On July 6th, we had the opportunity to visit Chuncheon provice, just an hour and a half outside of Seoul, as an excursion with ISA Service-Learning Seoul staff member, Jaehoon Shim! Jaehoon told us that Chuncheon province can be considered a ‘natural playground,’ with many different activities to try from hiking to aquatic sports. Jaehoon prepared an exciting trip for us that started in Gimyujeong where we tried rail-biking, which is a 4 person bike that runs on old train tracks.
After rail-biking we were able to try Chuncheon province’s specialty foods, dak-galbi (stir-fried chicken) and makguksu (a noodle dish). It is true, these dishes have a unique taste that one can’t normally find in Seoul! We left the restaurant to head for Nami Island, a well-known destination in South Korea for foreigners and Koreans alike! Jaehoon said that Nami Island became especially famous in 2003 because of a Korean drama (aka ‘Soap Opera’) that was filmed there called ‘Winter Sonata,’ and since that point many fans of the drama come to see the original filming location.
Jaehoon recommends Chuncheon province and Nami Island to all travelers, not only for the natural greenery and scenic views, but also for the numerous festivals held in the area, such as a snow and ice festival, an international animation festival, an international puppetry and theatre festival, and a Tae Kwon Do festival.
For the service-learning participants that were able to make this trip, we agreed our excursion to Chuncheon province was one of the best parts of our Korean experience thus far. When I asked Jaehoon what his favorite part of our excursion was, he said ‘everything!’ I think we would all agree that it was an amazing day!