Ganghwado Island, 강화도

Ganghwa-do is perfect for 1-day trip if you are looking to get away from the Seoul city. It is located at the West Sea, or Northwest of Incheon.

How to get to Ganghwa-do

Go to Sinchon Station (Line 2), exit 1. You will see Hyundai Department Store in front of you, continue to walk up slope and you will see a GS25. Continue to walk and you will see a bus stop just outside Paris Baguette. Take bus 3000 from this bus stop. The bus will stop at Ganghwa Intercity Bus Terminal. The journey is about 1.5hr and is quite a pleasant one.

From the bus terminal, you can go to the tourist information counter and get maps on the recommended sites and check out the buses going to different part of the island.  The staff at the tourist information speaks English, it was a great relief for us who don’t speak Korean.

We decided to go to Mt Mani (Manisan), hoping to catch the beautiful autumn foliage (we were there end Oct 2013).  From the bus terminal, take bus that is bound for Manisan, you can check with the tourist information counter the bus number going to Manisan. The journey from the terminal to the foot of Manisan is about 30mins and frequency is every 1hr. Do watch out for the bus arrival and departure because we realized they do note depart according to the designated berth and we missed our bus and have to wait for another 1hr. ;(

The bus to Mt Mani did not stop at the foot of Mt Mani, the terminal is just a bus berth where the bus stop for a short rest. From here, you have to walk to the main road and turn left and walk about 10mins towards the entrance of the Manisan park. While walking towards the National Park, you will see some local farm which is a nice walk considering you have to walk at the side of the road. When you see a huge carpark approaching you, you are nearing to the entrance of the national park.

 

outside Sinchon Station, exit 1, walk towards Hyundai Department Store. Continue to walk along the same direction of the department store, slightly up slope, you will see the bus stop for bus 3000 bound for Ganghwa-do. This bus stop is in front of Paris Baguette. You can pay the bus fare through your T-Money.

Ganghwado Bus Terminal, rather small. Within the bus terminal, there is a Tourist Information Counter and the staff can speak English. Next to the bus terminal is a local market where you can get local grown ginseng, the island is famous for fresh ginseng from the local ginseng farm. When we were there, the market was close… 🙁

 

once arrived at the mini terminal near Mt Mani, you will see these signages next to the bus terminal. From the terminal, walk towards the main junction of the road and turn left and walk straight up.

walk along the side road towards foot Mt Mani. The walk is not scenic, just reminded myself that this is a very quiet town…

 

while walking towards the foot of Mt Mani, we come across local cabbage farm..and some red pepper plants too… this is such a beautiful site … I am sure these cabbage are for the kimchi preparation which normally happen in November…

 

approaching the entrance of the national park

a common site in Korea where elderly selling local produces ..

 

 

 

beautiful autumn foliage, clean crisp october air…

this is something really interesting.. possible that this tree is a sacred tree…

 

 

it started pouring, we have to seek shelter here and have a nice instant ramen and a local ginseng rice wine (makgeolli). The local rice wine really has a fresh ginseng taste, the store lady gave us kimchii as side dish to go with the instant ramen… 🙂

If you have more time, do stay in Ganghwa-do for 1 day so that you can explore other part of the island. We do not have the luxury of time, so we choose to visit Mt Mani. However, we will definitely make a trip back to this island again….

 

2 Comments

  • shud

    Reply Reply April 15, 2014

    Hi,
    Just want to say thanks you for this post.
    I’m looking forward to visit Ganghwa-do, and almost all tourist site only mention on how to get from Seoul to this island but there is almost none info on how to move around this island. Maybe there is but I can’t find it just yet. Anyway, this post at least give me an idea on how to move from Ganghwa bus terminal to attraction on this island.
    Regards, sue

    • neko

      Reply Reply April 16, 2014

      Hi Sue,
      I am very happy and glad that you find my post helpful. I have the same problem when I was researching about Ganghwa-do that is why I decided to write about this beautiful island to share with as many people as possible. Maybe not many tourists go Ganghwa-do, so information on how to get there is limited. Do not worry when you reach the bus-terminal of Ganghwa-do, the tourist information is inside the terminal, and the staff there is very helpful. Do ask him to give you the bus time-table guide for the island so that you can better plan your time on the island. 🙂
      Also, if you plan to go to Mt-Mani, please go to the island early… 😉
      Have a good time and enjoy …:)

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