In October of last year, my mom came to visit (again!) and we spent a lovely weekend in Suncheon City in Jeollanam Province. Some people recommend spending one day in Suncheon and another day in Yeosu, a neighboring city. But this felt a little too much for a weekend, so we stuck with our original plan of two days in Suncheon. If you’re pressed for time and would like to explore both cities, I would say it’s definitely possible, especially with city tours organized by the cities! Depending on which days you will be in the city, there are different tours available, taking you to different major locations.
You can easily get to Suncheon by taking the KTX train to Suncheon Station (순천역) or by bus to Suncheon Jonghap Bus Terminal (순천종합버스터미널). The city tour bus will pick up participants at Suncheon KTX Station at 9:30 a.m. If you can read Korean or have a Korean friend who can help you book a spot on the tour, I would definitely do that. Foreigners do not have to reserve a spot in advance, but there might not be many spots left if you decide to join on the day of! The bus only seats 40 passengers, and many Korean people reserve their seats online!
I did this tour again at the beginning of this month when my friend came to visit, but everything was still dead and bare from winter. My recommendation would be to go sometime between May and October if you really want to see vibrant colors all around!
For the Saturday tour (Seonamsa Course – 선암사 코스), they took us on the following route: Seonamsa Temple (선암사) -> Naganeupseong Folk Village (낙아읍성) -> Suncheonman Bay National Garden (순천만국가정원) -> Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve (순천만습지)
If you’re big into nature, I think you’d love the places we went to. We definitely did a lot of walking and in some places, the steps were pretty steep and rocky. Be careful where you step and wear comfortable shoes!
First stop, Seonamsa Temple!
Second stop, Naganeupseong Folk Village!
Third stop, Suncheonman Bay National Garden!
Fourth stop, Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve!
In my opinion, the tour did not feel too rushed. While the tour was conducted in Korean, my mom and I enjoyed walking around by ourselves and taking pictures. The tour includes all the entrance fees, but does not include lunch! Don’t worry about needing to find a restaurant on your own! They’ll take you to one or give you a few options nearby! The bus driver was very kind and allowed my mom to charge her camera when he drove from one place to the next. She had forgot to charge her camera battery the night before.
On the second day, my mom and I purchased a city bus pass and went to a couple locations. Our first stop was Suncheon Drama City (순천 드라마 세트장). It wasn’t one of the destinations on the Saturday tour, but my mom (having lived through the 60s, 70s, and 80s) was excited to visit the old drama set. We dressed up in school uniforms, danced our butts off, and enjoyed taking some old-fashioned pictures. We spent around two hours here! If you were to come here with the tour, you’d probably spend about an hour or less.
I hope you have an amazing time in Suncheon. It’s a really beautiful city and I definitely recommend going if you have a free weekend during your travels. If you have more than a couple days’ time, I would definitely combine Suncheon with Yeosu, Boseong, and Damyang and see all that Jeollanam Province has to offer!
Happy travels, everyone!