Suncheon is a good base to visit the Suncheon Ecological Bay and Naganeupseong Folk Village. While it is relatively small, you will be surprised at the charm of the town. For me Suncheon exudes nostalgia and warmth that we usually miss from big cities.
For those who prefers a closer proximity to a city as a base, you may wish to consider accommodations at Yeosu. However do note that Yeosu is a convention town and and accommodation prices will be higher.
Suncheon station serves the KTX trains, and is considered centrally located, There are little choices if you are hoping to find accommodations nearby, but I would recommend staying not too far from it. The tourist information counter is just outside the station and also a cluster of supermarket, cafe, convenient store and a small family restaurant which whips up delicious local fare. As most buses pass by the area, I do find myself stopping over for my dinner, coffee or simply getting fruits and groceries.
A good place to choose your accommodation is the area near the Bus Terminal, which is about 2-3 bus stops away, or 30 min walk away. If you like exploring local markets, you will like to Friday farmer's market near the Bus Terminal. If you are coming from Suncheon station with your luggage, 3000W should get you a taxi from the station to accommodations near the Bus Terminal.
Getting to Suncheon: If you are departing from Incheon Airport, it is more cost effective to transit via Gimpo Airport and take a domestic flight from to Yeosu. From there, take cab directly to your hotel in or near Suncheon. Alternatively, you can take the Airport Limousine Bus which can bring you directly Suncheon or Yeosu. The service only 8 times a day, during the day.
1. Getting to Naganeupseong Folk Village (낙안읍성)
How to get there: Get off at Suncheon train station. >> Take the bus No. 68 at the bus stop marked C in the map below.
The trip will take about 40 minutes. When you board the bus, it is best to show the driver where you are alighting sit in front. It is always good to print cards with the Korean version of your destination. We miss the first gate-stop as we went during the off peak season and not that many people were there in the earlier part of the day, so we didn't realize that we have arrived. It is only after we left the that we saw some old houses, so we checked and fortunately, alighted at the next stop. We ended up entering via a smaller gate, which may be a good thing, since it is closer to the villagers' farms.
Bus schedule from Suncheon station to Naganeupseong Folk Village: 7:00 / 7:50 / 9:50 / 12:30 / 14:00 / 15:20 / 18:00 / 20:20
Bus schedule from Naganeupseong Folk Village to Suncheon Station : 6:00 / 8:15 / 8:55 / 10:55 / 13:50 / 14:55 / 16:30 / 19:20 /21:25
2. Area Information
Key Information: Historic Site No 302 2000won;
Opening hours: Open daily except chuseok, seollal,Dec.-Jan.: 09:00-17:00 ; February-April, November 09:00-18:00; May-October 08:30-18:30
Official Site: http://nagan.suncheon.go.kr/nagan/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
3. Moving around
Naganeupseong Folk Village is a town castle with about 100 families still residing in the village. You can observe the daily dwellings indigenous to the south provincial area such as the kitchen area, the clay rooms, and Korean-style verandas.
The castle area has been very well preserved. You may also walk to the end of this road, climb up to the castle itself, and walk along the castle wall to the south. The entire castle is exceptionally well-preserved, and you can view the whole town from the top level.
The folk village’s other source of pride is the monument of General Im Kyeong-Eop (1594~1646). At every first full moon of the new year, they hold a ritual ceremony and celebration at the general’s monument, with games such as seesaw jumping, swings, and other folk activities.
# Write-up extracted from Visit Korea Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1803826 ; Photographs are from personal trip.
Suncheon Activity Information
[Daily Permanent Experience Programs] Gayageum Experience, Blacksmith’s Workshop Experience, Silk-farming Experience, Seodang (village school) Experience, Funeral Rite Experience, International and Traditional Customs Experience, Folk Movie Theater, Filming Site of Daejanggeum, Traditional Musical Center Experience, Natural Dyeing Experience, Weaving Experience, Traditional Musical Instrument Experience, Writing a wish-paper and post card, Straw Experience, Hanji (Korean Traditional Paper) Experience, Fishing, Tofu and Fermented Soybean Lump, etc.
[Performance] Military music performance (traditional Korean farming music), Gayageum (traditional Korean music) performance, etiquette class, tea ceremony experience, Ugwi parade (traditional wedding parade), traditional wedding ceremony, Korean music performance, etc. E
Meal options: There is a cluster of household selling local food such as jeong (Pancakes), bibimbap etc. Taste wise it is nothing to rave about, but it will fill you up. I do find the food a tat too cold during winter. It is the only Korean meal which I feel doesn't warm me up after a meal. The plus point for resting is that you can find an interesting plant blooming in the middle of winter, as well as birds taking their fill at nearby trees, which surprising is still growing fruits- in winter, that is.
This tree is supposed to be one of the 5 old trees in the village, estimated at around 300 years old.
You case you find yourself unsatisfied after lunch, there is a convenience store at the bus stop at one of the gates.