The reed fields of Suncheonman Bay are breathtaking, while a night at one of the old, traditional thatched houses in the Naganeupseong village can be great fun. There are dozens of things to do, but what’s the priority? Here’re some suggestions from Korea.net for your trip to Suncheon.

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If you want to enjoy silence and self-contemplation ▶ Seonamsa Temple & Songgwangsa Temple

For those of you who want to take some time, enjoy the silence and rest, temples deep inside the mountains are the right choice. A trip to Seonamsa Temple in March will overwhelm you with the fully-bloomed apricot flowers. On the other hand, a trip in May would allow you to enjoy the greenery and is equally charming. Spending a night at the Wild Tea House near Seonamsa Temple is the cherry on the cake. The silence, with no Internet connection or TV, might be awkward at first, but observing the stars on a clear night will never make you bored.

If you like animals ▶ Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park & Suncheon Bay National Garden

Suncheonman Bay in the winter provides a rare opportunity to see thousands of migratory birds, including hooded cranes and swans. Visitors can get to the Suncheon Bay National Garden by taking a small people mover, the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, from Suncheonman Bay. There are even some flocks of migratory birds, like swans and mallards, that have decided to settle there. These birds are found in the front pond at the Suncheon International Wetlands Center, inside the national garden.

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A black swan (Cygnus atratus) swims in the pond at the Suncheon Bay National Garden.

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The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system connects the national garden and Suncheonman Bay.

If you’re going with friends ▶ Suncheon Open Film Location & Naganeupseong Fortress and village

Trying on old-time school uniforms and taking pictures against replica film sets from the ’70s and ’80s is one of the best things to do during a trip to Suncheon. Or you could spend a night with your friends in a thatched house in the village near the Naganeupseong Fortress. Though the houses seem traditional and old, modern facilities are all included, from the shower and cooling/ heating system through to Internet access.

If you don’t drive ▶ Suncheon City Tour

For those who don’t drive, the Suncheon City Tour bus is a convenient way to see the city. Five different routes, including one to Seonamsa Temple and a Night Tour, are prepared for no-car tourists.

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Visitors try on old fashioned school uniforms and take a picture at the Suncheon Open Film Location, an outdoor movie studio.

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Some of the thatched houses in the village at the Naganeupseong Fortress allow tourists to stay overnight.

The city government has two recommended overnight trips.

Trip One

Day One: Suncheon Bay National Garden – Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park – Songgwangsa Temple – Goindol Dolmen Park. Day Two: Suncheon Open Film Location – Seonamsa Temple – Naganeupseong Fortress.

Trip Two

Day One: Suncheon Open Film Location – Suncheon Bay National Garden – Suncheonman Ecological Park. Day Two: Downtown Suncheon – Naganeupseong Fortress – Songgwangsa Temple – Seonamsa Temple.

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How to get to Suncheon

▶ By train
Yongsan Station – Suncheon Station. About 3 hours.
Ticket reservation at Let’s Korail (http://www.letskorail.com/).

▶By bus
Central City Terminal – Suncheon Terminal. About 4 hours, one bus every 30 minutes.
Dong Seoul Terminal – Suncheon Terminal. About 4 hours, four trips per day.
Busan Terminal – Suncheon Terminal. About 2 hours and 30 minutes, one bus every two hours.

▶By car
From Seoul: Gyeongbu Expressway – Nonsan–Cheonan Expressway – Honam Expressway – Iksan–Pohang Expressway – Suncheon–Jeonju Expressway – Namhae Expressway – West Suncheon IC. About 4 hours.
From Busan: Namhae Expressway – West Suncheon IC. About 2 hours and 30 minutes.

By Chang Iou-chung
Photos: Jeon Han
Korea.net Staff Writers
[email protected]