In the eastern wilds of Gangwon-do is the scenic mountain town of Jeongseon, famous for its version of the Korean folk song Arirang. It’s rugged country out here, home to high peaks and rushing rivers. Interestingly enough, it’s also home to Gangwonland, the only casino in the country open to Korean punters. If you’d like to learn more about Jeongseon’s contribution to Korean music, be sure to visit during the Jeongseon Arirang Festival (Oct 2–5). There will be performances of Arirang, of course, but you can also check out the rural market that convenes for the duration of the festival. Even if Korean music isn’t your thing, it’s a good opportunity to discover a beautiful and relatively less touristy part of the country.
EAT> The province of Gangwon-do is famous for its makguksu (buckwheat noodles) and gamjajeon (potato pancakes).
The Samtan Art Mine is an old coal mine that has been turned into a museum and cultural space.
A good way to experience the great outdoors is the Jeongseon Auraji Rail Bike—7.2 km of abandoned railway track that takes you past some of the town’s best scenery.
If you’ve got the money to burn, High1 Resort is a beautiful place to stay.
Buses to Jeongseon depart from Seoul’s Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (travel time: 3 hrs, 40 min).