Suwon is the only remaining completely walled city in South Korea. How amazing is that? When I read about this, I just so much wanted to explore the city and experience what it was like to be inside fortress walls and how the outside world looks like from the strategic gates and posts.
Myeongdong to Suwon
Take train from Myeongdong station to Geumjong station (19 stops). Transfer to the Violet line for Suwon station (6 stops). Travel time: 1 hr, 6 minutes. Fare: KRW1950 ~ Php88.
Take Suwon Station exit 7, cross the street, go right. Take bus no. 2-2, 7-2, 60, 400-4, or 700-2. Get off at Changnyongmun Gate /Yeonmudae bus stop. (Entrance fee: KRW1,000~Php50)
We planned to visit the palace on the movie series “Love in the Moonlight” so we included Suwon in our itinerary but Suwon has so much more than the movie shooting sites. How the city has preserved a rich culture and its structures as remnants of what was once called the Joseon Dynasty just amazes me.
My wish to explore Suwon was granted when I got helplessly lost for the first time as I discovered too late that we need to press the red button beside our bus seats to notify the driver we are alighting at the next bus stop. First timer problems!
We passed by around 5 bus stops from Yeonmudae, our intended bus stop, before we finally successfully alighted so we had no idea where in the map we were. We didn’t have Wifi for online navigation. Just imagine how we felt as we just continued walking back trying to trace our bus’ route in a place with no English signs and no English-speaking people.
I tried so hard to ask in Korean but they only responded with a shrug or the two palms of their hands. Ouch!
All I needed to say was the “Yeonmudae?” before they point us to the direction we should be walking.
We enjoyed walking the city streets and along the fortress walls while finding our way in the outskirts with very few people around until we reached our intended destination for the Archery experience.
Getting lost in Suwon consumed too much of our time in the morning that we were not able to visit Hwaseong Haenggung, the palace we intended to visit in Suwon after doing the Korean archery.
We nevertheless enjoyed rather than panicked when we got lost as we got to explore more of the laid-back city unintentionally and interact with the locals when we asked for directions. We could not stop getting amazed with what is known as the Hwaseong Fortress as we walked around.
Suwon to Insadong
Take the train from Suwon station to Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Violet Line, 26 stops, Travel time: 1hr 11 minutes). Transfer to the Orange line for Anguk station (1 stop, Travel time: 2 minutes, Total Fare: KRW1950~Php100). Take Exit 6.
We then visited Insadong for the famous Dragon’s beard (Kkul-tarae) which just tastes so good. It was quite a walk from the corner of the street near the train station and we had to ask the Tourist Information Center and the locals “Kkul-tarae?” for us to know if we are in the right street and direction.
Insadong has several alleys with a variety of food and souvenir items. We came for the Dragon’s beard (Kkultarae) and it didn’t disappoint. It was worth our walk. 😊
Insadong to Myeongdong
Take the train from Anguk station to Chungmuro station (3 stops, Travel time: 5 minutes). Transfer to the Blue line for Myeongdong station (1 stop, Travel time: 1 minute, Total fare: KRW1250~Php57)
We headed back to our Airbnb house to rest before leaving for Incheon Airport.
This day culminated my South Korea winter trip. My snow adventures and activities on the first couple of days sure got me really excited but just walking around the laid-back city of Suwon just had me awestruck.
I left the country feeling more amazed than I was on my first trip. South Korea just became more special to me. I have a feeling you’ll feel the same way, too, when you visit the Land of the Morning Calm. 🙂
|South Korea Itinerary|
|On Conversion: KRW1000 ~ Php50|
|On Time Zone: GMT + 9 (Korean Time is 1 hour advanced compared to Philippine Time, e.g. 7 am in KR is 6 am in PH)|
|Day 3||SUWON, HWASEONG FORTRESS, HAENGGUNG PALACE and KOREAN ARCHERY|
|6:00 AM||Eat free breakfast by 6am (5am PH time) to be sure to arrive by 9 – 10 am at Suwon (The only remaining walled city in South Korea)|
|7:00 AM||Check out and leave Myeongdong. Leave things at Airbnb house lobby.|
|Take the train from Myeongdong station to Geumjeong station (Blue line, 19 stops, Travel time: 45 minutes). Transfer to the Violet Line at Geumjeong station for Suwon station (6 stops, Travel time: 19 minutes). Total Fare: KRW1950~Php100|
|8:30 AM||Take Suwon station exit 7, cross the street, go right. Take bus no. 2-2, 7-2, 60, 400-4, or 700-2. Get off at Changnyongmun Gate /Yeonmudae bus stop. (Entrance fee: KRW1,000~Php50)|
|9:00 AM||Try the traditional Korean archery (KRW2,000~Php100 for 10 arrows including basic lessons) at the Yeonmudae post.|
|9:30 AM||Roam around the fortress. Be sure to visit the Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung Palace (Jewel in the Palace and Love in the Moonlight palace shooting site). Visit the bronze statue of the late King Jeongjo and the Hwaseong Haenggung Square near the palace.|
|11:00 AM||Walk towards the Paldalmun gate in the fortress. Take lunch. (~KRW10k)|
|1:00 PM||Take the train from Suwon station to Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Violet Line, 26 stops, Travel time: 1hr 11 minutes). Transfer to the Orange line for Anguk station (1 stop, Travel time: 2 minutes, Total Fare: KRW1950~Php100). Take Exit 6.|
|2:30 PM||Stroll around Insadong.|
|4:00 PM||Head back to Airbnb house. Take the train from Anguk station to Chungmuro station (3 stops, Travel time: 5 minutes). Transfer to the Blue line for Myeongdong station (1 stop, Travel time: 1 minute, Total fare: KRW1250~Php57)|
|Rest. Leave for airport.|
|5:15 PM||Take train from Myeongdong station to Seoul sation (2 stops). Transfer to the Airport Line to Incheon Airport station (12 stops). Travel time: 1 hr 10 minutes, Discounted total fare on T-money Card: KRW4150 ~ Php190|
|7:00 PM||Check in at Incheon airport. Clear immigration. Dinner. (~KRW10k)|
|10:15 PM||ETD to Cebu Mactan Airport.|
|Estimated Expenses: P2,000.00|
South Korea Trip Notes
Navigate easily around South Korea using their subway by downloading the Subway Korea app.
We already paid for our air fare, accommodation, and tour package before we traveled for this trip. See complete list below. Click each highlighted item to book or know the details.
3 nights in Myeongdong, Seoul at Namsan Hostel
Tour Package on Day 2
Strawberry Picking, Yangpyeong Rail Bike, and Vivaldi Park Ski Resort Tour Package via Trazy
Cebu to Incheon to Cebu via Cebu Pacific
The following will also be essential for your DIY itinerary.
- Google Maps for real time navigation would be very useful.
- You’ll be surprised how easy it is to learn Hangeul (a self-study will do!). No frills, one character – one pronunciation (just like Tagalog and so unlike English). The exciting part is familiarizing the characters and their matching pronunciations.
- That said, it would be more helpful if you at least know how to read Hangeul to be able to read the signs. Well, even if you don’t, you’ll still surely enjoy South Korea. 🙂
Travel Tips From Yours Truly
Natasha was a full-time banker who got to take a breather when she traveled. She loves the outdoors so much. She is currently in the UK pursuing postgraduate studies!