Chungju (not be confused with provincial capital Cheongju) is a handy transport hub for various points in the mountains of central Korea. It is a beautiful town that is abundant with tourist sources and Jungwon (the center of a field in Korea) culture. It is also the hometown of Ban Ki moon, the Secretary General of the U.N.
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The helpful tourist information office has a counter inside the bus terminal, but opening hours seem to be a bit unpredictable. English spoken and has a wealth of information on the area.
Nearby Cheongju has a sizeable international airport.
There is one direct Mugunghwa train per day from Seoul, which takes the better part of three hours to putter its way in. Other options are to take the Gyeongbu Line to Jochiwon and transfer there, or even taking the KTX to Daejeon and continuing from there.
Chungju's sparkling new bus station is located on the northern side of town in a big complex also housing a Lotte Mart hypermarket. There are hourly departures to Danyang (1:30, ₩6,200).
In season, you can take a very scenic cruise across Chungju Lake to Danyang (2 hours, ₩18,000), and you can go for a sightseeting spin on the lake throughout the year (unless the lake freezes over entirely in winter). The ferry terminal is served by bus 301 (30 minutes, ₩950), which leaves across the street from the bus terminal, but inquire at the tourist information office for schedules (and whether the boats are running) as there are only 9 buses a day.
- Chungjuho. Chungjuho has the largest multipurpose dam in South Korea which holds the largest body of fresh water, linking Chungju, Jecheon, and Danyang in Chungcheongbuk do. There are Mt. Wolaksan National Park, Mt. Geumsusan, Gudambong Peak, etc. around the lake, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature harmonizing with the blue water. They run a tourist ship from Chungju to Sin Danyang (53km).
- Chungju World Martial Arts Festival. Every October, the city government arranges the Chungju World Martial Arts Festival. In this festival, you can enjoy taekgyeon, taekwondo and various world martial arts. Taekgyeon is a more traditional martial art and a precursor to taekwondo, the latter which is an Olympic sport since 2000.
- Liquorium (리쿼리움), 12 Tapjeongan-gil, Gageum-myeon, ☏ . Considering itself the world's first liquor museum, the Liquorium features primarily Western drinks such as whiskey and beer, but there is also a section on Korean liquors.
- Wakeboarding. *Wakeboarding If you drive into Chungju, take the first left after the bus terminal intersection, heading south towards the river. You will go under the railway, then see a park on your left. Drive into the riverside park and walk 100m to a wakeboard floating house on the river. Prices are cheaper than Seoul. Only ₩17,000 for outboard engine each time (in the 2008 season).
Hot springs bathing
Two excellent resort areas exist in Chungju-shi:
- Angseong-oncheon is to the northwest, and can be reached by local bus No. 365. There are several hotels here, each which have a hot springs bathing area in them. Some have hot springs water piped into the individual hotel rooms.
- Suanbo is to the south. Local buses go there from in front of the intercity bus terminal in Chungju. Suanbo is a compact town, with a plethora of hotels and many excellent restaurants. Culinary specialties of the area are mountain vegetable feasts and game such as pheasants and rabbits. The Hi-Spa, located on the main street near the bus stop, is the main city oncheon. Several hotels have their own bath areas open to the public.
- [dead link] Bonjuk. Part of a chain serving up traditional Korean rice porridge in many forms, both sweet and savory. Try the oyster porridge (₩8000). Conveniently located across the street from the bus terminal, next to the stop for the elusive bus 301. English menu available. Another porridge place, Damjuk, is located at the north end of the same street, near the bus stop to Anseong-oncheon (Bus No. 365). ₩5000-9000.
- Apples. Chungju is famous for apples. A giant apple sculpture greets you as you drive into town. Apples are a lot cheaper here than in the rest of Korea.
- Danyang - Caves, mountains and temples, widely renowned as North Chungcheong province's premier tourist attraction.
- Cheongju - The provincial capital, local airport, and historic town in its own right. Birthplace of jikji, the world's oldest moving metal type print book.
- Suanbo - Hot spring and ski resort.
- Woraksan National Park