What I want to do in Korea: Take the train along the eastern coast

Topic: What I want to do in Korea

(If you’re interested, you can click here to read about how I decided on this topic)

Support my entry by “Liking” my photo: here

Travelling has always been my passion and when it comes to travelling, there’s 4 basic modes of transport: the airplane, the bus, the train, the boat & (by foot). As far as possible, I try my best to try all types of transport.. Well, it’s the best way to experience living like a local.. However, despite my long summer stay in Korea last year, I didn’t manage to take any railway trips. I sort of promise myself that I will visit the east coast and take the train the next time(s) I return.

I found out about this special Sea Train when I was watching a travel variety program on TV last year.

The moment I saw it, I wanted to take a ride in it.

Pictures Cr: Visit Korea 

So.. what so special about this Sea Train

It is a train which runs along the eastern coast  of South Korea, from Gangneung to Samcheok. The whole journey from one end to the other is 58km and it takes approximately 80 mins.

It’s special because all the seats face the same direction!! -> the sea!

Prices start from 12,000W (approx 14 SGD) and you can pay 50,000W for a special cabin which is very popular among couples and proposal for marriage has a very high success rate =p

Apart from that, there’s a snack bar where you can munch some snacks while enjoying the tranquility of the sea!

For more information, you can visit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1064143 or http://www.seatrain.co.kr/ if you can understand Korean.

I’m so looking forward to this in future!

Read my experience for SEA TRAIN here! (August 2013)

Here is a map if you need a sense of direction or gauge of where is where..


So.. assuming that you took the train from Gangneung to Samcheok and you’re wondering what is there to do in Samcheok.. I kind of found this attraction by chance (while googling) and it looks really awesome!

Samcheok Ocean Railbike 

Pictures Cr: http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1367569

This railbike trail brings you on a 5.4km journey on board a four-wheel bike (2 or 4pax) and every time you go through a tunnel, there will be a fantastic laser light show (according to description).

Also, it is fitted with a motor engine which will assist you during the uphill parts of the journey!!

Lazy bugs, do not worry =p

Imagine cycling through an adventure of sea breeze blowing through your hair~

then entering into tunnels after tunnels of splendid laser lights display. At the same time, you get to work out a little as you burn off those calories from those awesome Korean food you have eaten..
Now that you have satisfied your touch and sight senses, you can also smell the (scent) of pine trees in this ocean railbike adventure.

At a price of 20,000W for 2 pax or 30,000W for 4 pax, you will get to enjoy what life is truly all about ~ relaxation.

This attraction is rather new, only in its third year of operation, and you should grab the opportunity to visit it before it gets too crowded =))

If you need more information or directions of how to get to this place, you can check out this comic entry specially compiled by Samcheok Tourism Website.

It is really a good read =) http://eng.samcheok.go.kr/sub4/04_04_01.jsp

Now that I am no longer a student, the best time to go for this adventure would be during Autumn and Spring.. where it is not too hot and not too cold!

I really want to see the cherry blossoms in Spring and the falling autumn leaves in Autumn~

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Apart from the 2 things I would like to do in Eastern Korea, I discovered more gems along the way!

There’s another popular rail cycle in Jeongseon

Auraji Rail Bike

  Jeongseon Auraji Rail Bike

For More information please visit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=626405

This railway tracks were actually abandoned tracks (transported coal in the past) which was given a new face lift and developed into a slightly more challenging journey of 7.2km (Samcheok was only 5.4km).
Despite the long distance, most parts of the journey actually goes downhill!

Along the journey on the Sea Train from Gangneung to Samcheok, there’s a place you shouldn’t give it a miss! Jeongdongjin (Train) Station.

Image from wikepedia.

This Station is in the Guinness Book of Record for being the world’s closest station to the beach!

Apart from this world record, it is also a popular filming spot for Korean Dramas!

One of which would be the popular drama, Autumn in my Heart (one of the pioneer dramas to K-wave)!

If you’re interested, other filming information in Samcheok can be seen here and here!
(I’m seriously impressed at their tourism website for providing so much information)

There’s also this ultra huge iconic 8-metre diameter  (probably the world’s largest) hourglass at Hourglass park.

This place is voted as one of the popular hangout spots for couples!!

 

Pic Cr: here

But.. the best thing about this place is if you can wake up early enough to catch the sunrise in the morning!

I’ve read many reviews exclaiming on how beautiful the sun rise is!

For the best view you should visit at Sunrise Park and many Koreans will flock there on New year’s eve to witness the first light of the new year~

Cr: http://asiaenglish.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1798461

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Transportation details

Since I plan to visit the places one day, I’ve decided to start planning my itinerary!

Transport from Seoul:

1. Bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Subway Line 2, Exit 4)
Travelling time approx 3hr 20 mins.
Price: 12600~18400W 

Information from http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_1_3_1_1.jsp

(Just a random finding, correct me if I’m wrong.. If you are travelling to eastern cities, you will have to go to “Dong” (East) bus terminal. and you will go to “Nambu” (South) bus terminal for southern cities. I only realised this after I came back from Korea but I have no chance to verify it yet.. hahaha.)

2. By rail from Cheongnyangni Station (Subway Line 1,Jungang Line Exit 1/4)
Travelling time approx 6hr
Price: TBC
TIP: you can take the 10:40pm train and reach Gangneung just in time to view the sunrise! Recommended for people with very tight itineraries or day trips!

So after you visit Gangneung –> Samcheok, you can take the train and drop by Taebaek.

(In the process of researching for Taebaek’s attractions)

Then you proceed by going down to Andong and then Gyeongju + Pohang and Busan.

Andong 

Check out my Andong experiences back in Summer 2011: Day 1 Day 2 (Andong City Tour) 

Highlights of Andong: jjimdak (spicy chicken) & Traditional Korean Mask & Dance

Gyeongju + (my all time favourite) Pohang

3D2N Adventure

Tombs of the Shilla Dynasty+ my lovely seafood dinner by the beach

Busan

Awesome place for fresh seafood + Beach + Fireworks (If you visit at the right time)

You can have fun from the Day to the Night!!

 

& of course, fall in love with Busan.

Day 1 Busan Day 2 Busan Day 3 Busan 


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Yes I do love korea for kpop+kfood.. but there’s so much more to korea than just kpop+kfood..

I sincerely hope that I will be given a chance to visit Korea again and of course meet fellow v/bloggers and continue to blog and share about the wonders of Korea =)

Do check out for updates as I continue to add on to my list of places to visit when I’m there!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try my best to help you out if possible (:

Wish me good luck (:

 

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  • Hi,

    may I know where is Dong Seoul Bus Terminal ?
    Is it at gangbyeon subway station?? can you enlighted me as I wana go to Samcheok from seoul but not sure how is so complicated >.< haha..

    Thanks in adv.

  • Hi, I can’t seem to find any direct transportation between Sokcho (will be touring Seoraksan) and Ganneung or Samcheock. I thought of visitng these places you mentioned after or before my tour in Seoraksan, whichever is easier. I thought it makes more sens than to return to Seoul and travel to the east agan.

  • Hi there!

    May I know how can we get from Samcheok to Busan? Do you think it’s advisable for us to lug our luggage? We would be from Seoul.

    – Fellow Singaporean

    • Hi there =)

      You can refer to this link to get transportation help between cities.

      http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/TR/TR_EN_5_1_3_1_2.jsp

      If I’m not wrong the journey is about 6 hours which is pretty long by bus =/

      Actually, why do you want to visit Samcheok? I’ve been there and to be honest, I don’t think that place is ready for foreign crowd.. the public bus timings were very bad and attractions were all far from the main city..

    • Also, if you would like to take the train, you would have to take a bus from samcheok to donghae. and then it will be an approximately 7 hours train ride from donghae to busan.

      You can check for train availability and korail’s english website.

      http://www.korail.com/en/rv/pr21100/w_pr21110.jsp

      Also, I wouldn’t advise on bringing the big luggage to go all over the place. It is kind of inconvenient and if you were to be staying in guesthouse and motels which usually don’t have lifts. If it is really necessary, a backpack will be better.

      For myself, I usually deposit my luggage at my guesthouse back in Seoul as it is usually my starting and ending point for my random Korea travel.

      • Im keen in taking the sea train and seeing the sunset! So i thought it wld be good if i can droo by on my way from seoul to busan though it sounds inconvenient :/

        Wld it be worth it? What do you advise?

        • Hmm, do you have a korean friend to assist you in sea train’s payment? money has to be made to a korean account.

          How’s your knowledge of Korean too? in these more rural areas, english would really be difficult for them..

          Well, actually the east coast is quite an inconvenient place because it is very hilly and the public transport is not as developed as other areas.

          I guess 6 hours from Samcheok to Busan has to be necessary because there’s almost no where else to go after Samcheok.. There’s Andong and Gyeongju too which is on the way to Busan. I’ve been to both places before. It’s more touristy friendly compared to Sam Cheok and visiting these places can help to break up the 6 hours bus ride too.

  • hi there,

    it’s very useful info here. i’m planing to go to Korea in late August. my first plan was only in Seoul, Andong and Busan, but when i saw sea train and bike rail in Samcheok, i think i’ll change my mind. what is the easy way to travel from Samcheok to Andong, is it by train or bus?
    Can i start from Seoul – sea train – rail bike in a day trip? Then take a bus or train to Andong. or do i have to stay over night somewhere in between.
    i’m sorry if i ask sort of silly question. Thank you for writing such a great blog 🙂
    KAte

    • Hi KAte,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I’ve found some information here which could help you: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-north-east-asia/topics/bus-from-andong-to-samcheok

      Samcheok is a rather small city and I don’t think there is a direct bus to Andong. I think the best way would be to take a bus to either Donghae or Taebaek (larger cities), and then take the train or bus to Andong.

      It would be good if you have time to stay one night at the eastern coast of korea. it is a beautiful place.

      Otherwise, if you’re rushing for time, you can take the night train from Seoul to gangneung/jeongdongjin, then catch the first sea train down to samcheok, then go for rail biking (have to take the infrequent public bus), and then make your way to andong. This would be tiring but you will be able to save time!

      Also, do remember to pre-book your sea train and rail bike (you will need someone living in korea to help with the payment) as it is likely to be sold out as summer is their peak season.

      Hope this information helps 🙂

  • Greetings,
    I am not to sure if this comment would find you well but i hope it does (desite it being years later than when the post was made). But, i see that it is advisable to make a reservaion for the Samcheok Rail Bike. However, their website is all in korean, and i don’t understand korean. Is there any other way i am able to make a reservation for it? I don’t want to head down, only to be disappointed.

    Cheers mate

  • Hi,

    Thank you very much for the informative infornation. A friend and I are going to Seoul this april, then Gangneung and Samcheok and then return to Seoul.

    This sea train looks amazing! I think we should try that!!

    I can not wait… It’s my second time in Korea after my adoption. Last time was in 2004.
    Best regards
    Mia

    • Hi Mia!

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      I really love the eastern coast of Korea. It is really beautiful and I’m sure you will enjoy it! Also, I read that there’s a new rail biking route open up along the railway tracks by the beach. Do check it out when you are there. Looking forward to hear from you after your trip =)

      • Hi again,

        Thank you very much for your reply.

        I am about to reserve the hotel. Can it be that there are not many hotels in samcheok…? The one i’ve found is in Donghae, 26 km from Samcheok..
        Is it easy to come from Danonghae to Samcheok. I found a beach hotel i samcheok but does not look that great…😳.
        Where have you stayed if you have visited Samcheok?
        I hope to hear from you – thanks.
        Best regards
        Mia

        • Hello, I’m not sure if you read my posting on my experience here – https://www.flyhoneystars.com/2013/08/25/coast-of-korea-beauty-of-the-eastern-sea/

          For the 2 nights that I stayed (one in Jeongdongjin and the other in Samcheok), we did not make any reservations for the motels. We simply walked around the area, asked for prices and viewed the room before confirming.
          Do note that the rooms we stayed in were pretty basic and the price can range from 40,000W to 70,000W depending on factors like the distance to the train station or bus terminal.
          I’m not sure but perhaps you can try airbnb to source for something too?

          I have not visited Donghae so I can’t advise much on it.