Jeongdongjin (정동진), also known as Chongdongjin is a small town in northeastern South Korea about 20 kilometers south of Gangneung. Here you can find one of the most beautiful sunrises in the country, and it attracts many South Koreans every year. But it has become most famous for the 2018 Winter Olympics because one of the most iconic hotels in the world is located here: the Sun Cruise Resort. On a hill, they built a real cruise ship here. In addition, Jeongdongjin is known for its beautiful beach and for being the closest train station to the sea in South Korea. There is plenty to do in this small coastal town! Let’s go to Jeongdongjin…!
What would you like to know about Jeongdongjin in South Korea?
- History of Jeongdongjin – Here’s what you need to know
- Sightseeing – What to see and do in Jeongdongjin?
- Accommodation – Where to stay?
- Transportation – How to get there?
History of Jeongdonjin – This is what you need to know …
Much about the history of Jeongdongjin is not known. What we do know is that at the beginning of the Korean War (1950-1953), North Korea’s 766th regiment came to shore here to overpower South Korea. This part of the North Korean force consisted of 3,000 men and within 6 weeks the North Korean army was at the gates of port city Busan in the southeast of the country. They were eventually pushed back by an attack plan by South Korea and the Allies near Incheon.
Another historic event took place in 1996. Then, on the coast north of Jeongdonjin, a North Korean submarine stranded. What followed was a manhunt that lasted almost two months and could have been the trigger for a new war. Fortunately, it didn’t happen…
Sightseeing – What to see and do in Jeongdongjin?
If you have the time then Jeongdongjin is ideal for a day and night stay. In addition, it is a quieter destination than the big city of Gangneung that lies 20 kilometers north. But even in half a day you can already discover a lot. Below are a few fun attractions in Jeongdongjin.
The train station: Jeongdongjin’s train station is in the Guinness book of records as the closest train station to the sea in the world. It was built in 1962 to promote tourism but the railroad line was also used for transportation for coal. Since 2007, the so-called Sea Train has been running between Gangneung and Samcheok via Jeongdongjin.
Sunrise Cruise Resort: Have you wanted to go on a cruise for years, but never wanted to spend days at sea? Then you can book an overnight stay at the Sunrise Cruise Resort. This hotel in the shape of a cruise ship is located on a hill in Jeongdongjin, has 211 rooms and 6 restaurants and can also be visited without an overnight stay. To do so, however, you need to buy a ticket first. Besides the beautiful view of the surroundings, you will also find a sculpture park here.
Tongil Park: 5 kilometers north of Jeongdongjin is the Unification Park. Here you can visit the North Korean submarine that stranded off the coast in 1996. The result was a manhunt in which most North Koreans lost their lives. In addition to a submarine, you will also find a U.S. Navy ship here. Read more about it in the article Tongil Park, South Korea | The terrifying story of a North Korean submarine.
Jeongdongjin Beach & Sunrise: Many South Koreans go to this spot for one of the most beautiful sunrises found in the country. But besides that, Jeongdongjin Beach is also one of the most beautiful beaches in this region.
Accommodation – Where to stay?
Jeongdongjin has a number of hotels and guesthouses, of which the Sun Cruise Hotel is by far the best known. Would you like to stay in this special cruise ship? Check out the website of Sun Cruise for more information.
I stayed in the city of Gangneung at Aark Guesthouse. From here you can make a great day trip to Jeongdongjin. You also come along the Tongil Park, where you first make a stop and then take the bus to this nice coastal town in South Korea. Aark Guesthouse has a fantastic owner, where mother and daughter both speak good English and can give you tips. In addition, the breakfast is also great!
Transportation – How to get there?
As mentioned, the best way to get to Jeongdongjin from the capital Seoul is via Gangneung. From Gangneung take bus 111, 112 and 113 with a stop in Tongil Park. Another option is to take the Sea Train, which will take you to Jeongdongjin in 15 minutes. There are about 10 trains a day and they do not stop at Tongil Park. Eventually, this train continues towards Donghae, ending at Samcheok. Check out the Korail website for more information.
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Do you have more tips, ideas or comments about Jeongdongjin? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.