A Rainy Weekend in Pyeongchang, Korea
As the outer edges of a typhoon passed over Korea, my boyfriend and I boarded a bus bound for a town I hadn’t heard of until a few days prior. I had been wanting to spend a quiet weekend in the mountains for a while, and after finding the perfect spot on AirBnb, it was finally happening.
We took a bus from Dong-Seoul Terminal to Ungyo (운교), which is in the Pyeongchang area. It was a little under $10 per person and the ride was only supposed to be 2 hours. Our driver forgot where he was going (according to other riders, he’s done this before) so we made a 30 minute detour before arriving at our destination. We were the only people who got off at our stop, and luckily our AirBnb host was waiting at to pick us up, since the typhoon rains had picked up significantly.
I’m not used to seeing SUVs in Korea so I was a little suprised when I saw she was driving a Jeep. A few seconds into the ride, though, I figured out why. The road was barely paved and it honestly felt like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland for a few minutes until we arrived at the guesthouse. We were greeted by two of the sweetest dogs (below is Namu, who is named “tree” in Korean because his coat is the color of autumn foliage)
The house was filled with records and books so we settled in for the night with rain pounding on the roof and walls around us. My boyfriend made some kimchi jjigae (we went shopping ahead of time) and we had a quiet night of Edith Piaf and movies.
The next morning we woke up to more rain. The house had a sun room that was perfect for lounging in and watching the wind whip through the trees. We hadn’t brought any breakfast foods, so our host was nice enough to bring us jjin-bbang (steamed red bean buns) and mashed potatoes along with some milk tea for our meal. The region is actually famous for jjin-bbang so it was nice to be able to try some homemade ones!
We got a bit stir crazy around noon so we took a short walk up to the top of the hill behind our house. It was greenery as far as the eye could see. What wasn’t forest was either cabbage and pepper fields, spotted with a few farm houses here and there. The rain wasn’t letting up so we went back inside for lunch (spaghetti!) and reading.
Around 3pm the rain had finally stopped so we headed out to explore our surroundings. The dogs are so well trained that they are allowed to wander around as they pleased, and our friend Namu decided to lead us on an adventure through the forest.
We took a short hike over a hill and passed by the neighboring farm house. Our hiking party suddenly found a new member when a black lab puppy came running towards us and joined the walk. He stayed with us for a while and then headed back home, probably for food :)
We went home to get warm again and took a few more walks before sunset. We made some fried rice and my boyfriend had some samgyupsal, and called it an early night. The next morning we woke up early to clean up and make breakfast before heading to the bus station.
The town is so small that its actually impossible to buy a bus ticket online. You have to physically go to the convenience store next to the bus stop and get a ticket written for you. Going back to Seoul there were only 5 people on our huge bus!
It was a truly relaxing weekend and if you’re looking for an autumn getaway, this should be high on your list!