While working in South Korea I try to travel every chance I get. Travelling across the peninsula every weekend with foreign group travel, KTX, or express buses can get expensive so lately I’ve opted to take smaller day trips around Seoul. Recently I travelled to Yongin Folk Village and Suwon Fortress. My other favourite day trips from Seoul include Gapyeong, Heyri Art Village, and Pocheon.
Yongin Korean Folk Village (한국민속촌)
Yongin Folk Village is a great day trip option from Seoul and can easily be combined with nearby Suwon for a full Joseon era experience. I had been put off at first by the prospect of taking the subway for nearly two hours from my North Western town of Paju to the South of Seoul then switching again to a 50min bus. So much to my surprise the long trip/early start was well worth it.
The Folk Village was more authentic and larger than I had anticipated. Easily taking at least a few hours to properly look around. Along with the size, the quality of the performances were two things I wasn’t expecting from this visit. The clear highlight was the traditional Korean Namsadang folk dance wherein performers present various performing arts such as acrobatics, singing, dancing, and hat spinning.
A slightly underwhelming factor was the expensive sub par cuisine offered at the cafeteria but I guess that can be expected at these kinds of tourist destinations.
Hwaseong Haenggung Palace (화성행궁)
After visiting the Folk Village, take a shuttle bus from outside the village gate to nearby Suwon station where you can visit one of the five main tourist destinations the City: Suwonhwaseong Fortress, Hwaseong Haenggung Palace, Suwon Museum, Suwon Gwanggyo Museum, or Suwon Hwaseong Museum.
Suwon is the largest city in Gyeonggi-do provence and offers many attractions to guests so it has the potential to be a weekend or day trip destination. Transportation between Seoul and Suwon via subway, express bus, intercity bus, and train is frequent and inexpensive so take your time and enjoy what Suwon has on offer.
From Paju/Ilsan area take a bus from the terminal at Baekseok Station (Line 3) – 시외버스터미널백석역 (Intercity Bus Terminal Baekseok Station) to Yongin bus terminal and take bus 10-5 or 88 to the folk village (approx 10,000원 taxi).
1) Get off at Gangnam Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 10 or Sinnonhyeon Station (DX Subway Line), Exit 6. Take Bus No. 5001-1 or 1560 to Korean Folk Village.
2) Get off at Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3-1. Take Bus No. 5500-1 and get off at Korean Folk Village 3-way Junction Bus Stop.
3) Get off at Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 5. Take Bus No.10-5 or 37 to Korean Folk Village or Nagok Village.
4) Get off at Sanggal Station (Bundang Subway Line), Exit 3. Take Bus No. 37, 10-5 or 5001-1 to Korean Folk Village or Nagok Village.
The village also operates a shuttle buses between a few selected locations.
Korean Folk Village ↔ Suwon Station
Suwon Station → Korean Folk Village: 10:30, 12:30, 14:30
Korean Folk Village → Suwon Station: 14:00, 15:30, 16:30
Korean Folk Village ↔ Sanggal Station
Korean Folk Village (Main gate): 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30
Sanggal Station, Exit 2: 11:05, 13:05, 15:05, 16:35, 17:35
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum: 11:10, 13:10, 15:10, 16:40, 17:40
Giheung Station, Exit 4: 11:20, 13:20, 15:20, 16:50, 17:45
Sanggal Station, Exit 3: 11:25, 13:25, 15:25, 16:55
Korean Folk Village (Main gate): 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:00
Suwon Station to Hwaseong Haenggung Palace
Taxi fare: approx 4,500원
Bus: 35, 11, 13, 66