Eco-friendly travel guide to Chuncheon advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Chuncheon, South Korea.
- Air quality:2.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.0 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.0 / 5
- Parks: 2.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5/ 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 4.0/ 5
- Accommodation: US$35 - $40
- Budget per day: US$75 - $110
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Chuncheon is the capital of Gangwon Province in South Korea. The city lies in the north of the country and is located at the Han Rover and Soyang River basin. You can find some large lakes around the city and most notably Lake Uiam and Lake Soyang. The place is also renowned for its small river islands like Ha-Jungdo, Sangjungdo, Wido and Bungeodo.
The place is one of the popular destinations among East Asian tourists as it was featured in the popular Korean drama Winter Sonata. The area is now occupied by the cities and was first settled about 100 years ago. In 637 AD, the city was called Usoju, and in 757 AD, it was renamed Saku and again in 940 AD as Chunju before receiving its current name in 1413. In 1896, Chuncheon became the capital city of Gangwon province. The city was largely destroyed during the Korean War in the Battle of Chuncheon. In 1967, Uiam Dam on the Bukhan River was completed. In 1995, Chuncheon city was merged with the government of the surrounding Chuncheon county. South Korea, one of the East Asian countries, constitutes the southern part of the Korean peninsula and has achieved great technological success in the past few decades. The cultural integrity of the nation is still preserved and stands on strong grounds. As the city is famous and popular in South Korea, you will be able to get the best traditional and cultural experience in the city. Make sure you explore it well, keeping in mind all the responsibilities of an eco-friendly traveller.
- South Korea can host many tourists each year due to the prominent biogeography, cultural richness, and Korean wave. So if you are visiting Chuncheon, you must behave in an accountable and responsible manner.
- Make sure to buy products and clothes from local shops also to help out the local people. You can try going to various local shops located around the street and talk to your fellow tourists and friends to visit the place. It will help boost the morale of local businesses and promote their food, clothes, and much more.
- Try your best to promote eco-tourism and behave in a socially and culturally acceptable manner.
- Try to have a more sustainable approach when you are on your visit to Chuncheon. Like you can stay in green hotels, go for eco-friendly products, travel using the local transportation systems, and much more.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air pollution in Chuncheon and all of South Korea has become a legitimate threat. Many environmental factors and human activities contribute significantly to the air pollution index of South Korea. The growing industrialization process of South Korea has brought in an enormous scope of air pollution and radioactive decay. Chuncheon is one of the air polluted cities in South Korea, and the levels of PM10 and PM2.5 have significantly increased in the past few years. The increase in the suspended particulate matter has posed a threat to normal human health and functions. For example, air pollution has led to many health diseases like low birth weight, respiratory troubles, heart diseases, etc.
- PM10 – 60'
- PM2.5 – 102
- PM10 Pollution Level – Unhealthy for Sensitive groups
This air pollution data is from the South Air Korea Environment Corporation of the pollution levels as of March 2021.
Respect the Culture
South Korean culture embodies Confucian respect for tradition and hierarchy. Behavior can be altered, and it depends on age, status, and wealth. While it is easy to claim foreigner ignorance when they make cultural blunders here, there is always an essential, unspoken set of rules you must be aware of when visiting the country.
If you dine at the restaurant with guests, keep the most honored or usually the eldest guest in mind. Remain silent until they are seated, and then take your seat. When it comes to drinks, live by the rule "don't fill your glass but make sure that everyone else's glass is full". You must always accept a drink poured for you with two hands and pour others' glasses by balancing your non-pouring hand on your forearm. Next, it is customary for the eldest at the table to pay for the meal, or the one who has invited will pay.
In Korean culture, the importance is placed according to the hierarchy. When you address someone younger or of lower status, a simple annyeong will suffice accompanied with a slight bow of the head. When you greet someone of your status, age then annyeong haseyo is the thing you'd say along with lowering of the eyes and a slight bow at the waist. When it is someone very important, then the most formal, annyeong hashimnika is appropriate. Tack on a slightly more profound bow, starting at the waist, hands folded at your lower belly, and you'll be set up. If you are in Korea, you'll notice people rarely speaking while they are on public transport. If any chatter happens, it is usually in hushed tones. Apart from this, when it comes to clothing, keep in mind to not expose your cleavage or shoulders. The city is well-known for its welcoming and friendly people, which means that you can get a great native culture experience in South Korea.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Nami Island (Namiseom): It is one of the scenic half-moon-shaped islands full of tree-lined walking paths. After being used as a film set in the popular 2002 Korean drama 'Winter Sonata', the location became popular. It is one of the romantic destinations which is sure to look amazing in the photos.
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort: The place is located only an hour away from Seoul and is easily reachable by subway, making it very convenient. There are 10 runs, 6 lifts, and a gondola for all levels of skiers to enjoy.
Kim You-Jeong House of Literature: It is named after the famous novelist who was recognized as an icon of Chuncheon. The House of Literature is a restoration of Kim You-Jeong's birth home in an effort to commemorate his life. There is also an exhibition hall, walking path, and hiking trails that are well displayed in various programs reproducing his works.
- Gugok Waterfalls: It is designated as one of the official tourist attractions. The falls at Gugok Falls twist and turn nine different times before dropping down from a huge stone wall, ending in a magnificent 50-meter cascade. They are also surrounded by interesting rock formations, one which is included the Hanuelbyeokbwai Rock.
- Cheongpyeongsa Temple: Located on the Obongsan Mountain, this temple is one of the idyllic and calm places to enjoy nature as you relax. Cheongpyeongsa Valley is known for its clean waters and the Guseong Waterfall, which makes nine different sounds around.
- Gangchon Rail Park: The park is built on the discounted train line, one of Korea's largest rail bike courses. From the popular Gangchon Rail Park, visitors pedal on the 2/4-seater rail bike to enjoy breathtaking mountainous countryside and Bukhan River scenery which is uniquely different in each season.
- M. Soyanggang Skywalk: If you are feeling brave, take a walk along this glass floor which is 7.5 meters above the water and only 4 centimeters thick. It is one of the longest glass structures built in Korea and stretches out for a distance of 174 meters. It is sure to be an unforgettable and exhilarating experience.
- Cheongpyeongsa: The temple is a part of the fun since it is the only way to access it is by water. First built in 973, during the reign of Goryeo King Gwang-Jong, parts of the temple were lost during the Korean War. The revolving door, which symbolizes the transmigration of souls, and the Geukrakbojeon remain today.
- Samaksan: It is a mountain in the city of Chuncheon, Gangwon-do in South Korea. It has an elevation of 654 m (2,146 ft).
- Soyangho: Soyangho Lake is one of the places which is formed after building Soyang Dam. It is the largest multi-purpose dam in the East. It is also one of the magnificent places that is called the Inland Sea. It commands a splendid natural landscape around and one of the popular places for one-day sightseeing.
Gangwon-do's capitals are Chuncheon which means Spring river. The city features its shimmering lake views, gorgeous surrounding mountains, and doses of fiery dakgalbi. Chuncheon is also a good base for outdoor activities, and it's one of the super transport links with Seoul. It makes it one of the popular weekend getaways for denizens of the capital. The place has a long history and maintains various cultures and cultural properties from the pre-historic age folk religion. The Confucian culture, which places a high value on courtesy, shows Korean culture characteristics, which are being spread to the rest of the world through the Korean wave. It is now easy to find the traces of Confucianism and Buddhism in Gwangwon-do.
Chuncheon is a well-known lake city in South Korea. It is one of the romantic travel spots, and the city is just a short one-hour ride on the ITX-Cheongchun train from Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul. Chuncheon holds the lovely meaning of 'a stream that flows when spring comes, but it is also beautiful when you visit in fall. At this time of the year, the colourful fall foliage creates a picturesque sight. To get the most out of the trip to Chuncheon, a relaxing two-day schedule is recommended over a rushed one-day trip.
South Korea is one of the fantastic places with beautiful parks for fun and recreation. In Chuncheon itself you can find beautiful gardens to spend your time with. Here are a few of them:
- Gongjicheon River Park
- Uiam Park
- Chuncheon Waterfront Park
- Mirine Park
- Seoraksan National Parks : It is one of those which is about 75 km away from Chuncheon. Seoraksan National Park in the surrounding area is famous for its views, clear mountain streams, and vibrant flora and fauna. Hiking is one of the great pastimes across Korea, and Seoraksan boasts some of the country's loveliest trails.
- Seoraksan Mountain: It reaches the height of 1,708 meters at its highest point, Daecheongbong Peak. It is one of Korea's third-largest mountains and has a variety of hiking trails. It takes only a few hours to complete the trail with the scenery, including the cliffs, waterfalls, and lots of natural beauty.
South Korea is one of the most beautiful countries for outstanding beaches and fun ocean adventures. From sun-basking to sun-massaging, South Korean beaches offer a lot of things. You can also enjoy a fantastic surfing experience at the beautiful and large beaches in South Korea. It is no doubt that you'd want to find the most gorgeous and beautiful beaches here being a peninsular area. Even though there are no beaches in Chuncheon, but you can easily go to the ones which are nearby like:
- Gyeongpo Beach
- Anmok Beach
- Naksan Beach
- Chuam Beach
- Samak-san: It is the highest mountain near Chuncheon. Samak-san offers incredible views of the town and surrounding lakes. The hike is up to the peak, which can be strenuous and takes at least two hours, passing pretty waterfalls.
- Namiseom Island: The island is an artificial lake which is southwest of Chuncheon. It is home to rows of majestic redwoods, ginkgos, and pines.
- Korean War Memorial: The evocative statues at this memorial to the Battle of Chuncheon are shown mid-action, holding North Koreans at bay at the Korean War opening on 25 June 1950.
- Gongjicheon Sculpture Park: Families and teens picnic and sit in the shade of trees in this park dotted with sculptures; some of them are hard to fathom.
- Soyang-gang Maiden: The 7m-tall bronze statue by the lake is exciting if you know the famous Korean song mentioning said the maiden.
South Korea is one of the countries enriched with artistic and cultural traditions, remarkable history, and technological advancements. The museums in South Korea depict different areas of interest for everyone. Here are a few museums in Chuncheon: Here are a few museums in Chuncheon:
- Memorial Hall for Ethiopian Veterans in the Korean War
- Animation Museum
- Chuncheon Makguksu Museum
- Chuncheon National Museum
- Gangwondo Forest Museum
- Chuncheon Puppet Museum
- The Museum of Books and Printing
- Chuncheon Art Gallery
- Guam Gallery
- Gangwon Police Museum
- Hoya Museum of Geography
- Green Art
- Sanrim Museum
- Arirang Munhwagwan
Many traditional restaurants can be found in Chuncheon. There are also a few international food restaurants like Italian. But if you want to have the real taste of Korean food, Chuncheon is the one we recommend you to go to.
Traditional Local Restaurants
If you are on a journey, then always start with local food. You can find many dishes which would not be available in the city. Here are some of the local restaurants in Chuncheon:
- Byoldang Makguksu
- Jangwon Myeongga
Vegetarian and Vegan
Even though South Korea is not a country where much of the vegan or vegetarian options are available, but if you are in Chuncheon or any part of South Korea, you can find the following vegetarian or vegan food:
- Temple food
- Hobak juk
At Samgyori Dongchimi Makkuksu in Chuncheon, it is likely to find these dishes here.
The street food of Chuncheon is popular, and you can't miss Dakgalbi it while your trip to Chunchoen. Dakgalbi is a deliciously spicy stir-fried chicken that is served with sweet potatoes, cabbages, and rice cakes. It is one of the famous side streets in Chuncheon, which is full of restaurants serving it. You can enjoy dakgalbi with fried rice. Chuncheon Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street is one of the famous places to enjoy street food.
Chuncheon's people are very enthusiastic about their alcohol, which extends to both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. You can find a list of drinks in Chuncheon, but something you can't miss in South Korea is Soju.
Even though tap water in Chuncheon is 100 per cent safe to drink, most Koreans don't drink it unless they boil or filter it first. When visiting or living in South Korea, you don't have to doctor the water before drinking it. But if you fill up a glass straight from the tap in front of a Korean, be ready for some side-eye.
Organic cafes with privately developed food are getting progressive and well-known in Chuncheon. You can discover various dishes in these cafes. Some of the popular ones are:
- Croft Coffee Roasters
- Jayu Bakery
- Hyojadong Project
- Another London and Paris
As beer is a common thing in almost every country, the chances of breweries present in cities are always high. In Chuncheon, you can find the following breweries:
- Chuncheon Brewery
- Chuncheon Bomun Brewery
- Squeeze Brewery
- Nami Island: The number of activities to do in Chuncheon are limited but visiting Nami Island is the best option, especially if you have limited time on your hands. The island is on the small side but beautiful. You can take a small train to go around the island. It will be a quick 30-minute ride, but it is a nice place to overview the island.
- Gangchon Rail Park: There is a possibility that you might have to book in advance to make sure that you enjoy this attraction. In the rail park, you can enjoy the amazing landscape. The bike can go really fast at times, and it can be more fun than you expect. You can keep riding back and forth until your time is up.
- Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street: The street is one of the famous ones and takes around 20 minutes by taxi from Nami Island. You can find a lot of restaurants to choose from, and the dish is delicious that you'd not want to miss.
You can also enjoy hiking as mountains surround the city. Apart from this, a ski resort named Gangchon is located downtown, which is a 30-minute drive
Yoga and Retreats
You can enjoy yoga and retreats in CHuncheon at these following centers:
- Sea otter yoga meditation
- J Yoga
- Pine Tree Yoga
Accommodation is one of the big parts of your stay in the city. A traveller needs to have a place to rest. When you are not roaming and exploring the city, you certainly need to rest somewhere. Travelling is one of the other factors. One must have proper travel and stay plan when you visit South Korea. In Chuncheon, you can find some of the great places to stay.
If you are on the lookout to search for green hotels in Chuncheon, you may face disappointment because there is less possibility of finding any green hotel in the area. Chuncheon is one of the best places to stay, but many other hotels are following green practices in their hotels.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels come with restrictions and monotony, which makes them a less preferable option, but they are also a good option to go if you do not want to spend more. Here are some of the hostels and guest houses in Chuncheon:
- Segroo Guest House
- 91stay Guest House
- Guesthouse Nabiya
- Lohas Guesthouse
- Emotion Guesthouse
Independent and private apartments are best if you are planning to stay for a longer time in Chuncheon. Instead of living in a hotel room or spending your night or day in the hostels or shared rooms, you choose an apartment that could turn out to be a wise decision.
Locals in South Korea are usually pleasant to meet and highly likable. You can easily get a gist of them, and Couchsurfing is one of the great options to go. There are around 500+ hosts in Chuncheon itself offering Couchsurfing to the guests. You can easily get a good option while on your visit to Chuncheon.
If you are looking for an adventure, then camping is one of the best things to do. Who doesn't want to go camping and enjoy the bonfire? South Korea has stunning parks and beautiful beaches, which can take your breath away. Chuncheon is one of the places which has beautiful camping locations, and you can find them here:
- Star Light Camping in Chuncheon
- Oldenburg camping sites
- The Secret Garden Camp Ground
- Namisum Best-Camp
How to Get There
If you plan your trip and things to buy, you need to decide how you can reach the city. You can reach the city from Seoul's Incheon International Airport (ICN) via intercity bus.
Air is the easiest way to reach the destination. It is one of the best things about the transportation service, and it takes less time to reach the destination compared to the other modes of transportations. The closest airport to Chuncheon is Wonju Airport (WJU).
If you are traveling from Seoul, buses depart from the Dong Seoul Bus Station. The buses regularly leave every fifteen minutes, between 6 AM and 9.20 PM, and charge a fare of approximately 6,000 WON. If you want to reach the Dong Seoul Bus Station, take the Seoul subway system to Gangbyeon Station and leave approximately 70 minutes or more, depending on the traffic.
Chuncheon is located at the end of the Gyeongchun Rail line, which connects the city to Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul. It costs about W5,500 to take the train from Seoul to Chuncheon Station.
Hitchhiking is one of the best ways to reach the destination. It is helpful if you want to save money. Many places in the city are perfect for hitchhiking. The concept is to take several lifts from local people and reach the destination. South Korean people are friendly and kind, so you will not face any lift.
If you speak about other modes of transportation, then in hitchhiking, you can choose how to reach the city as the countries are well connected through Seoul by roadway. You can also take a car or bike to reach Seoul city by road to have a unique experience.
Moving around the city is one of the best ways to explore the city by going to different popular attractions. You can choose various ways depending all on your comfort about how you want to move around the Chuncheon.
Walking is always the best way to explore the city. You can easily get around Chuncheon by walk, and you'll be able to get into the markets and take shortcuts by walking. You can also get to see many traditional and cultural things from close proximity. South Korea is an unpredictable country in terms of weather, so do not forget to carry an umbrella, medicines, and water while walking.
Cycling is always a great transportation mode that is eco friendly and easier to get around the city. You can rent a bicycle to get a clearer view of the city.
For a faster reach at your destinations, electronic vehicles are the other mode you can opt for. You can book a cab with a driver or rent a car and drive. The fully electronic vehicles help make the environment clean and helpful in reducing pollution. If you are driving on big roads, then it is the best transportation mode, which will help you move faster.
Public bus is the most convenient way of moving through different places with cheap fare. You can get many buses at Chuncheon, and they are very frequent in the city. You can get buses at almost all the corners of the city; bus stations and bus terminals are scattered throughout the city. You can cover all the attractions of the city around with just one bus.
Tram, Train and Subway
If you do not like waiting in the traffic while exploring the city, then the best option for you is to move around the city by trains. High-speed trains are famous around the city, helping you move to the places very fast. Trains are quite frequent, and you do not have to wait much for one to arrive. You can take trains which will help you get the best experience of traveling the city very comfortably without any interruptions.
Travelers can choose sustainable shopping instead of fresh ones to help the nature and environment. If you are an eco-friendly traveler, it is your responsibility to use items like second-hand products, eco fashion, and others to save money and lower waste production. Sustainable shopping is a great way to get some of the best products at a low price. The local people Chuncheon are adopting sustainable shopping very well, and tourists will not face any difficulties in finding these stores. There are many different markets which you can visit to get all these items.
- Chuncheon Myeongdong Street: It is a small street, splendid for shopping. There are stores on both sides of the lane. It is dubbed the "street of the young people" since you can always find clothes and culture that are in fashion.
Visiting the food market is a must for any place you travel. If you are a true food lover, then you cannot miss it. There are many different food markers where you can visit and do your shopping. You can also get some great local and unique food experience which is not available in other places.
If you visit Chuncheon, make sure that you taste the local street foods from small stalls in these food markets. The city contains many shops that are a few of the best ones in the city. The five-day market in Chuncheon is a good place to buy, and it is for twice a week.
The flea market is one of the best places for many travelers to spend their money and time and take some of the best things home at a lower price. There are many old flea markets in the city, and it is popular in the nearby cities. From night markets to day, each type of market is available in the capital city. If you want to explore the flea market, it is one thing which is helpful for you to know about the local life of people. Buying items from these flea stores will help the local people very much to continue their work. Many people are also dependent on tourism, and you can support them. The Nangman Market in Chuncheon is one of the best gone for incorporating the arts with the use of paintings and murals to decorate the physical space while performance artists take advantage of the crowds to find an audience.
Second Hand Stores
The evolution of second-hand markets can be seen around the world. You can find most of the stores crowded and filled with quality items. Chuncheon is no different and second-hand markets that have grown in the last few years. The local people have also started to shop for these second-hand products along with the tourists, which made these markets a little bit too crowded. Although most shops are scattered around the city, you can find most of them in the day or night markets. From used clothes to antiques, everything is available for reselling in these markets. The collectable items are available at a low price, including the old and vintage items.
Eco-fashion is one of the best ways that you can contribute to nature. If you are an eco-friendly tourist, you will be able to get the best fashion collection, which produces zero pollution and helps the environment stay clean. Many of these fashions are made with herbal materials and eco-friendly materials. Local people are also slowly trying to adapt to this fashion tested in getting many non-branded and branded eco-fashion stores in the area. You can also see most shops have developed over the year to provide the best eco-fashion to the customers.
In Korea, a system called jongnyangje for the effective collection of garbage wastes and the reuse of natural resources. All garbage you produce must be disposed of properly, and you may be fined. Garbage must be separated according to whether it is "common garbage", food waste, recyclable, and large waste objects. While some of the information below applies specifically to the Seoul Metropolitan Area, the same types of policies exist throughout the country. The waste of food must be separated from general waste and placed in special disposal bags, which can be purchased at your local supermarket and in some convenience stores in your neighborhood. The regular bags are called Sseulaegi Bongtu, while the food disposal bags are called Eum-shik-mool Sseulaegi Bongtu.
The waste and recycling management was not that good in the city in the past. However, things have not changed much since they have a good focus on it. The city has developed different things and started many initiatives in minimizing waste production. They have also installed many different waste bins which people can use to dump the food wastes to recycle them. They have also successfully recycled and used the waste to make the environment better. The waste of this city has decreased very much, and local people have played a major role in it by taking responsibility for placing the waste in specific bins and maintaining the rule of waste management.
Work and Study Abroad
As Seoul receives a high crowd of tourists every year, Chuncheon is also one of the most recommended tourist attractions. Many people from foreign countries visit Seoul to pursue their higher studies. Chuncheon is also of the places to pursue higher studies. Many attractive courses are available that attract students from different countries. Here you can also find many international students who are living and continuing their studies. Compared to the other countries, the cost of the study is also lower, which helps the students learn at responsible prices. You will also get the best study and jobs in the city of you know what places you are looking for. Now when you speak about jobs, you can take the help of online services to get the list of available jobs in the city. From part-time jobs to full-time ones, you will get all the types of jobs which are available in the city. Also, students who want to earn some money while studying in the city will be able to get different opportunities.
The exchange students are one of the most trending concepts today, which earned a lot of popularity quickly. It helps the students from another country to get into a foreign university and continue their studies. Many universities and colleges in Chuncheon have this facility available, and they are well connected or partners with other universities in different countries. You will need to be nominated by the home institution for an exchange student to get this opportunity. Also, you need to pay the tuition fee in the home university to enter it successfully. Once you are in, you will be able to study at a university with your home institution partnership.
Au Pair is an excellent way of getting your study done in a foreign city while you earn money. It helps foreigners or students to explore the city and help out the local people. It would be shocking to know, but Au Pair in South Korea is desperately needed. It is one of the best ways of getting your study done in a foreign city while you earn money. It helps the students or foreigners to explore the city and help out the local people. You will be shocked to know how many people in this city desperately need Au Pairs. The give and take process while you will take care of an old person or a child for a limited time in exchange for shelter, food, and money. Taking care of the baby or old people might not be an easy job because of the family members' busy schedules.
As an eco-friendly traveler, you must contribute to the city and keep it clean. Nothing is more appropriate and helpful than choosing the volunteering option. It will help you to contribute towards society and the city by choosing the option. If you are traveling for a long time and want to get close to local people, volunteering is the best way. If you volunteer, you will come close to the local people and know their lifestyle up close. The interaction with both locals and foreigners will increase a lot, helping you know them and brush up on your language skills