Fancy going on a Korea countryside experience? We were able to do this and more in around 2.5 days. Chungbuk Province (short for Chungcheongbuk-do) is around 1.5 hours away from Seoul via Korail (and Chungnam too) so it's not impossible to get there, probably more convenient to rent a car or tour company if you'd like to go to more places in this list. I would also like to introduce you to 2 condominium style resorts we stayed in both Chungnam and Chungbuk at for the whole package :)
This was how Jeongnim Temple looked like according to historical records. The only thing left standing was a stone pagoda that withstood the test of time. They've uncovered a Sarira vessel there.
Aside from this beautiful backdrop, we got to experience either sleeping on the floor or our own beds after a full day in Chungnam exploring the Haemi Fortress and Solmoe Shrine (just click on the links to see my last 2 posts on those two and restaurant options). This resort also has a waterpark and arcade if you still have the energy :)
Ddukgalbi - beef patty in a stone grill like burger steak
Okay, so this is a food suggestion. I could give you details on where we had this (click on ddukgalbi word above).
Chungju Lake - for scenery lovers and hiking enthusiasts
Near the entrance to the Chungju Lake cruise is a park with a Buddha (where people go to turn a stone according to your age) and pavillions. We then took a cruise (around an hour) from here to the Danyang stop and back. Our local guide told us that there's a very nice trail around here for daytrip hikers. There's also a bunjee jumping tower and other water sports to last you for a few days around this manmade lake.
ES Resort Chungju Korea - for nature lovers and bums hehe
One of the places I'd love to explore more was our resort near Chungju-ho. I just loved the meadow and the BBQ area and their Gomoku board so much!!! Many thanks to Mr. Lee for teaching me this ancient game. I've been wanting to learn it for so long haha. Our whole tour group also spent our last night here in one of our balconies just talking about travel. Like the Lotte Buyeo Resort, we also had the same sleeping options in all of our rooms plus a balcony with seats.
Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral
We passed by this place actually on our way to catch our Seoul Asiana Airlines flight back to Manila. Here, I learned about the miracles of the Virgin Mary like how they were able to acquire this property on a hill, how the bells could not be melted to be made into weapons and how the bullets missed the Virgin Mary statue by the altar during the Japanese occupation.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Clearly from the tons of new brochures and guide books I took home, there are many more places just waiting to be discovered in the 2 provinces. We just have to visit them one at a time if the opportunity comes along to go outside of Seoul and Busan :)
This trip was made possible by Asiana Airlines Philippines, Korea Tourism Organization Manila, USTravel, Korea Tourism Organization Daejeon Chungcheongnam-do Promotion Office, Korea Tourism Organization Sejong Chungcheongbuk-do Promotion Office, the Chungnam Tourism Industry and both the Chungcheongnam-do and Chungcheongbuk-do Provincial Government. Korea is now MERS-free according to KTO and I just went there this August 2015.
Asiana Airlines flies once daily from Manila to Busan or Seoul and vice versa. You can book through your favorite local travel agencies about this tour. Chungnam and Chungbuk may be reached via Korail.
Tell me below: What activities do you enjoy doing in the countryside? Based on your own research, what other places have you found in Chungcheongnam-do or Chungcheongbuk-do would you like to visit someday or sounds cool?