape, feed some animals, admire flowers and even fall gourds. If you are visiting with kids, they will especially love the bunnies and sheep. You can buy some feed at the entrance to give to the animals. Those with energy should walk up the mountainside to find the best view of all. You will pass by many sheep on the way, so beware of the sheep poop. The view from the top is of the river in between mountains. There are sign posts that will guide you along the way. You can easily spend a good couple of hours on the ranch. They have an onsite restaurant with a few simple items. The hanu (Korean beef) burger is tasty.

Happy Meadow Ranch

  • Address: 330-48, Chunhwa-ro, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 춘천시 사북면 춘화로 330-48)
  • Operating hours: Winter 10:00-17:00 / Summer 10:00-19:00
  • Inquiries: +82-33-244-0122
  • Website: happy-chowon.imweb.me

 

Gamza Batt Café


Gamza Batt café (Credit: Cayly Warner)

If you can hang on a bit longer for a snack, then you can visit Gamza Batt cafe and try the potato bread. Gamja is the Korean word for potato and Chuncheon is also famous for its potatos. The cute bread is shaped like a potato and even has the same coloring. The cafe has a lovely flower garden at the back where you can sit and enjoy a coffee and a potato bread (or many other items off the menu).

 

These little potato breads are selling like hot cakes (or hot potatoes) and have travelers coming all the way from Seoul especially for them. The popularity has resulted in the café selling the potato bread online through Market Kurly. The bread has a chewy exterior with a soft mousse-like interior. Gamza Batt makes their bread from red potatoes harvested by young farmers in the province.

 

Gamza Batt

  • Address: 674, Sinsaembat-ro, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 춘천시 신북읍 신샘밭로 674)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 11 or 12 from Chuncheon Station Transfer Center Bus Stop to Sangcheon Elementary School Bus Stop
    * Alternatively, take a taxi for approx. 15 min from Chuncheon Station or 20 min from Chuncheon Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: 10:00-20:30
  • Instagram

 

More Info

  • SeoulChuncheon:
    - ITX Train: Sangbong Station → Chuncheon Station (Travel time: 1 hr 24 min)
    - Intercity Bus: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Chuncheon Bus Terminal (Travel time: 1 hr 40 min)
  • Guest writer: Cayly Warner of Byrd and Bean
  • Instagram
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

 

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