Day Trip From Seoul to Gangneung on the KTX
This weekend I was alone in Seoul because my boyfriend took a solo celebration trip for completing his military service and finally being free! Hooray! That left me with a three day weekend to explore, and I did.
I started early on Saturday morning when I hopped on the KTX to Gangneung. This is a relatively new route so tickets can sell out pretty quickly if you want to leave from Seoul Station. The trick is to leave from Cheongnyangri Station in the eastern part of Seoul. I fell asleep for the two hour ride and woke up in a city on the coast.
My first stop was Kaffe Kiwa, a little hanok cafe halfway to the beaches.
Hours: Everyday 10:00am - 10:30pm
Address: 15 Chodangwon-gil 54beon-gil, Chodang-dong
After a chocolate chip banana pound cake for breakfast (I'm wild!) and some peppermint tea, I walked about 20 minutes to a bus stop only to just miss the bus. Rather than wait another 30 minutes for it to come again, I hailed a taxi and spent 5,000won to get to the beach.
I headed to Gyeongpo Beach where I learned why Gangreung is called the Pine City. There were pine trees everywhere! Right into the sand even! It was magical and reminded me a lot of the torrey pines that are near my home in San Diego.
The water ended up being so rough because of a typhoon that just missed us, that the lifeguards werent letting anyone in the water. I stood and watched the buoys and rocks get tossed around for a while and then got on another bus heading inland again.
I took the 202-1 (you could also take 312) bus to Seongyojang, an old residence that was actually the largest house that wasn't a palace during its heyday. The very, very wealthy man that lived there was apparently a really great guy, and opened his house to any artist or poet traveling through the area. They say that because of his humility and generosity, the house stayed in such good condition all these hundreds of years. You can also stay overnight in some of the rooms which sounds amazing! It's 5,000won to explore the grounds!
Hours: Everyday 9am-5pm
Address: 63 Unjeong-gil, Gyeongpo-dong, Gangneung, Gangwon-do
I spent the rest of my day wandering around the downtown area of Gangneung. I checked out the Jungang Market (the lines for food were way too long but it looked so good!)
I also stopped at cafe Owol which was unfortunately already full (but beautiful!) and then Bon Bon Roasters (in Korean its bong-bong-bang-at-gan which I think is so fun. I sat in the cozy cafe filled with illustrations and knickknacks until it was time to get back on the train. The staff were so nice, I highly recommend stopping in!
Hours: 11am-9pm, closed Tuesdays
Bon Bon Roasters
Hours: 11am - 9pm, closed Mondays, Sunday is 11am-6pm
ddress: 17-1 Gyeonggang-ro 2024beon-gil, Myeongju-dong, Gangneung, Gangwon-do