Course

Gokseong Train Village Rose Park Seomjingang Steam Locomotive Gajeong Station Lodging Gurye Cheoneunsa Temple Nogodan Peak
Gokseong is a jewel in the crown in the tour of Jeollanam-do. Many would wonder what's there to see in Gokseong, but it's where all the fun is for tourists. You'll find a world of beautiful flowers, the leisure of touring the river on a rail bike or bicycle, and a ride on an ancient steam train. After enjoying the beauty of Seomjingang River, go up to Jirisan Mountain and look down over the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Gokseong is the place to start if you want to see Seomjingang River and Jirisan Mountain in a single trip. Here's a tip! Since Gokseong Train Village is your point of departure, you're recommended to hop on a train when you arrive at Gokseong.
  • How to get to Gokseong
  • * By Train
  • Yongsan Station→ Gokseong Station:
  • KTX – Departs at 08:20 and 19:20 / 2hr 49min ride
    Saemaeul – Departs at 08:35 and 18:15 / 3hr 47min ride
    Mugunghwa – First Train 06:35, Last Train 22:45, 9 times daily /
    4hr 10min ride
  • Yeongdeungpo Station→ Gokseong Station:
  • Saemaeul – Departs at 08:43 and 18:22 / 3hr 42min ride
    Mugunghwa – First Train 06:43, Last Train 22:53, 9 times daily / 4hr 5min ride

    * More information about the train
  • *By Bus
  • Central City Terminal→ Gokseong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • Departure Time: 15:00, Once a day
    Travel Time: 3hr 45mins
    Bus Fare: KRW 21,100
1day,Gokseong Train Village When departing from Seoul, you may find it difficult to find a ride to Gokseong. But the ride back is a tad more difficult, so you might want to book a ticket while paying more consideration on the return trip. If you're departing from Seoul, it's much easier to find a ride in Namwon or Gurye. This makes Gokseong the best place to start your tour of the area, transportation-wise. The two best options would be getting on a train at Yongsan Station or catching a bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal to Gokseong. An alternative to these two would be hopping on a bus at Gangnam Express Bus Terminal bound for Namwon, and then transferring to another bus to Gokseong. The bus runs frequently from Namwon to Gokseong, and it's only about a 30-minute ride.

After getting off in Gokseong, you'll find yourself in a small, backwater town. It's more like a village, and you'll find melon farms just outside the downtown area. If you took a train, you'll see that Train Village is just across a small bridge near the train station you got off. But if took a bus and got off at the bus terminal, you would want to be prepared for a walk since you'll have to pass through a traditional marketplace and then walk on the riverbank for a while. If you don't feel like walking, you can take a metro bus from the terminal to Train Village.

<1004 Different Types of Roses >
Gokseong Train Village in Gokseong is a disused train station turned into a theme park. Train stations no longer in service are usually demolished, but this one survived thanks to a government employee who came up with the idea. As you walk into this place from the real train station where you got off, you'll see an array of pensions and train cafes to your right. At the end of the train, you'll see a garden with 1004 different types of roses from all over the world. With narrow paths in between thousands of roses, it's a must go place for those on a date. There is an observatory platform on the right side of the entrance of the rose garden. Go up there to have a look. Once you're done touring the area, come down on the opposite side, and you'll see the old Gokseong Station. The train now serves as an entrance to Train Village. Moreover, it's a pretty site on its own right as a Modern Cultural Heritage. The railway platform is still there, as well as an old train that's now no longer in service but now serves as a landmark. Right next to the disused train is the Rail Bike Platform. The rails encircle the village and rose garden. The village includes a small amusement park and stores for the entertainment and convenience of visitors. Overall, this cozy little village is a pretty sight to behold. Gokseong Station is the only place in Korea where you can ride a steam locomotive. Even the platform looks the same as it was decades ago.
If you're a fan of Korean drama, it would be interesting to note that it's the very platform where actor Jang Dong-gun hopped on a train full of new army recruits in the movie Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War as well as where actor Choi Min -soo got on the train bound for Manchuria in a TV series titled The Hourglass. So Gokseong Station Platform was the film location for perhaps the most watched Korean TV series and movie.
  • Travel Tip
  • Admission Fee: Adult KRW 3,000,
    Children KRW 2,500
1day,Steam Locomotive Ride Along
Seomjingang River
Here, the steam locomotive, converted into a tour train, runs five times a day. Riding this steam locomotive is the highlight of the tour of Train Village. The train runs along Seomjingang River. This makes it one of the best train tours in the entire country of Korea. On the train, you'll find a man dressed in the uniform of a ticket inspector. Don't let the uniform fool you. He's actually a tour narrator, telling visitors about the place. After about a 30-minute ride along the river, the train will stop at Gajeong Station. Gajeong Station is another train village. It's the terminal station for both the steam locomotive and Seomjingang Rail Bike.

Gajeong Station is a good place to lodge since there are more than 20 train and log pensions along the railway, commanding a beautiful view of the river below. If you're looking for another form of lodging, you may also choose to lodge in Sim Cheong Village not far from the station. It's a theme village with lodging, designed to let visitors know that Gokseong is the backdrop of the Story of Sim Cheong. Originally a mountain village, the place was remodeled to serve the present purpose. That's why there are beautiful alleys along stone fences, inside of which are lodging facilities. Along with Train Village, this place is managed by the Korea Railroad.
  • Travel Tip
  • Solsongju (Pine Wine) Tasting -> Riding Steam Locomotive
    *Schedule
    09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30 / 30min ride (The 17:30 train is not available in winter)
    *Fare
    Round Trip: KRW 6,000.
    One-Way: KRW 4,000 (KRW 500 discount on no-seat ticket)
    → Steam Locomotive Fare
    Round Trip: KRW 6,000.
    One-Way: KRW 4,000 (KRW 500 discount on no-seat ticket)
    → For more information on train schedule and fare, please visit http://www.gstrain.co.kr/

  • Rail Pension
  • Type1) Train Village Rail Pension Rate (Weekend)
    Room for 2 Persons – KRW 100,000 / 4 Persons – KRW 120,000 / 5~6 Persons – KRW 150,000 / 12 Persons – KRW 300,000
    Type2) Gajeong Station Rail Pension Rate (Weekend)
    Room for 2 Persons – KRW 90,000 / 5~6 Persons – KRW 170,000
    Reservation: +82-61-362-9712
    * Rates may vary according to season and room type. Please make sure to check the exact rate in advance. The room rate listed above is subject to change.
  • Famous Restaurants
  • Chinese mitten crab soup is the most popular food in Gokseong. It's listed as one of the 'Seven Delicacies' of Jirisan Mountain. There are many restaurants serving Chinese mitten crab soup. Among them, Byeolcheonji Garden is one of the most visited restaurants in the area. Sagyejeol Hoetjip is also a highly recommended place to dine.
    Byeolcheonji Garden: +82-61-362-8746
    Sagyejeol Hoetjip: +82-16-362-1933
2day,Cheoneunsa Temple If you cross the bridge from Gajeong Station over Seomjingang River, you'll see a bus stop in front of an observatory where you can take a bus to Gurye. The bus will take you along the winding river and to Gurye. The bus will pass through Amnok Recreation Area and downtown Gurye before stopping at Gurye Bus Terminal. At the bus terminal, you'll see buses running frequently to Cheoneunsa Temple. You can either take one of the buses that go directly to the temple or the one bound for Seongsamjae Pass, which also stops at Cheoneunsa on the way. It's because Cheoneunsa is located at the beginning of Jirisan Tourist Ring Road, en route to Seongsamjae. So if you're taking this bus, get off right after the ticket office that's located right in the middle of the road.

Along with Hwaeomsa Temple and Ssanggyesa Temple, Cheoneunsa Temple is one of the three great ancient temples in Jirisan Mountain. An interesting story is told about this temple. Founded in 828 by a Buddhist monk from India, it was originally named Gamnosa, literally meaning "a temple of sweet dew", because there was a natural spring producing clean, delicious water. But the temple was completely burnt down during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. The strange thing is that when the temple was rebuilt, a large snake emerged from the spring and people killed it. And after the snake was killed, the spring stopped producing water. That's why the temple was renamed to Cheoneunsa, which literally means "a temple of hidden spring" in Korean. But the story didn't end there. Small fires started breaking out after the incident and the reconstruction of the temple. Around the time, Yi Gwang-sa, one of the four most renowned calligraphers of the Joseon Dynasty, wrote the word 'Cheoneunsa' in Chinese on a board and had it hung over the One Pillar Gate, the entrance to the temple. Strangely, after the hanging board was installed, the spring started producing water again and fires ceased to break out. The very board is still there over the gate near the parking lot. A legend has it that you can hear the sound of flowing water if you put your ear to the gate and listen carefully.

A walking tour of the temple takes about one hour to complete. And when you get out of the temple after your tour of the area, you'll find a bus bound for Seongsamjae. From there, you can easily get to Nogodan Peak.
  • Famous Restaurants
  • Marsh snail is the local specialty of Gurye. It's one of the Seven Delicacies of Jirisan Mountain. Restaurants in the area serve marsh snails from the clean water of Seomjingang River, and it's what set them apart from those in other regions. There are two restaurants officially listed as specialty restaurants in downtown Gurye, serving marsh snail dishes
    Bubu Restaurant: +82-61-782-9113
    Seonmiok Daseulgi: +82-61-781-6756
2day,Nogodan Peak Nogodan Peak is only about an hour's walk from Seongsamjae. Seongsamjae is the only place in Jirisan Mountain that can be reached with ease, whereas it's a pretty strenuous hike to most other places in the mountain. It's also where the Jirisan mountain ridge trail starts. Nogodan is a great place to visit, regardless of how you get there.

If you go there early in the morning, you'll see the sun rising up above a sea of clouds. The clouds are one of the eight most beautiful sites of Jirisan Mountain.
If you hike for about half an hour, you'll reach Munenggi Observatory. It commands a panoramic view of Seomjingang River.

Go up the mountain a little higher, and you'll see the Nogodan Sanjang Pension.
It was built by Korean Catholics to be used as a prayer hall and lodging place for priests visiting the area. It's no longer used for these purposes today. Hike up the mountain for another 20 minutes or so from the service area, and you'll reach the top of Nogodan, 1,507m above sea level. Enjoy a panoramic view of Jirisan Mountain! Early in the summer, the entire area is covered with daylilies.
  • Other Tourist Nearby
  • Seongsamjae Branch Office of Jirisan National Park: +82-61-783-9109
    There are snack bars, stores, sports shop, and Café Bene in the premises. It serves as a base camp for those planning to hike on the Jirisan ridge..