Suncheon is a middle-sized town of 250,000 people near the sea, and is an important center of industry and agriculture. It is about 1 hour from the major city of Gwangju.
The downtown of Suncheon has an old town (구도심) and a new town (신도심). You can experience some historical traces of modernization and industrialization of a small city of Korea in the old town. And in new town, you can feel the general life style of small city of Korea. You can also visit more historic places in the suburb of Suncheon, an hour's bus ride away.
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There are a number of buses from the Express Bus Terminal (고속버스터미널) in Seoul. It takes 3 hours 50 minutes from Seoul.
Like many other Korean cities, Suncheon is not a very bike-friendly place. But riding a bike through the Dongcheon stream to Suncheon Bay is recommendable. Suncheon has a well managed public bicycle service.
Almost every city bus in Suncheon passes the Suncheon station and bus terminal. Some useful bus lines are shown below. City bus 77 is the most useful and frequent line that connects the old town with the new town by crossing the city.
|1||Haeryong (해룡)||Suncheon-station > Bus terminal > Suncheon-univ.||Seonamsa (선암사)||Every hour|
|66||Jeil high school (제일고)||Bus terminal > Suncheon-station > Suncheonman garden||Inanchogyo (인안초교)||Every 30 min.|
|67||Jeil high school (제일고)||Bus terminal > Suncheon-station > Suncheon bay ecological garden||Inanchogyo (인안초교)||Every 30 min.|
|111||Haeryong (해룡)||Suncheon-station > Bus terminal > Suncheon-univ.||Songgwangsa (송광사)||Every hour|
|77||Jeil highschool (제일고)||Old town > Suncheon-station > New town||Gwangyang-terminal (광양터미널)||Every 10 min.|
The old town
- 1 Suncheon national university museum (순천대학교박물관), 315, maegok-dong (In the Suncheon univ.), ☏ . 10AM-5PM(Mon-Fri). Some historic artifacts from the east of South-Jeolla province area. Quite new building has two stories of small collections. Free.
- Maesan-road (매산길). There are some historical buildings built by christian missionaries in early 20th century.
- Munhwauigeori (문화의거리, Cultural street) (Connected to Jungang-dong (중앙동)). Small street that has traditional tea shops, cafes, restaurants and handicraft shops.
The new town
- Suncheon drama open set (순천드라마촬영장) (Ride citybus 77, get off at 'Drama set' stop). 9AM-6PM. Many Korean films and dramas based on the age 60s to 80s were shot in here. \3,000.
- 2 Naganeupseong Castle (낙안읍성) (by citybus 61, 63, 68, from Suncheon-station and bus terminal, every an hour.). A Joseon dynasty era castle built in 1397 and one of the most well preserved in Korea. It takes an hour from downtown.
- 3 Suncheon Waeseong Castle (순천왜성, Suncheon Japanese Castle). Suncheon Japanese Castle was built during the second Japanese invasion of Korea in 1597.
- 4 Songgwangsa Temple (송광사). Dating from 867, this is one of Korea's oldest temples. It takes an hour and 30 minutes from downtown.
- 5 Seonamsa Temple (선암사), Address 450, Seonamsa-gil, Seungju-eup, Suncheon-si (by citybus 1, from Suncheon-station and bus terminal, every an hour.), ☏ . A large temple complex dating from 861, with natural tea fields cultivated for many hundreds of years. It takes an hour from downtown. One out of seven Korean mountain monasteries to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018.
- 6 Suncheon Bay (순천만, 순천만자연생태공원, Suncheonman Bay, Suncheon Bay Ecological Park), 513-25, Suncheonman-gil (by citybus 66, 67 from bus terminal and Suncheon-station, every 30 minutes.), ☏ . 8AM-5PM(Jan-Feb,Nov-Dec), 8AM-6PM(Mar-Apr,Sep-Oct), 8AM-7PM(May-Aug). ₩3,000-₩8,000.
- 1 Jukdobong Park (죽도봉공원). With 30 minutes walk there is a nice view of the old town of Suncheon. You can start from Origolmok (오리골목, Duck-dish street) in Jogok-dong or Railroad official residence village (철도관사마을) in Jogok-dong.
- 2 Dongcheon (동천, East stream). Ride a bike or walk through Dongcheon.
- 3 Suncheondaehakro (순천대학로, Suncheon univ. street) (Almost every city bus passes Suncheon univ.). Experience the night life of the small regional college students of Korea. Quite old-fashioned but has its own unique atmosphere.
- 4 Hanokgeulbang (Hanok library, Korean-style library, 한옥글방) (In the Munhwauigeori (Cultural street)), ☏ . Read a book in a small library in Korean style Building (Hanok, 한옥). But bring your own books unless you read Korean, as the library owns no foreign-language books. Free.
- 1 Suncheon Ssinae-mall (순천씨내몰). Underground arcade shopping mall in old town. Mainly sells usual clothes, but you can also find some souvenirs here.
- 2 Jungang-dong (중앙동). Suncheon version of Myong-dong (명동). Glimpse the fashion styles of Suncheon. Street foods are also available here.
- 3 Utjang (웃장, upper market). Every 5 days that ends in 5 or 0. One of the two big old markets in Suncheon. Famous for pork stew.
- 4 Araetjang (아랫장, lower market) (10 minutes by walk from bus terminal, 15 minutes from Suncheon station.). Every 5 days that ends in 2 or 7. The biggest old market in Suncheon and one of the biggest in the whole country. You can find every kind of seafood, vegetables, fruits and various street foods.
The old town
- 1 Pork stew street (돼지국밥골목), 40, Bukmun-gil (You can walk from provincial medical center (의료원)). Ut-jang (웃장) market has a pork stew street. ₩6000.
- Mud hopper stew (짱둥어탕, Jjangdungeotang). This can be quite a gross dish even for a Korean. It's like another version of maeuntang (매운탕, spicy seafood stew) or Chueotang (추어탕, loach soup).
- 2 Duck dish street (오리골목, Origolmok) (From Jogokgyo-bridge of Dongcheon-stream, walk towards Bonghwa-tunnel, You can see the sign with duck characters). South-Jeolla province is famous for its duck dishes. It produces 50% of the duck meat in Korea. Many restaurants serve duck stew and/or duck barbecue.
- Reed tea (갈대차, Galdaecha). Try a cup of tea made with the reeds of Suncheon Bay.
- Ipsaeju (잎새주). The regional soju of South-Jeolla province can be drunk at almost every restaurant and bar in town.
There are some guesthouses near the Suncheon station. Or you can find a motel around bus terminal and the new town. And there is a brand new high class hotel in the new town.
- Yeosu is about 40 minutes to the south