Gangneung is not as developed as Seoul or Busan. Travelling there needs strategy, otherwise you will end up spending a lot of time just for the transport time. The main transportation in Gangneung is Bus, or Taxi if you have spare money. Noted, that the bus in Gangneung is hard to predict. In Seoul, I can easily check the arrival time by Naver. But not in Gangneung. They have fix arrival time and stick it in the bus stop. Some bus have 1 hour interval @@ I know, if we miss the bus, the we have to wait like 1 hour for the next one. So time is important. I will share my exploration last time during Chuseok and rainy days. haha 😀 This means you can go to more places than I did haha I know I was so crazy to go in Chuseok, but I didn’t want to miss the famous Coffee Festival in Gangneung! So here we go~~
9.20 AM Depart from Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal
Normal travel time is about 2 hours, however since I went in Chuseok holiday which was traffic everywhere, it took 4 hours to reach Gangneung. I should have gone earlier so that I could reach Gangneung before lunch T.T If everything went as we planned, I can watch Bolpalgan (볼빨간 사춘기) performance at 1 PM. I was so unlucky hahaha
1.20 PM Arrive at Gangneung Terminal
The original plan was going to the annual coffee festival to watch Bolpalgan performance. But since we late already, we gave up and went directly for lunch to Sundubu Village. Moreover, the weather was raining so bad. My mood became bad because of hunger, traffic and weather 🙁
2.30 PM Chodang Sundubu Village (초당순두부 마을)
From Gangneung Bus Terminal, take bus 230 or 230-1 and get off at Chodang sundubu maeul bus stop. It takes around 30 minutes to reach there, depends on the traffic. Gangneung chodang sundubu is very famous. You should try it. In this village, sundubu restaurants are all over the place.
We chose one of famous restaurant in the village, named Sonamoo Chodang Sundubu (소나무집 초당 순두부). This restaurant has a unique menu and taste compare to other restaurants. Their speciality is Spicy Seafood and Soft Tofu Hot Pot. I will write full review in other post 🙂 But I suggest you to try that menu. Minimum order is 2 portion.
This restaurant is very popular. I need to wait around 1 hour and half in order to eat T.T We were so lucky that we could eat before the break time. When we arrived, we got number 22. The order was finished at the number 25! See, we were lucky to be able to eat before dinner time haha
If you are hungry and can’t wait anymore, you can leave and try the less crowded normal restaurant, OR.. buy soft tofu ice cream beside the restaurant. The price is 3000 won per cup. But really, you should try it! The ice cream is made from the same bean to made tofu.
Tired of waiting, we left the restaurant around 5pm. Too late to go anywhere because of raining and traffic jam. So we decided to visit Anmok Coffee Street.
5.00 PM Anmok Coffee Street (안목커피커리)
The bus to go there has a long interval between bus, so we prefer to walk a bit to find more bus to go there. Like its name, the street is full of coffee cafe and coffee vending machine. I heard that there is old vending machine which have been exist for hundred years. We tried 2 different vending machines, and verified the rumours. We heard rumour that the coffee vending machine in here is different than other machines. The composition of coffee was perfect. Moreover they use coffee with a very very good aroma. This is the first time I like to drink coffee till the last drop hahaha The best machine was the most left one. The aroma coffee was so fragrance. Even the milk coffee one. I suggest you to try milk coffee only for 400 won!
Btw, it is not a normal coffee street. You can enjoy the romantic beach exactly at the front of the cafe. You can find the famous wood beach at the beach. Eventhough that day was raining so hard, I can assure you that the beach and the sand was clean and beautiful.
Well, nothing to do in this kind of weather, we decided to buy dessert and take a rest and one of the cafe. But, all people think the same haha the cafe was full~ We can’t get any seat, except Gongcha 😐 Well, better than nothing, we took a rest at Gongcha, but not with empty hand haha
We visited one cafe to buy cake. We heard that the cake was special. So we decided to buy 2 pieces of cake at L.Bean Cafe and eat it at Gongcha. Actually, the ambience of this Gongcha cafe was different. A bit more elegant and dim(?) The sofa was comfortable than normal Gongcha cafe. So, We took a rest there and pray for a while 😀
We had a chat and enjoy the cake, coffee and special coffee cookie from Gangneung. The price was 10,000 won for 8 pieces. The design of the cookie was interesting and unique 😀 I think it is good for souvenir.
I think we left the cafe around 7pm for dinner. We wanted to try another authentic dishes from Gangneung, it called 꼬막 (Kkomak), its kind of shell.
7.15 PM Move to Dongbu Traditional Market (동부시장)
Actually, Gangneung is also famous with street snack, such as potato (감자전, 감자옹심이), Hotteok Ice Cream (호떡 아이스크림), Squid Sausage (오징어순대), etc. Another famous traditional market is Chungang Market (중앙시장).
But, we came too late, the market was closed already. Anyway, the reason we came to Dongbu market was to try Kkomak. So we were heading to the restaurant. The restaurant is called 엄지네 포장마차, Omjine Pojangmacha. The restaurant is open from 5pm, however, people already take a line from 4pm! The restaurant was small, so we need to wait a long time to eat. The bibimbap is their signature dish.
Because of its popularity, the have two line system, one is for those who want to eat at the restaurant. And the other one is for take-out order. Once you arrived, you need to take waiting number. Fiuh, why they dont make another Kkomak restaurant -_-
In the end, we cannot eat again. Because the stock for the day was over. When we arrived, it was still 8pm, they open till 10-11pm. It is so crazy. I saw the line was veeeryy long until the next intersection street. We gave up and decided to go to Hanok stay. Go to Jumunjin spent around 1 hour by bus no 300.
9.30 PM Gyeongbokgung Pension – Hanok Stay
Finally we arrived at the accommodation. Our room has no shower room inside, so we need to use the public shower room near the kitchen. We took turn to clean our self. What a day~ We could sleep after 12am. We planed to watch the sunrise in the next day.
The review about the pension can be seen here.
06.00 AM Leave for Sunrise at Yeongjin Beach
Take a walk like 2km to reach the beach from pension. That day, We couldn’t see the sunrise though. The sky was so cloudy and dark. So we just ended up playing near beach. Don’t forget to take picture at Goblin drama shooting location hehe At this time, not so many people came. We only saw some couples were preparing their tripod etc Such a nice time to enjoy the beach.
08.00 AM Breakfast at the Fish Market
There is a fish market near the beach. Walk around 1 km to reach this market. The market is popular with dried seafood and ray fish. There is also one popular restaurant. I heard we need to wait for a long time to eat at this restaurant. But we were so lucky because we came first haha There are two branches of this restaurant, the main branch was full with people already so we moved to the second branch. The aunt helped us and direct us to the second branch. We ordered 2 portion of grilled fish and pollack fish soup for 2 portion. I will put the review in another post, but in short, the food was delicious! No wonder many television broadcast made story of this restaurant.
09.00 AM Spend time at the Pension
While the weather was good (not raining yet), I spent time exploring the pension. The other guests was leaving already, so we were free to explore every corner in the pension. The review can be read here.
11.30 AM Arrived at Ojukheon
We left around 10.30 am from pension for Ojukheon. Btw, if you have more time, you should visit Yangyang city also, because there is beautiful temple there and worth to visit. It is 11km far from Jumunjin.
There are a lot of bus heading to Ojukheon from here, the bus start with number 3, either 300, 301 or 302 are heading there. This place must be put in your list. You will know history behind the figure whom you see in 5,000 won and 50,000 won money. The name of the figure is Saimdang (50,000 won) and her son Yulgok Yi Yi (5,000 won). Ojukheon is the place where Yulgok Yi Yi was born and grown. Due to history, He was very smart student. He got top ranking in many national test. Their family is famous with calligraphy and painting talent.
In order to get inside, we must pay 3,000 won each person. There are another attraction to see, but time didn’t let us to go, so we just visit Ojukheon. Btw, there is a very unique coffee shop in front of the Ojukheon area. This shop exhibits the ceramic from Saimdang drama.
Before you leave Ojukheon, there is a cosmos flower field in front of Ojukheon area. Probably not all season has cosmos, but last time was the right season for cosmos. If I am not mistaken, there was a cosmos festival also in that park.
03.00 PM Heading to Gyeongpo Ecological Park
The main reason I want to visit Gangneung was because of ecological park. But I was so unlucky haha The only I saw was fog haha T.T For sure, I want to visit this place again in the future. The park was located beside the Gyeongpo beach. We planned to visit the beach because we wanted to visit the infamous coffee shop, Bohemian coffee shop near here. But we saw the map wrong T.T
This bohemian cafe is famous because the first generation barista is the person who built the cafe. Gave up everything, we left and heading to coffee festival. We walked. Yeah, we thought it was closed, but Not at all. There was no bus stop nearby, and taking taxi was worst option because of the traffic jam.
We walk for more than 30 minutes. Thanks god we took lunch earlier. We ate Makguksu, another signature dishes from Gangneung. 🙂 So we had energy to walk. So we were walking in the side of ecological park. It was a big ecological park.
04.40 PM Coffee Festival
Yeaaay finally we arrived at the festival place. A lot of countries who has coffee speciality came and open booth. There is one also from my country, Indonesia. Another countries I saw were Brazil, Ghana, Colombia, etc.
If you are coffee addict, you must visit this annual festival. There are a lot of variety of coffee. Other than that, a lot of food, cookie, ice cream, jam, etc, made from coffee. I bought one jar of coffee latte jam for 10,000 won. It is delicious if eat together with bread.
I want to stay longer but I couldn’t because we need to catch the bus. This bus was the last bus we could buy. In chuseok, it is hard to find a ticket.
6.20 PM Depart from Gangneung Express Bus Terminal
Another traffic hell @@ Once again, we spent 4 hours to reach Seoul. We were craving for food and close the trip with cheap dinner at bunsik restaurant hahaha Enough with expensive food, no money T.T We have to go back to reality.
I recommend you to visit Gangneung when the weather is bright and nice. The ecological park was beautiful. I couldn’t have change to enjoy it because of fog 🙂 And also traffic jam. Never go there in Chuseok hahaha I hope this article can help you decide where to go and eat for 2 days 1 night trip 🙂