100 spots to visit while maintaining social distance
State-run and regional agencies for promoting domestic travels are continuing to introduce destinations that travelers can enjoy while maintaining social distance.
The Korea Tourism Organization, along with seven other regional governments' travel agencies put together 100 places to visit in a “relaxed and safe” way.
The goal of the list is to encourage people who are hesitant about traveling while the coronavirus is still spreading to take domestic trips, reassuring that it's still possible to spend time away from home during the Special Travel Week organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which will run until July 19.
Even with fluctuation in the numbers of coronavirus-positive patients in Korea, the government is sticking with its original plan and is finding ways to make people feel safe while also supporting the struggling travel industry.
Baramsae Village’s Picnic Garden in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, as well as Hanbat Arboretum in Daejeon, are just two of the selected places recommended by each regional government’s tourism agencies.
The seven agencies are Gyeonggi Tourism Organization, Gyeongsangbuk-do Culture and Tourism Organization, Daejeon International Marketing Enterprise, Busan Tourism Organization, Seoul Tourism Organization, Incheon Tourism Organization and Jeju Tourism Organization.
The places featured on the list were chosen for several reasons — they are lesser known, located outdoors, are suitable for either solo or group travels and have rules in place that restrict the number of visitors so that social distancing can be maintained.
“We are trying to find a way to safely travel in the times of coronavirus in cooperation with regional agencies,” said Director of the Korea Tourism Organization’s Domestic Tourism Strategy Team Jung Chang-wook. “On top of that, we will continue to develop new travel content so that more people will become aware of domestic travel options."
For Seoulites wishing to get away for a short period of time while not straying too far from home, venture out to Gyeonggi and Incheon. Gyeonggi offers a variety of greenery sightseeing options while Incheon boasts a beautiful coastline.
Dongducheon Hyuyangnim in Gyeonggi’s Dongducheon city, is a forest area that allows nature seekers to enjoy the pine trees. It also offers lodging for those who want to spend the night surrounded by trees.
Jathyanggi Pureunsup in Gyeonggi’s Gapyeong — the name depicting the scent of pine nut trees and green forests — is home to pine nut trees that are over 80 years old.
A collection of three islands, Shin Island, Si Island and Mo Island in Incheon’s Ongjin County is popular, but thankfully doesn't get too crowded. The three islands are connected with bridges and are especially enjoyable for cyclists looking for a scenic route with views of hills with trees, a blue ocean and small rural neighborhoods.
Another popular spot for cyclists is Euiam Reservoir in Gangwon. Instead of the more widely known Soyanggang Reservoir in Chuncheon, take your bicycle for a spin around the reservoir.
Those who prefer to walk should head to Nongoldam Street of Gangwon’s Donghae city, which is adorned with murals depicting the life of people living in Mukho Harbor.
If you're looking for somewhere closer to Seoul, try Mount Baebong in Dongdaemun District, central Seoul, which has wheelchair accessible trails.
Call 1330 for travel information offered in four different languages — Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese — 24 hours a day, everyday.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]