You’ve heard of Seoul, but on the other side of South Korea, there is an enchanting and magical coastal area known as Gangwon. Its serene beauty and natural wonders made Gangwon the ideal location for the 2018 Winter Games, but there is so much more to the area, which is truly a playground year-round. With its breathtaking scenery, legendary seafood restaurants, beautiful temples and brilliant beaches, this seacoast province is famed throughout Asia as the place where adventure awaits.
Coastal Highway Seven – The Magical Path Along The Sea
Gangwon Province lies on the east coast of the Republic of South Korea, and along that coast winds a modern highway that hugs the shoreline. At every twist and turn, new sights and delights await, from the stunning ocean view with waves crashing on the rocks just a few feet from the road to majestic mountains and unique natural rock formations that loom above. Perhaps best of all, Coastal Highway Seven is a magical route filled with many wonderful destinations to thrill, amaze and delight travelers.
The Tower of Wishes – A Prayer In Stone
One of the most amazing of all of the many wonders to be found along Gangwon’s Coastal Highway Seven is the Tower of Wishes. Built as a symbol of South Korea’s hopes and dreams for the new millennium, its stones are inscribed with the names of the more than 33,000 people who contributed to its construction. Designed to symbolize a pair of hands raised in prayer, each of its three tiers has a unique theme. One tier is for newlyweds, another for youth and the third is for children, and each is in itself a prayer for health and happiness. Located in Saecheonnyeon Coastal Park along a section of Coastal Highway Seven known as Saecheonnyeon Road, the Tower is the site of an annual New Year’s Day sunrise festival and a popular place for visitors to pause and make wishes of their own.
Sunrise Park – A Fairy Tale Railway Station For Lovers
Sunrise Park Railway Station in Jeongdongjin is another among the many delightful surprises awaiting those who adventure through Gangwon. Made famous for the key scenes filmed there for the nation’s most popular television shows, it looks like something out of an old storybook. There is a beautiful sandy beach and a small forest of pine trees right near this quaint, antique-looking train station, which, like so many other areas of the surrounding city, has become a destination for lovers and others whose hearts are filled with dreams of romance.
Naksansa Temple – 13 Centuries Of History And Culture To Explore
Overlooking the sea on the slopes of Naksan Mountain is a historic Buddhist temple that was built over 13 centuries ago. Faithfully reconstructed beginning in 1953, the temple welcomes tourists, visitors, and pilgrims in their thousands throughout the year. Some come to worship or meditate, while others come to admire the artistic and architectural beauty of the temple complex, with its many shining statues and the giant likeness of the Buddha and the Seven Stone Tower which loom above the complex. Naksansa Temple is situated a few minutes away from Naksan Beach in Yangyang.
The Ports Of Dongmyeong & Daepo – A Seafood Lover’s Paradise
Many who participate in the adventure that is Gangwon begin or end their journey in the provinces seaports of Dongmyeong and Daepo. A major commercial shipping center, it is also the center of the fishing industry in the province. As such, it is a destination for those who want the freshest and best seafood, and its many restaurants are famed for their raw as well as prepared seafood. Donghae is also a 40 minute drive to the city of Gangneung, the site of the 2018 Gangwon International Biennale, a biennial festival of the arts that attracts dancers, performers and other artists from around the country, Asia and the world. The festival is just one of the many reasons why people around the region and the world know that Gangwon is where adventure awaits.