This guide to things to do in Goseong on a small budget shows that you don't need to spend a lot to have fun in the county. There are plenty of activities and attractions that you can enjoy for a small (or zero) fee. These include hiking, camping, and sampling the local cuisine.

    Or how about renting a bike and cycling along spectacular rural roads, staying the night at a Buddhist temple, or experiencing a local festival? You'll find these activities and more below in our list of cheap and free things to do in this part of South Korea’s Gangwon Province.

    1

    Hiking in Goseong

    Explore Goseong’s pristine mountains

    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Hiking in Goseong is an excellent low-budget plan when visiting this beautiful county in Gangwon Province. Head to Hwajinpo Lake, in the northern outskirts of the county, and hike along the relativity flat forest trail that hugs the shoreline of the sparkling lake. There is no entrance fee.

    Further south lies Seoraksan National Park, one of South Korea’s most famous – and beautiful – parks. There are dozens of trails to suit all fitness levels, including the easy 2-hour roundtrip walk to Biryong Falls and the more challenging hike up to Daecheongbong Peak. To get to Seoraksan, take a bus to Sokcho and then a local bus to the main park entrance. The entrance fee to Seoraksan National Park is nominal.

    2

    Neungpadae

    See rocks carved by the sea

    • Budget
    • Photo

    Neungpadae is an impressive cliff face overlooking the East Sea in the village of Munamjil. The rocks look like a giant beehive up close. The honeycomb effect is due to salt weathering – salt enters the cracks and causes the granite to crumble gradually. The result is a picture-postcard setting of a uniquely shaped rock formation with the sparkling blue sea as a backdrop.

    Neungpadae is easily accessible from the port of Munamjil. Some of the rocks are sharp, so it's best to explore the area wearing sturdy shoes. Afterward, you can enjoy Munam Beach right next door.

    Location: Munamjil-ri, Jugwang-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

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    3

    Yeoga Farm/Leisure Garden Farm

    Spend a day picking blueberries and tomatoes

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Yeoga Farm/Leisure Garden Farm in the center of Goseong County harvests organic blueberries, tomatoes, basil, mint, and other herbs. You can join in on the blueberry harvesting with the experience usually opening in early July. It’s a great go-to spot for a warm summer morning, picking berries while surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.

    Between August and September, you can pick juicy cherry tomatoes. The farm does offer other experiences, but you need to phone beforehand. There is also a shop that sells the farm’s produce, including homemade jelly, for reasonable prices.

    Location: 790 Haesang-ri, Ganseong-eup, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Phone: +82 (0)104-282-4190

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    4

    Geonbongsa Temple

    Where you can give your body and mind a proper rest

    • Budget
    • History
    • Single

    Geonbongsa Temple is a peaceful Buddhist temple tucked away in the mountains of Goseong. It has a 1,500-year-old history and is a beautiful place for a temple stay. Such a stay can be a unique opportunity to experience Korean Buddhist monks' daily lifestyle, rituals, and spirituality.

    While you engage in the daily monastic activities, which include meditations and prostrations, you'll also give yourself time to recharge your body and mind. The stay costs less than your average hotel stay per night, and includes dinner and breakfast.

    Location: 723 Geonbongsa-ro, Geojin-eup, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

    Phone: +82 (0)33-682-8100

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    5

    Gangwon Nature Road

    Scenic drives through the province

    • Budget
    • Photo
    • Group

    Gangwon Nature Road is a series of driving routes catering to road-trippers in South Korea. Several of the beautiful courses pass right through Goseong County. The 11-km Jinburyeong Scenic Drive (once voted among the top scenic roads in Korea) winds through picturesque mountain valleys from the village of Jinburyeong to the Jangsin Recreation Neighborhood.

    Another recommended route is Hwajinpo Scenic Drive. Starting from Daejinhang Port, the 11-km route takes you south past the tranquil Hwajinpo Lake, the Baegseom Observatory, and the East Sea's crashing waves to Gajin Beach.

    6

    Gangwon East Coast Bike Path

    Cycle up the north coast of Goseong

    • Budget
    • Adventure
    • Photo

    Following the Gangwon East Coast Bike Path is a great and inexpensive way to explore the natural beauty of the county. The route follows Gangwon Province’s coastline from Samcheok Gopo Village to Goseong Unification Observation Deck.

    The path passes tiny fishing villages, stunning seascapes, and quiet pine forest roads. You can enjoy fresh seafood, visit local tourist spots, and explore seaside resorts during the course. While the cycle path is 242 km long, you can start your bike trip at any point, depending on your preferences and fitness level.

    7

    Sample Goseong’s local cuisine

    Tuck into Goseong’s best food

    Most restaurants in Goseong serve reasonably priced set meals, so you can sample some of the best regional cuisines without breaking the bank. Makugsu is a famous dish made of cold buckwheat noodles and fresh vegetables in a chilled beef broth. This traditional noodle salad is usually eaten on hot summer days. Another favorite summer dish is mulhoe, an icy and spicy soup of raw fish and chopped fruit and vegetables in a tangy red pepper broth.

    As a coastal province, you can also find plenty of restaurants in Goseong serving sashimi. The plate of fresh seafood is usually accompanied by hot dipping sauces and various side dishes, including rice, kimchi, and crispy lettuce leaves.

    8

    Jangsin Recreation Neighborhood

    A quiet, family-friendly place to camp

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure
    • Group

    The Jangsin Recreation Neighborhood is a great place to experience Goseong province’s beautiful valleys when traveling on a small budget. This popular camping and bathing spot is about 23 km from Goseong town. Jangsin is surrounded by the picturesque Jinburyeong mountains, with a cold, clear and shallow valley river flowing right in front of the camp ground.

    The camp ground features toilets and showers, plus a small shop selling simple supplies. You can also rent an inflatable tube, perfect for lazy summer days. To reach Jangsin Recreation Neighborhood, take local bus number 10 or 20 from Goseong town to Jangsin. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes.

    Location: 513 Jangsin-ri, Ganseong-eup, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

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    9

    Munam-ri Prehistoric Site

    Historical ruins in Goseong

    • Budget
    • History

    Munam-ri Prehistoric Site is a Neolithic site located in a low hilly area 400 meters inland between Baekdo Beach and Jajakdo Beach. The historic ruins were discovered in 1997 during a survey. Subsequent excavations have revealed that the site was home to 5 homes and 13 agriculture fields.

    A large number of relics have also been found here, including stone tools, patterned earthenware, carbonised grains, and burial relics. You can reach the Neolithic site after an easy 5-minute walk from the beach.

    Location: 1 Munamjil-ri, Jugwang-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea

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    10

    Goseong local festivals

    Check out various festivities throughout the year

    • Budget
    • Group

    On 1 January, locals gather on Hwajinpo Beach to celebrate the Goseong Sunrise Festival and pray for the reunification of Korea with a peaceful sunrise. The festival includes fireworks, military band performances, and a candlelight ceremony. The Wanggok Village Traditional Folk Experience Festival takes place between July and October. You’ll get to travel back in time and experience the Korea of yesteryear.

    At the Suseong Cultural Festival in September, you can discover the local cultural and artistic traditions of Goseong through parades, folklore, and sporting events. In October, Geojin Port hosts the famous Goseong Myeongtae Festival, which celebrates Korea’s favorite fish – myeongtae (dried pollock). There are wrestling contests, parades, fireworks, free boat rides, and pop concerts during the event.

    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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