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 Suncheon Ecological Bay:
Recommended: From the Suncheon Bus station or Bus terminal, take bus 67. You might want to note that there are afew bus stops around the vicinity of Suncheon Station and Bus Terminal, so it is best to double check at the Tourist Information Center if you are at the right bus stop. You should also get the latest Bus schedule from them. Bus services can change, especially if you go during winter season.
I did not keep the map from the tourist information center, however, I found a similar one online. You can click on the image hyperlink to access the source.
It takes about 30 mins to get to Suncheon Bay by bus. Bus trip costs approximately 1200W (in 2014)
The entrance fee at the Suncheon Ecological Bay is only 2,000won
2. Area Information
Key areas: Reed Field, Yongsan Observatory
Official Website: http://www.suncheonbay.go.kr/?r=ENG
3. Moving around
16km trek. Give yourself 5 hrs to explore this area.
Suncheon Ecological Bay is a park for migratory birds and but it is more well known for its reed fields and stunning sunset. If you wish to learn more about the history and development of Suncheon Ecological Bay, you can check out the Photo Album at the end of this page. I have also included short videos taken at the location, and they are embedded in the photo album.
Near the entrance, the waters are at closer proximity to the board walk, and you should be able to see a fair bit of activities from migratory birds. Stick around till sunset and you can see the birds taking a dip in the waters in flocks.
Reed Field Walk: Suncheon Ecological Bay ranked among the world's top five wetlands. In 2006, it became the first wetland in Korea to be included on the Ramsar List for worldwide recognition and ecological preservation. Its vast reed fields are unique in their beauty and mystique. The Ecology Park has a Natural Ecology Center where guests can learn about the formation of the wetland and the rare birds that inhabit it, and walk along a path to view the reed fields up close. Go with enough time for a slow walk and listen to the rustling of the reeds. For city dwellers like me, the reeds is a pure therapeutic experience.
The pictures below were taken in December, when the reeds have turned into lush brown tone.
Yongsan Observatory: Suncheon Ecological Bay is well known for its sunset, so we recommend you make time to catch the sunset at the Bay. Remember to arrive at the peak of the Yongsan Observatory at least half an hour earlier than the sunset timing. You can check the sunset timing from the Suncheon Ecological Bay official website. The shimmery mudflats coupled with the golden dusk will simply take your breathe away.
Meal options: There are afew restaurants outside the ecological bay. However, I would rather take a bus or taxi back to town for dinner.
If you are returning to Suncheon KTX Station, there is a small family restaurant where I get my daily local dinner fare at very reasonable prices. If you refer to the map in section 1, there are a few eateries at the roundabout near block 120.
Other than the tteobokki in the last picture, the rest were not hot. The pork pattie-gimbap-rice will be good for those who don't like too much vegetable. I like that the sauce actually do not taste heavy or salty.
This was put together after I returned from the trip, so that I can piece together stories from the past- it gives me an emotional attachment to the place.. I would usually embed videos so that I capture the sights an sounds at the location.