Sprawling along the banks of the Hongcheon River, this laid-back town is renowned for its mountainous landscapes and healing hot springs. It’s an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of Odaesan National Park, as well as South Korea’s most popular water park.
Things to do in Hongcheon
Get a bird’s-eye view of Hongcheon from the 8th-century Sutasa Temple, which is named after its resemblance to a peacock displaying its colourful tail features. Admire the 14th-century bronze bell and the gabled roof of Daejeokgwangjeon, which holds cultural significance for many Koreans.
Follow one of the many walking trails through Odaesan National Park to explore its forested slopes where Japanese yew trees and royal azalea grow. Hike to the Buddhist temple of Woljeongsa or tackle the challenging peak of Gyebangsan Mountain for stunning panoramas across the national park.
Visit South Korea’s top-ranked water park at Ocean World where Ancient Egyptian-inspired pyramids, pharaohs and sphinx features sit amongst the slides, swimming pools and lazy river. It’s located in Vivaldi Park Resort on the slopes of Palbongsan Mountain, renowned for its skiing and snowboarding during winter.
Relax at Korea’s first wellness centre in Healience Zen Village, located at the foot of Jongjasan Mountain. Participate in their health and digital-detox programs or just explore one of the 10 picturesque trekking routes that have been created in the surrounding forest.
Getting around Hongcheon
Hongcheon is a one-hour train ride east of Seoul and just under three hours from Incheon International Airport. Buses are the main means of accessing the sights of Hongcheon, as well as the surrounding towns and villages.