east coast

Railbikin' It in Samcheok

Not many would know what to do with a set of abandoned railroad tracks, useless mountain tunnels, and a stretch of coastal scenery.  Yet, the folks in Samcheok, a city located on the eastern coast of Korea, found themselves with these seemingly purposeless components and turned them into a clever tourist destination.  Leave it to the Koreans to create something from nothing.  

The Samcheok Ocean Railbike offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the beautiful vistas of Korea's eastern shoreline and the East Sea (or, to the rest of the world, The Sea of Japan).  My friend Marie and I were scheduled to take a ride on the railbikes while filming "Railroads" for Arirang TV's "Top 10 Korea" last month.

East Coast: DMZ North Korea Goseong Unification Observatory

This is probably the best view you can get of North Korea if like me you're too much of a wuss to go in on an organized tour.


East Coast: Naksan Temple

Over at the east coast there's a great selection of places to visit. Among these is Naksan Temple. It's set on the edge of the ocean near to Yangyang. There's fantastic architecture combined  great views out to sea. Walking around the temple with the fresh sea breeze feels great. It's the kind of tranquility that you just don't find in Seoul.
 
 
 


East Coast: Where to Stay.

When visiting the east coast it can be difficult to choose where you want to stay.

There are many independantly run pensions, which are similar to a bed and breakfasts. You can check out some of the pensions online through a google search. Or you can check this list of Gangwon-do Pensions.

If you are looking for somewhere with more facilities or more luxurious then there a number of hotels in the area too.

East Coast: Getting There & Away.

Yesterday in Korea was the national holdiday Chuseok. It's similar to Thanksgiving or so I'm told. Being British I couldn't really tell you if that's right or not. What I can tell you is that usually entitles everyone to a long weekend. This year I was lucky to have a five day weekend! I decided to go on a roadtrip to explore some of the east coast of Korea.

Since traffic is notoriously bad here, especially on holidays, my partner in crime, Steve, made me wake up at some unearthly hour but apart from that the whole trip was so much fun.

Here is us on the road with all the 'notoriously' bad traffic.

Destination: Ojukheon black bamboo forest / Gangneung city museum (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)

Gangwon-do’s east coast is full of tourist attractions – beyond the numerous beaches, I was delighted to learn of this place from Kiwi. Take a close look at this guy’s face, then stare at the 5,000 won bill (about $4.63 USD). It’s the same guy: Yulgok Yi Yi (율곡이이). Take a look for yourself (and note the black bamboo on the front):


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