Soak up the serenity of the East Sea’s scenes
Seaside Train cruises the coast
If winter doesn’t necessarily mean snowy mountains to you and you’re looking for another vantage point on the season, you should check out Korail’s Seaside Train. This tour offers unparalleled views of the East Sea from atop a raised railway.
The Seaside Train runs over 58 kilometers (36 miles), connecting Gangneung, Donghae and Samcheok along the picturesque East Coast. All the seats on the train are turned toward the enlarged windows on the ocean-facing side of the train, so you don’t have to crane your neck to catch a glimpse of the beautiful beaches as they pass. And if you get a seat in the back of the two rows, don’t worry, it’s raised so you won’t miss a thing.
The Seaside Train starts from Gangneung Station and ends up at Samcheok Station, with stops in between including Jeongdongjin, Mukho, Donghae, Chuam and Samcheok Beach. The tour takes approximately an hour and 20 minutes, offering spectacular views of the winter seaside much of the way.
Korea’s eastern coastline is known for having some of the most scenic rocky cliffs and ocean views in the nation. It’s often thought of as a destination for summer road trips, but the Seaside Train will give you a new perspective on this old favorite.
The driver occasionally pauses the train for a couple of minutes so everyone can get a chance to snap the perfect picture. During such stops, anyone with a camera is allowed off the train to capture the moment as best they can.
The train tour began operating on July 24, 2007 and it has since become one of the most popular attractions along the eastern coastline. Over the past three years, some 350,000 passengers have hopped on the train.
The trip was developed by Korail, and three local communities. Each community invested 300 million won ($249,304) in overhauling an ordinary train so that all the seats face the sea and each is afforded an excellent view.Inside the cars, the walls are painted in ocean-blue colors to create the sensation that you’re travelling in an undersea world.
The train is also designed to entice the romantically inclined. Its “proposal room” was made especially to create a memorable backdrop for lovers preparing to take the plunge.
In addition to the panoramas of the East Sea, the Seaside Train also offers many other forms of entertainment. During the journey, the crew provides background about the Gangneung and Samcheok regions.
They also play music, including passenger picks. You can get your favorite song played by sending your request via text message to the crew or handing a note to the DJ.
According to the Seaside Train crew, they receive as many as 100 musical requests from passengers between July and August, when the train sees the most passengers.
Korail offers a Seaside Train travel package. It’s a two-day, one-night trip that includes tickets to the Sea Train, passes for a ride on a Jeongseon rail bike and a walk at Yangtte Farm, which is located in the mountainous region of Daegwallyeong. It’s 139,000 won per person. For more information, call 1544-7755 or visit www.korail.com.