Canon A1, Kodak Ultramax 400
I did not set out to do a travel guide, being the sort of traveller who is inclined to rely on existing guides instead. However, we met with mostly dead ends while researching transport routes for our trip to Jeollanam-do, the south-western part of South Korea. Naturally, it seemed necessary to put a sort-of guide together.
To explore the region, we stayed in Suncheon city for 5 nights. If you are thinking of doing the same, here are some things you should know:
- Buses form the main mode of public transport in Jeollanam-do.
- Flat rate for local bus fares regardless of the distance travelled.
- Take note of the “Local Bus Terminal” bus stop in Suncheon which is easily confused with the Suncheon Express Bus Terminal (순천종합버스터미널) , a pale green building about 5 to 10 mins’ walk away from the former (hidden from view).
- Unlike in Seoul, the locals largely speak only Korean, so some knowledge of the language would help. My smattering of Korean can probably save my life, but Jessie, my travel companion, is much better at it, so we had it relatively easy.
Do note that this guide mainly details tried and tested transport routes, unless otherwise stated. We would not be able to help you with the directions/ timings via other routes or means of transport. Sorry!
Canon A1, Fujicolor Superia 200
Drama set (드라마 세트장 )
Take the local city bus to the Local Bus Terminal bus stop. Change to Bus 77, and alight at the Drama Set bus stop.
Canon A1, Kodak Portra 160
We cabbed to Suncheonnman because we had left our earlier venue late, but from our online research, you can take bus 67 from the Local Bus Terminal bus stop (check the direction), and get off at the Suncheonman bus stop. It should cost 1,100 won and take you approximately 20min to reach the park.
From Suncheon train station, take the train to Yeosu Expo Station. We were on the Saemaul-ho (새마을호) class train, and it cost us 4,800W each for a 23 min ride. Alternatively, you can take the KTX or the S-train (enquire at the counter); however, they are more expensive and not much quicker in taking you to Yeosu. Our KTX ticket from Yeosu back to Suncheon shaved just 4min off, but set us back by 8,900W each.
Above: Go-so dong, Angel Mural (고소 천사벽화골목) – 1
Buy a ticket to Boseong Bus Terminal at the Suncheon Express Bus Terminal. It cost us 6,300W and took about 1hr 40 mins to reach Boseong. You have to buy another ticket in order to get to the Boseong Tea Plantation (보성녹차밭 대한다원) – 15 to 20min depending on traffic, 1,200W.
If you are going to Damyang County, board the bus headed for Gwangju’s Gwangcheong Bus Terminal from the Suncheon Express Bus Terminal. The journey is about 1.5hours, and 6,900W for a ticket. From Gwangju, buy another bus ticket to Damyang Local Bus Terminal (40min, 2,300W) and hop onto Bus no. 311 (5-10min, 1,300W) to reach the Damyang Bamboo Garden (죽녹원).
Canon A1, Fujicolor Superia 200
You can do a day trip to Busan from Suncheon too. Board the bus to Busan Seobu (부산서부시외버스터미널) Bus Terminal from Suncheon Express Bus Terminal. The journey of 2.5hours cost 12,400W. A tip: Buy your ticket one day earlier to secure a seat. From the bus terminal, you can take the metro (from SaSang 사상 Station, Line 2) to other parts of Busan easily.
To get to Suncheon from Seoul, you can take the metro to Yongsan Station (용산역), Line 1. We timed the trip to be 82mins from Hongik Metro Station. Then, hop onto the KTX and you should reach Suncheon in 3 hours.