What To Do When You’re At Gangwon-do

By Elie - 10:48 AM

Pack your bags, we’re off to Gangwon-do...is what I would say if I could grab a few days (or weeks) away from work at this point. And it’s not hard to see why, because every k-drama or k-pop fan would probably know by now that it’s the prime area to live out your oppa dreams. Not into any of those? Gangwon's still got you.

Simply beautiful through every season

First thing’s first, where is Gangwon or Gangwon-do per se? Located at the northeastern corners of South Korea, the Gangwon province is an area that’s slightly off the beaten track for tourists. But this doesn’t mean it’s bad in any way - in fact most of Gangwon is still filled with lush greenery, lots of mountains, and gorgeous views along the way. It’s the perfect place to be if you’re done with the sights of skyscrapers that all look the same. Now let’s talk about what to do.

Stop 1: Nami Island

Nami Island is undoubtedly the most popular attraction to Gangwon and the OG k-drama fans would already have the theme song playing in their head. That’s right, Nami Island is where they filmed the drama that propelled the k-drama industry into the high heavens, Winter Sonata.

Like check out this unbelievable sight!

Picture this, walking down the same roads that Bae Yong-jun and Choi Ji-woo did? Or making your baby snow couple like they did? Sign my mum and I right up! Fun fact: My mum and I used to sneakily watch Winter Sonata right into the wee hours of the day after my dad had gone to bed.

Adrenaline-rushers ahoy!

Not a fan of k-drama? Nami Island also has exhilarating activities like an 80-meter high zipwire, so it’s okay if you’re not into the oppa dream. The iconic island itself is easily reachable by bus or train, or you could always rely on the friendly folks from Sedunia Travel to help plan your travels out. Easy and fuss-free!

Stop 2: Gangneung

Now you probably wouldn’t be able to find Gong Yoo or Kim Go-eun waiting here, but that shouldn’t stop you from dropping by Gangneung. Popular for its sandy-beaches and endless outdoor activities, this laid-back town can be categorized as the “must visit” for every Korean pilgrimage.

Be sure to pack your red scarves because if you know, you know!

For the hardcore fans, Yeongjin Beach is where you can reenact the iconic Goblin scene while the bus stop at Hyangho Beach is the place to be to fulfill your BTS dreams. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you’re with a huge group of friends, especially since you’ll then be able to grab a group picture at THE BTS bus stop.

Yeah, it's THE bus stop!

Getting yourself to Gangneung only requires a quick taxi ride and the fresh seafood you can enjoy at the tiny city makes it all worthwhile. For the coffee lovers, don’t forget to pop into the Anmok Cafe Street to be spoiled by over 40 cafes waiting. By then the only thing you need to think about is which cafe you’ll want to step into for a caffeine fix. Good luck!

Stop 3: Alpacas. Alpacas. Alpacas.

Two words - fluffy alpacas. I don’t think this needs more explanation but did you know that Gangwon is actually home to the very place where you get to be up close and personal with the alpacas of Alpaca World?

Imagine even more of this cute face greeting you!

What sets Alpaca World apart from other alpaca experiences is that the animals here are allowed to roam freely in nature. Honestly, I think this is super important as it alleviates the stress from alpacas who would come in contact with humans often. So goodbye enclosures where they can’t be in their own fluffy glory and hello alpacas that can just be alpacas living their best, wooly lives.

P/S: There’s also more than just alpacas at the Alpaca World and the only way for you to find out what’s in store is to go there yourself!

Stop 4: Break out your skis, we’re going for winter sports

Okay I hear you. It’s a lot of sightseeing and stuff so far, but where’s the thrill and adrenaline and energy of Gangwon? Well then I hope you have your winter gear ready because you’re about to put yourselves in the position of the Winter Olympics athletes - not literally, just figuratively - because PyeongChang is the place you want to be.

Imagine all the snow!

Thanks to its mountainous terrains, winter sports around PyeongChang is a huge deal especially as the snow rolls in. It hosts amazing resorts for tourists, with one being the largest ski and snowboard resort of South Korea and the other sitting over 700 meters high so you’ll feel like you’re in the Alps...but in Gangwon.

Hope you're ready to ski!

You’ll also find a variety of ski resorts that offer snowboarding and ski lessons, so if getting all rolled up in the snow is your thing - then be sure to book a trip during winter or check with Sedunia Travel what they can plan out for you!

Stop 5: Eat all the food!

And finally, the food. Because of Gangwon’s strategic location, you’ll find a variety of food items that are superior and they’re just unmatched elsewhere in South Korea. One such item is the Cold Raw Fish Soup that’s usually served with a bowl of piping hot rice. You’ll find it by the port cities of Gangwon and it’s likened to sashimi with a special soup. The cold raw fish soup often comes with vegetables and a special spicy sauce and the fresh seafood is what makes it a local and tourist favourite.

A meal that's not just for your belly but also for your eyes

If fish isn’t your thing, you’ll find that Gangwon also has amazing meat dishes like the Cheoplan Dak-galbi (Spicy grilled chicken) or hanu - South Korea’s top grade beef that comes from the Gangwon province. In fact, the latter is so popular that they have a Korean beef festival around the city of Hoengseong in September or October.

So there you have it, more than enough reasons for you to book your next trip into Gangwon next. Will you be seeing me head over to fulfil my destiny of meeting my oppa? Well, maybe I’ll need to first figure out how to not bring my other half.

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