[box_dark]Seomjingang River 섬진강[/box_dark]

Lazily flowing south from the Jirisan Mountains, the Seomjingang River is one of Korea’s most idyllic. This is a trip back into old Korea, before the rapid development of the post-war era. The river is lined by pleasant hiking and biking paths, but the most interesting way to explore the region may be the replica steam train that plies the route between old Gokseong Station and Gajeong Station.


The town of Hadong, on the lower Seomjingang, is famous for its green tea.

Just lots and lots of pleasant countryside. The Buddhist monastery of Ssanggyesa in Hadong is one of Korea’s most beautiful.

There’s a rail bike that takes you along the river from Chimgok Station to Gajeong Station (KRW 15,000 for two).

There are lots of motels around the Hwagae Valley of Hadong.

Tickets for the steam train are KRW 7,000 (T. 061-362-7717).

Take the KTX to Gwangju from Seoul’s Yongsan Station (travel time: 3 hours) and then a bus
from Gwangju to Gokseong (travel time: 1 hour, 10 minutes).