Ara waterway on bike: Easy family ride from Gimpo Marina to the Waterfall

Enjoy the 21km long bike path connecting the Han River with the Yellow Sea. Ride along the canal surrounded by a unique landscape with wildflowers, waterfalls, terraces and docks

Ara Waterway Gimpo Marina

Last week-end we rediscovered the Ara Waterway biking path – this time starting from Ara Gimpo Marina and going until the Ara Waterfall.

The Ara Marina is a nice place to start the trip – taking pictures by the docks and the main sailing basin or just watching yachts and sailboats before renting our bikes. There you can rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats or even take some classes for yachting and sailboating. We’ll definitely be back next time for some boat adventure ;-)

We rented our bikes at the marina and followed the biking path in the direction of Incheon. Unfortunately there are some construction works around this area right now, so you have to take a short detour by road for the first 500m before connecting to the real biking lane. Starting from there everything was perfect. We loved biking on the wooden platforms watching the yachts, fields of flowers and airplanes taking off from the nearby Gimpo airport. We passed by the Suhyangwon- Korean traditional garden with its eight-sided pavilion and continued until the Ara Waterfall and then all the way back.

All in all we had a great time with our little ones biking at their own speed on this easy path and in a beautiful natural environment. Next time we want to try the other portion connecting from the Ara Waterfall until Incheon. See you there!

How to get there:
Gimpo Airport (Line 5, Line 09) – Exit 1 and take the Ara Marina convention shuttle bus

Address:
Arayukro 270-73, Gochon-eup, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
주소 경기도 김포시 고촌읍 전호리 130-3번지 마리나클럽하우스
연락처
TEL 1577-8764
FAX 031-984-6730

For localisation, check Seoul Map for Kids & Families

Rent a bike:
3,000KRW/ hour

For more information go to Ara Waterway

Ara Waterway

 

Jeonju Traditional Hanok Village (전주한옥마을)

Spend a day walking back in time! Jeonju Hanok Village with its 700 traditional Korean houses is one of the best-preserved living traditional villages. Beside its beautiful hanoks, Jeonju is also famous for hanji paper and its delicious cuisine.

Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju is located in the Jeolla province around 200 kilometers south of Seoul. The Hanok Village on the southern part of the city of Jeonju is a well preserved area of more than 700 historical hanoks. Just take a walk in the streets and enjoy the serene atmosphere!

Among the highlights, don’t  forget to visit the  Gyeonggijeon Shrine built in 1410. This beautiful shrine and its garden have been used as a filming site for many historical dramas and movies. Another place not to be missed is Jeonju Hyanggyo, a Confucian school established in the early 17th century.

We really enjoyed our time walking among the hanok village’s narrow streets and alleyways, having a look at handicraft workshops and artisan shops and of course tasting Jeonju’s delicious local food.

As a Slow city, Jeonju Hanok Village promotes a high-quality environment and healthy eating based on locally grown and prepared food. You will surely be tempted by many traditional restaurants, beautiful coffee shops and teahouses.

We visited during a hot summer weekend and spent a wonderful half-day exploring the village. If the weather is too hot, we recommend taking a break and treating yourself with a Patbingsu (the best Korean summer dessert: shaved ice with red bean paste). On the main street, there is a stream with fresh water running on the side walk and also a fountain in the centre. The kids loved jumping in and splashing out!

Jeonju Hanok Village

How to get there:

Seoul → Jeonju
Seoul Central Terminal → Jeonju Express Bus Terminal
(First bus – 05:30 / Last bus – 24:00 / Runs every 10 minutes / Travel time – 2 hours, 45 minutes)

Jeonju Express Bus Terminal → Jeonju Hanok Village
* Take Bus 5-1 from the bus stop located 150m away from the taxi stand on the opposite side of the street (towards Inter-city bus terminal direction).
(Bus runs every 15 minutes / Travel time: around 15 minutes).

  • Take Bus 79 from the bus stop in front of the terminal main gate.
    (Runs every 25 minutes / Travel time: around 15 minutes).
  • Take a taxi: approximately 10 minutes

For localisation, see our  Map for Kids and Families

Summer Mountain River swimming, in Hwacheon region

Amazingly blue mountain river with natural rock-made pools to splash during the hottest months – about 3 hours away from Seoul

Mountain swim road 56 Sanae-myeon, Hwacheon-gu

We all know those hot summer days when the heat becomes almost unbearable in Seoul. Even with all its water fountains in the city parks or its outdoor swimming pools, there comes a time when we need to take a break from the busy hot Seoul life.

That’s exactly what we did last time: we were craving for freshness, nature and a beautiful refreshing swim in a mountain stream. We headed over in the beautiful valley of Sachang-ri, Gangwon-do, a rather lengthy but truly worthy ride of around 3 hours from Seoul center.

The whole valley is spectacular. It lies along the road 56, westbound from the Chuncheon-Hwacheon road 5. The valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains and with a clear-blue stream flowing in the middle.

You may basically stop anywhere along the road 56 but access might be rather difficult at times. A good site to enjoy the day may be at about 13km from the roads 5 & 56 intersection.
There is a small parking area from which you can easily walk down to the river. Along the stream, you will find nice sandy spots, beautiful water-eroded rocks and nice natural water-hole pools.

When we visited, we enjoyed just the perfect conditions: blue sky, clear water, ideal temperature and depth of the stream. Beware though that water depth might vary greatly depending on the season and precipitations.

How to get there:
184-1 Yongdam-ri, Sanae-myeon, Hwacheon (GPS coordinates: 38.054671, 127.548495).

Public transportation is not really an option – better drive with your own car towards Chuncheon, then in the direction of Hwacheon (road 5) until reaching road 56 where you should follow Sachang-ri / Sanae-myeon direction.

For localization, see Seoul map for Kids and Families.

Mountain swim road 56 Sanae-myeon, Hwacheon-gu