Gangwondo (Gangwon-do or Gangwon Province) is a beautiful and mountainous province in the eastern part of South Korea. It is one of the top summer and holiday destinations not only among locals but also international travelers.
Gangwondo's northern part is a boundary between South Korea and North Korea. Due to the spectacular surroundings and cooler temperature during winter, many events have been hosted by the local government.
Such events include the Pyeongchang County of Gangwondo hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics.
Gangwondo is fantastic for traveling and exploration. Aside from its beautiful and famous mountains and peaks, it also offers various resources for leisure and relaxation sites and facilities.
You explore its heritage (e.g., Bell of Sangwonsa, Seated Iron Vairocana Buddha), museums (e.g., Chuncheon National Museum, Taebaek Coal Museum), festivals, food, parks, and natural monuments.
I have been to various places in Gangwondo before but didn't take pictures in many areas. Now, I have to go back and take pictures and record my itinerary and share my experiences here with you.
I will keep on updating this page every time I visit a site or place with information and photos. It means that this is a 'living' article about Gangwondo's travel attractions and destinations.
Right, let me proceed with the places I've been and finish the page with future sites for updates...
Seoraksan National Park
Everyone knows about Seoraksan. It is one of the most famous and spectacular national parks in the country. By the way, Seoraksan is a UNESCO Biosphere Protected site.
Seoraksan is quite unique and various due to its features. It has valleys and rivers, strange rock formations, ancient Buddhist temples, waterfalls, animals (e.g., Half-moon Collared Bear), among many exciting features.
I have been to some of its famous places, but I admit that I still have a long road to cover to see most of Seoraksan's beautiful sights. Please, see my page here about Seoraksan.
Chiaksan National Park
Chiaksan National Park is also a mountainous but scenic park in Gangwon Province. The name 'Chiaksan' means 'pheasant peak mountain.'
But I heard that it is originally called the 'red mountain' due to the reddish (bark) pine trees that are quite prevalent in the park.
Aside from its verdant treetops and refreshing nature, Chiaksan National Park is home to ancient and legendary Buddhist temples.
Chiaksan is also perfect for hiking. And I am happy to say that I reached its peak (Birobong Peak)!
Guryongsa temple area is lovely. It nestles perfectly where the mountain, a stream, and waterfalls meet.
You can stroll along the path and enjoy the flowing stream. Or simply relax, order a drink (from a cafe nearby) while observing the small waterfall beyond the suspension bridge surrounded with lush trees.
I am blessed to have visited this temple during my hike on Chiaksan National Park. Guryongsa Temple is vibrant and colorful. Its legends about dragons are captivating. You can read my article about this temple here.
Fishing Village Folk Museum
The Fishing Village Folk Museum in Samcheok specializes in the history of fishing, shamanism, sexual iconography, and other cultural diversity. The museum artistically built to look like a ship.
Gwaneumam Temple in Odaesan National Park is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy (Gwaneum) for women who are beseeching for solace or asking for a child(ren).
The "gu" (nine) and "ryong" (dragons) or Guryong Falls is the name given to these waterfalls based on the legend. It is believed that each waterfall represents a dragon that lived in it long ago.
Lighthouse Observatory in Sokcho
It offers a great view of Seoraksan National Park and the East Sea. You'll be more amazed if you observe during dawn or just before sunrise.
Osaek Mineral Water Spring
Yes, Osaek is a fresh spring where you can fill up your bottle before hiking up Daecheong-bong of Seoraksan National Park. They say that this pure spring water is carbonated, rich in the iron mineral, as it is from the three base rocks at a spring.
Gwaneumsa is a temple dedicated to Gwaneum, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, who hears the cries of the world for salvation. It is in Chiaksan National Park.
Yeongwonsa in Chimaksan National Park is a temple built by Buddhist priest Uisang Daesa during the Silla period.
Dumun Waterfall is a lovely natural sight that can be reached just a couple of hours from Namgyo-ri of Seoraksan National Park.
Sujongam is a Buddhist temple located within Odaesan National Park.
A serene temple with magnificent surroundings within Odaesan National Park.
This small waterfall is nature's gem in Odaesan National Park.
A hermitage en route to Ulsan Bawi of Seoraksan National Park
A Buddhist temple with fabulous forest views that nestles in Chiaksan National Park.
This 7-meter tall bronze statue is located by the lake of Chuncheon. A famous Korean song was inspired by this maiden.
Chuncheon City Hall
Chuncheon City Hall is a landmark of this city due to its history and architectural features.
Bomun-sa, a Buddhist temple in Chiaksan National Park
Beommun-sa, another Buddhist temples within Chiaksan National Park
Please, keep checking this page for more updates.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your travels as well!