The province of Gyeonggi-do hugs Seoul like a reverse letter ‘C, ’ providing excellent day trips or longer expeditions to some of Korea’s gems. Often overlooked due to its proximity to the Bladerunner-esque cityscape that is Seoul, Gyeonggi-do is a varied province: rivers and rice fields, shrines and scenery, timeless temples and ever-present smiles. Slip into the quiet fishing life on a West Sea island, walk on a deserted beach or a wave-smoothed mud flat, or go inland and take in fantastic vistas from hiking destinations such as Bukhansan National Park or Namhan Sanseong Provincial Park.
For a chilling reminder of cold-war animosities and the almost anachronistic threat of war, hop on a DMZ-bound tour bus and catch glimpses of North Korea, barbed wire and the paradox of Panmunjom. Shoppers looking to take home a piece of Korean art should hit the Korean Folk Village or Icheon Ceramic Village. When you’ve seen enough museums, travellers with children can enjoy Seoul Grand Park and Everland, or hit the slopes in winter for great skiing.
Suwon and Incheon are the area’s biggest cities; the latter has its own local government and telephone code and is the port for ferries to nearby islands, Jejudo, and even China. Ganghwado, a nearby island, is still relatively unspoilt, and has dolmen (ancient tombs), a mountain-top altar, fortifications and an interesting history, making it a perfect place to recharge your batteries if Seoul’s nightlife starts to wear thin.
Gyeonggi-do destination guides
Admission to Everland Theme Park or Caribbean Bay Water Park with Transport from Seoul
With your admission ticket to Everland Resort, the world’s 7th-largest theme park, you’ll be driven from Seoul to Yongin for a fun day of thrilling rides, water slides and wildlife attractions suitable for the whole family.