Suwon

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Suwon (수원,水原) is both the provincial capital and largest city in Gyeonggi province. The city is about 30km from Seoul and has a population of just over one million.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

By subway[edit]

Take Seoul subway line 1 (blue) south - Cheonan line. Ensure that you are on the correct section of the train as it later splits and travels on two separate lines: the Incheon line (west) and Cheonan line (south).

By train[edit]

It is also possible to take a commuter train from Seoul station. This is much faster (30-45min) and costs about ₩3,200, but runs more infrequently.

By bus[edit]

From Gangnam station in Seoul there is bus 5100 to the Yeongtong area in Suwon. From Sadang station in Seoul you can take bus 7000 to Suwon.

There is also a bus service connecting Castle Hotel in Suwon with Incheon International Airport, which takes 60-90min. This service operates 06:20-22:30 to the hotel and 04:50-20:30 to the airport, every 20-30min and costs ₩12,000.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

The bus lines in Suwon are reliable and cheap. Most major stops have a list of available bus lines with route information. Green buses typically run inside the city, and larger blue and red buses take passengers to Seoul and neighboring cities. While mainly listed in Korean, most major stops and points of interest are also listed in English.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are prevalent in Suwon, and easy to use. Several offer "free translation" services. You should know a major feature near your destination as the taxi drivers may not know specific addresses or minor building names, however with a little patience and understanding you will find a taxi willing to get you near your destination. Some will even call "English speaking" friends or relatives to help. Taxis are easily identified, mainly gray, white or black with lit signs on top and in the front windows. Black taxis are called "luxury" taxis, tend to be more comfortable/larger cars, go slower, and cost more. The gray or white taxis tend to get you there faster and cheaper, but may drive more recklessly.

By train[edit]

Suwon station(수원역) is the major station in Suwon. High speed KTX trains stop at Suwon station, as well as the slower Neuriro, Mugungwha, Saemaeul trains.

This train station is also on Line 1 of the Seoul metro network.

By subway[edit]

There are currently four stops on Seoul subway Line 1 that service the Suwon area. Suwon Station is the most central and largest, the second largest in the country, and also houses the train station proper, where you can catch a train to nearly anywhere else in South Korea. The Seryu, Hwaseo, and Sungkyunkwan University stations are the others. There is currently another subway line under construction to service other parts of the city.

By bicycle[edit]

Cycling in Suwon is easy as the sidewalks are wide and many are combination sidewalk and bike path. There are only a few challenging hills in Suwon and pedestrian traffic is not congestive in most areas.

On foot[edit]

Suwon is a large city, but walking can be a nice alternative to driving around downtown, the markets and the fortress proper. Whilst the walk between Suwon train station and the fortress is doable at a stretch, the Intercity Bus Terminal on the south side is well too far away, via a polluted mess of urban sprawl.

See[edit]

Night view of Jangamun, the north gate to Hwaseong fortress
  •    Hwaseong Fortress (Suwon Fortress). A stunning fortress constructed between 1794 to 1796 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking the circumference takes 2-3h. Visitors can try out archery, as well.
  • Manseok ParkJangan-gu. A large park with lake and recreational facilities.
  •    Suwon World Cup Stadium228 Uman-dong, Paldal-gu +82 31 202-2002. Also known as the Big Bird, Suwon's World Cup Stadium hosted one of the quarter-finals for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is now home to the 'Suwon Blue Wings of the K-League.
  •    Suwon First Church (수원제일교회 Suwom Jeil Kyohwi), 286-3 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu +82 31 244-0073. A striking church that dominates the Suwon skyline. Humongous 10-storey complex atop a hill and built entirely of black bricks (and being Korean, inexplicably trimmed with neon), it makes for an interesting sight, and a Korean architectural oddity.
  •    Baegun Lake (백운호수) (In the north west of Uiwang.). A lake with a number of different restaurants, hiking trails and local stores.

Do[edit]

  • Mount Gwanggyo. Mount Gwanggyo is in the north end of Suwon and offers an excellent of view of Suwon and the surrounding area. There are a number of peaks as well as a number of trails of varying difficulty. After a hike, try eating at one of the many farm restaurants at the base of the mountain. There are plenty of options for vegetarians here, and the tofu and dong-dong ju are as fresh as you can get it.

Buy[edit]

You can find many cloth and jewellery retail outlets near Paldalmun (Nammun), which is a part of Hwaseong Fortress and is a famous place in Suwon for buying winter clothes, apparels and cosmetics.

You can shop for brands like Chanel, Boss, Diesel and other international fashion chains at Galleria or the Suwon station mall.

Eat[edit]

The food court in the mall at the train/metro station offers an excellent quality Korean meal- for a very nice price. One can get a fantastic meal for ₩4,500 and select from many choices; there's a showcase displaying all your choices. Besides plentiful traditional Korean restaurants, there are many places which serve other cuisines and fast food. Vegetarian restaurants are hard to find, but they do exist.

  •    Datzzang Donkas2nd Floor, 1092 Jeongjo-ro, Jangan-gu (2F above Seorae galmaegisal, opposite the outdoor music stage on the NE side of Manseok Park),  +82 31 2269-7752. 11:30-21:30. Japanese restaurant specializing in donkas, but with plenty of other dishes such as udon and soba ₩8,000-14,000.

Galbi[edit]

Suwon is famous for its "Galbi". Restaurants near the Yeongtong Square (Sagori) serve Galbi. There's also an excellent Galbi restaurant right across the street from the World Cup Soccer stadium.

Drink[edit]

Major nightlife seems to revolve around three areas: Ingyedong, Yeongtong, and Nammun (Paldamun).

In Ingyedong you will find an amazing number of hofs, bars, restaurants, hostess bars etc. There's also several Korean nightclubs such as Juliana, Boss etc.

  • Club Loop. Open until 10:00. An "afterparty" club. Mainly electronic music (house, dance) and very large dance floor, which is packed on the weekends. Incredibly loud. Cover ₩15,000.
  • Crazy Duck. Cheap drinks, darts and music. Popular among westerners and students.

Nammun is big among the university students of Suwon. It has a fashion street and the majority of nightlife is centered on Rodeo Street which is behind the main street to the left of Nammun Gate.

  • 911 club. Famous for "drunken" tequila parties that it holds on Friday and Saturday night. It's a relaxed hip hop club with a bit of skate style.
  • Rodeo nightclub.

Other areas that offer some nightlife options include the Ajou University area and the Suwon Station area. Where you will find:

  • Plan B. A popular place among Ajou students, Aju-ro, Woncheon-dong.
  • Club Tao (Near Suwon Station.). Large Korean-style dance club.
  • Team Bar (Near Suwon Station.). Does bar shows.
  • S bar (Near Suwon Station.).
  • Ho rock (Near Suwon Station.). Serves pasta and steak, wine, and cocktails.

Yeongtong has the one of the major concentration of foreigners in Suwon city. Most of them are employees of Samsung Co. and the second dominant group are English teachers.

  • Now Bar (Near the Kinex cinema.). Popular hangout for expat English teachers and foreign students because of its cheap beer, fun atmosphere and friendly owner and staff.
  • Tinpan. Near KFC. Popular with students from the local university and teachers, plays mainly urban music. However has a wide range of cheap beers and cocktails.
  • Sam Ryan's (Near Suwon Station). The Suwon branch of the popular Itaewon bar, opened late 2011. Many beers on tap, good food, and plenty of sports on the big screen.
  • The Big Chill (Big Chill), Namun (Namun, Rodeo Gil (St.) - 중동사거리 directly in front of Hotel Central/Central Hotel on the 3rd floor, Suwon, South Korea),  +82 10 7600 2574. A really great bar that attracts plenty of foreigners and Koreans alike. A great atmosphere and staff. Pool table, darts, cheap drinks, and great company. Request your own music and chill with friends. It's also close to all of the other big areas to party such as Suwon Station and downtown Ingyedong.
  •    DCT17 Hwasan-ro 223 Beongil, Jangan-gu (Walking distance from Sungkyunkwan University Station),  +82 31 293-5424. 19:00-late.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

There are dozens of love-hotel style motels (모텔) in Suwon, starting from ₩25,000 for a double room. They can be found in clusters near Suwon Station, in the Ingyedong party area, and behind Ramada Hotel. Another cheap option is a jjimjilbang (찜질방). They are all over Suwon. Regular hotels exist too.

  •    SarangChae (수원화성사랑채), Nammun (Right beside Hwaseong Palace.),  +82 31 254-5555. Friendly staff and a nice view from the roof. ₩30,000+.

Mid range[edit]

Go next[edit]

Head up to Seoul via Anyang or Uiwang or down south to the hot springs resort of Asan and neighbouring Cheonan, hosting Korea's independence hall.

Routes through Suwon
Yongsan  NW KTXHonamLine.png SE  Seo-daejeon
Seoul ← Yongsan ←  NW SeoulSubwayLine1.png SE  Cheonan
Incheon  W SeoulSubwayLine1.png SE  Cheonan


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