Seoul is definitely an exuberant city to spend time, but if Seoul alone cannot fulfill your traveller’s soul, you might consider going on day trips. Korea is comparatively a small country, considering the fact that it only takes a few hours by high-speed train to go to Busan, a popular southern coastal area. Therefore, just about any city in the country could be possible for day trips! But before we go too far, let’s start with the nearby cities, located within two hours from Seoul by our efficient and affordable transportation system. Check out the best three day trips I recommend for you!
If you’re looking for a picturesque place, Paju is the answer. Home to about 380 painters, musicians, writers, and architects, Heyri Art Village is a popular destination in Paju. Take advantage of the artful buildings and galleries, get lost in the secret alleyways, and feel the artists’ vibe. They say you don’t have to know about art to enjoy art. For dear hallyu fans, I recommend having a meal at the Farmer’s Table where the drama Boys Over Flowers was filmed! At night, a nearby area called Provence glows up for a light show, so you might as well check out that place if you have time.
如果你正在尋找一個美麗的地方，那必定要去坡州。Heyri Art Village是坡州內的一個熱門旅遊點，那裡集合了約380個畫家、音樂家、作家和建築師等藝術家的工作室。利用不同建築物和畫廊的巧妙設計，在神密的小巷內穿梭和感受那股藝術氣息。那裡的人都說藝術不必去了解，只需去感受。另外，韓粉們記著必定要在Farmer’s Table用膳啊，因為那兒就是《花樣男子》的拍攝場地！有時間的話，可以於晚上到附近的Provence觀看燈光秀。
Honorary mentions （特別推薦）: Paju Premium Outlets, Paju Book City
If you are considering a nature-themed getaway from the bustling city life, Nami Island in Chuncheon is your best fit. Instead of cars and skyscrapers, the island is full of tree-lined nature paths. Walk along the riverside and admire nature’s beauty, while nature-inspired sculptures and artworks would keep you entertained. Rent a bike to explore the inner areas of the island. Now, it would be disappointing to talk about Nami Island without mentioning the famous drama Winter Sonata. Nami Island is beautiful at any time of the year, but if you want to feel the romantic ambiance of the drama, the best time to visit would be in fall and winter. The hotspot for couples and tourists is the wooden table where Bae Yongjun and Choi Jiwoo kissed. A round of applause for the couple that can replicate the kiss scene!
P.S. You can’t say that you visited Chuncheon without tasting the city’s best dalk galbi, a dish of stir-fried chicken and veggies in a spicy sauce – and I’m dead serious. (認真說，若你沒有吃過當地最美味的Dalk Galbi (以辣醬去炒雞肉和蔬菜)，你就不能說你去過春川喔！)
If you are looking into a romantic historical hike, this is the place you should be. Walk along the beautiful stone walls of Hwaseong Haenggung (fortress), a UNESCO-enlisted world heritage site that outlies the city. Start from Paldalmun (the south gate) and feel free to weave in and out of the gates to feel the old and new Suwon. Tired of walking? Pick up some of the traditional Korean snacks along your walk and take a rest on the hilltops. Next, head over to the archery field at Yeonmundae. Here you can shoot arrows to gauge your potential as an archer or you can simply take archery lessons from instructors dressed in ceremonial robes on the weekends.
On a personal note, the best part of the trip was the last – the reason why I called it a “romantic” historical walk. When the sun sets, the dim lights along the fortress walls create a moody scene. Seeing the fortress glow magnificently feels as if you are taking a moonlight stroll in the old times. Don’t miss the pavilions for a goodnight kiss.