Suwon is the capital of Gyeonggi-do province. It is a major city of over a million people and is only around 30 kilometers from bustling Seoul.
Suwon has transformed as a city a lot throughout history: It originated as a small town around Korea’s origins, but has developed into a major cultural and industrial centre. It is home of Samsung’s main branch and factory. Suwon is the only city in Korea that is completely walled, making it one of the countries primary tourist attractions in South Korea.
Suwon is also a major educational centre, having fourteen university campuses. This, as well as the transportation and cultural significance, draws many people to Suwon, making its foreign teacher population larger than other cities.
Suwon is famous for its tantalizing galbi (beef ribs), so be sure to try them when visiting Suwon.
Suwon is known for its successful football team, the Suwon Samsung Bluewings Football Club.
Suwon on Wikipedia
City government website
Suwon : Official Seoul City Tourism
Suwon Samsung Bluewings official site
Official site of Hwaseong fortress
Landmarks in this area:
- Hwaseong Fortress: Built in 1796, the Hwaseong Fortress is the most notable attraction in Suwon as it the walls enclose the entire city. This site is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Hwaseong Haenggung Palace: Haenggung means ‘a shelter where a King rested or had retired from a war’. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace has been used since the Jeongjo period and is the biggest one of these shelters. Hours are from 9am-6pm in the summer and 9am-5pm in the winter.
- Singal Korean Folk Villiage:
Having opened its doors in 1974, the folk village offers a variety of things to do and see for Koreans and foreigner tourists alike. Check out music and dance performances as well as tightrope acrobatics. Traditional wedding and funeral ceremonies are recreated daily.
- Everland Theme Park: Is located in Yongin, which is a suburb of Seoul. Everland, which is the largest theme park in Korea, has a lot of different rollercoaster rides and facilities. The park is separated into three themes: Caribbean Bay, Festival, and World and Speedway.
Festival World is split into five areas and has exhibits, rides and restaurants based on European, American and Equatorial themes.
Caribbean Bay is where the big water park is, having water rides as well as a huge swimming pool complete with a wave section.
Everland Speed Way holds the big racing track.In addition to the themes mentioned above, Everland also has a zoo that is surrounded by a caged bus that visitors can ride and witness these animals in their natural habitat.
- Manseok Park: This park is located in northern part of Suwon and contains a man-made reservoir that is surrounded by a 1200 meter long track that is used for outdoor activities such as biking, rollerblading, walking and running. Manseok Park also has a dozen tennis courts, a soccer pitch, as well as a skate park, where the2004 Suwon X-Games took place.
Buses to get to Manseok Park run from northern Suwon and Seoul, which take you to a stop right outside of the park.
Festivals in Suwon:
- Suwon Hwaseong Fortress International Theatre Festival: This festival occurs annually and offers performances including dance, theatre and even juggling acts.
- Hwaseong Cultural Festival: The Hwaseong Cultural Festival is held every October and is Korea’s largest tourism and cultural festival. The purpose of the festival is to honor King Jeong and to preserve ‘Hwaseong’, the UNESCO World Heritage site. The main events that take place during the festival are a market street festival, a royal parade, musical performances as well as a fireworks display.
Nightlife in Suwon:
Nightlife in Suwon is mainly centered in two specific areas: Ingyedong and the main street in front of Suwon station. Both places are filled with bars, clubs and restaurants.
- 911 Club: 911 Club is a famous bar amongst expats and is known for having crazy parties which include copious amounts of tequila during their Friday and Saturday nights. Music is mostly Hip Hop.
- Now Bar: This is another popular place for expats and English teachers to hang out due to its fun atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks. Now Bar is located close t the Kinex Cinema.
- Club NB: Club NB has a few different locations other than the one in Seoul. It is mainly a western-style Hip Hop club and is popular with the local expats, university students and English teachers. A franchise of perhaps the most famous of the hiphop clubs in Seoul.
- The Crazy Duck: Located in Ingyedong, the Crazy Duck is another expat favorite and is always jam packed on the weekends.
Suwon is connected to the National Railway as well as to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.
There is a bus service to the KTX high-speed train station at Gwangmyeong.
Suwon has two bus terminals, the Suwon Bus Terminal and the West Suwon Bus Terminal, which are located near Sungkyunkwan University. The buses offer inter-city and express bus connections to most cities throughout Korea.