Words and shots by Judith Ann Clancy
Get an early start on summer in Chuncheon at this island getaway.
Jung-do (중도, Jung Island), just a 15-minute trip from downtown Chuncheon, offers space to frolic and have fun all year round. Unlike its more popular neighbor a few kilometers down the river, Namiseom in Gapyeong-gun, it rarely feels like E-mart on a Saturday.
While Jung-do is commonly known as a family destination, there are heaps of activities that can keep anyone entertained. Rent a bike (W5,000/hr, electric bikes W15,000/30 min), take a dip in the pool, kick a soccer ball around, serve up some tennis, or go for a hike. And when the summer heat hits, get into water sports.
If you can’t get enough of this little island in a day, rent a campground or cabin for the night. It’s a small island, so bring some earplugs if you’re a light sleeper! It’s also possible to venture into the wilds of Jung-do and try your hand at bush camping. Just after you hit land, scan for small trails straight ahead or to your right, and these will lead you into the more untamed part of the island.
The year-round ferry and its proximity to the city center provide ample reason for Chuncheonites and visitors to take advantage of this afternoon getaway. Although the amenities on the island are a little rusty (including the ferry) and food and drink are limited, it’s a nice inexpensive place to chill away from the city with the trip there and back costing less than W6,000.
First, take a bus or train to Chuncheon. There are no buses to the island from the bus terminal or Namchuncheon Station, but a taxi costs about W3,000. Ask for Jung-do. Alternately, from Myeongdong Street, take buses 74 or 75 and get off at Jung-do. The facilities are open 9 am to 6 pm from February to November and 9 am – 5:30 pm during the winter months. gangwondotour.com
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