Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Tour-de-Korea 2023

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Tour-de-Korea 2023

Old 05-03-23, 04:53 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Tour-de-Korea 2023

Got my ticket to ride, $300 one-way from Bali. I land in Incheon on May 11.


.
This will be my second bike tour of the ROK. This time the plan is to traverse the East Coast and the four western bike paths. Will be riding a 16" folding bike and tracking progress here...

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-03-23 at 10:34 PM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-03-23, 08:11 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 531
Liked 33 Times in 30 Posts
Which folder ?

Do you make hotel reservations in advance or on the road ?
pakeboi is offline  
Old 05-03-23, 08:43 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Originally Posted by pakeboi
Which folder ?

Do you make hotel reservations in advance or on the road ?
On my tour of South Korea in 2018, I rode an FSIR Spin 5...

.
On my upcoming tour, I will be riding an FSIR Spin 3...

.
Reservations are a bit of a mixed bag. For example, I've already booked two nights in Seoul on arrival and, since I fly out of Busan, one night at the end there. But on other occasions, as I near a town or city, I look up hotels/motels/love motels with good ratings, and I simply show up at the door. If they take cash, I pay cash. That's usually the case with Love Motels. If not, I get on Agoda to purchase a room.

On a separate though related note, I fly in to Incheon, but fly out of Busan. ​​​​I booked one night in Busan, my last night in the country, already so that I can forward my padded bike bag to the hotel from the post office at Incheon airport when I arrive. The bike bag will be at the hotel in Busan when I roll in three weeks later.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-07-23 at 04:28 PM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-05-23, 11:35 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
SIM card

Got my cell-phone SIM card. Ordered it online at this website. Paid $49.90 for 30-day unlimited LTE. No need to wait in line, the SIM card will be ready for pickup on arrival at Incheon airport.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-06-23 at 07:25 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-07-23, 05:45 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
The rig...

...my folding credit-card tourer for the upcoming tour of Korea. The ethos is nimble-and-light with quick in-and-out of hotels requiring minimal unpacking and packing, and the ability to bring the bike to my room easily. Preliminarily weight is 1 kg for the saddle bag and 3.1 kg for the front-block rack and luggage for a total of 4.1 kg. Lock, light and bell on the handlebar.
.

.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-09-23 at 05:02 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-11-23, 06:38 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 1: Incheon to Seoul

Flew into Incheon after a punishing overnight flight with a five hour layover in Singapore. Collected my SIM card which i had already ordered online a few days back. In and out in a matter of minutes. Pays to order it in advance.

Shipped the padded bike sleeve to Busan from the post office on the second floor of the airport. Paid a whopping $5 with box and all. The shipping form is in Korean only so filling it out was a bit of a struggle at first. Also the clerk was a bit confused that I was the sender and the receiver of the shipment. Worked out fine in the end.
[Update: I called the hotel the following day to alert them that the package was coming and to ask them to keep it till my arrival. They told me that the package had arrived. Wow, less than 24 hours from Seoul to Busan!]

Put the folder on the AREX train out of Incheon airport and got off at the Cheongna International City stop. $2.20 for their troubles.


Cycled into Seoul central on a lovely, mild afternoon along the bike paths from Cheongna Int. City to Seoul's Jongno district to my hotel.



Checked in to my hotel, washed a bit and made a straight line for dinner at Gwanjang market nearby.
.​​​​

My long-time favorite stall's Spicy Cold Chewy Noodles was mind-blowing as always.

60km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:49 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-11-23, 08:49 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 861

Bikes: Cannondale '92 T600 '95 H600 '01 RT1000

Liked 112 Times in 83 Posts
This will be fun. Thanks for taking the time to check in with the rest of us.
MNBikeCommuter is offline  
Likes For MNBikeCommuter:
Old 05-11-23, 07:31 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Bike path along the Cheonggyechon Stream park

The eastern loop into/out of Seoul of the Four Rivers bike path along the Han river meanders into the Cheonggyechon stream in the middle of the city around this point.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/R4KzzncJu1q2f6WT9

Thereafter, as you come up a ramp heading into the city, you are cycling at street level along the Cheonggyechon, rather than below street level along the Han. The Cheonggyechon running in the east/west direction cuts right through Seoul, and is renowned as an exemplar of city renovation and urbanism. Today, in what was an expressway, the Cheonggyechon Stream park is a pleasant park running 11 km through and to the heart of the city. A Seoul must-visit, imo, if you are a city slicker and into urbanism.








There is now a bike path next to and above the Cheonggyechon stream park where there was none when I last visited Seoul in 2018. This was the first thing I noticed when leaving the Four Rivers Bike path for the streets of Seoul at the point mentioned earlier. This new bike path is visible on Naver street view or in this vid about the Cheonggyechon Stream park at time marker 5:17.

Oh yeah, the other good thing about this thoroughfare is that the Gwangjang food market featured earlier is right along it. I recommend this area when overnighting in Seoul because it has great access to the main bike paths, and is near these interesting sites. I make it a point of having my first meal in the city at Gwangjang food market. You can easily cycle or walk to the historic center of Seoul from this area, or cycle in/out of the city.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-12-23 at 06:40 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-12-23, 12:55 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 2: Seoul

After no sleep the previous night, I slept in till 8:45am this morning. I went to the bank, Hana Bank, to change money and got KRW1310 to the dollar. I was told that the maximum a person can change at a time is KRW1000 (around $700) so if you want to change more than that you'll have to split it into separate transactions. Not a big deal. Hana Bank is here:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/fC45DJHb1rZYDp3v9

If you need camping, hiking gear, there's a shop nearby here:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/p8yqvsvvVjympFAh7

As I've said before, that district around the Jogno 5 metro station is a good area to base yourself while in Seoul.

Walked along the Cheonggyechon stream. Gorgeous.


Carbo-loaded Korean style at my usual market stall in preparation to ride out of Seoul tomorrow.


Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-12-23 at 06:32 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Old 05-12-23, 10:25 PM
  #10  
Behold my avatar:
 
dgodave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SW Colorado
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: 2019 Gorilla Monsoon, 2013 Surly Krampus, Brompton folder

Liked 445 Times in 289 Posts
Ooh Korea has been lingering in my mind as a (folding!) bike tour destination for a while. Thanks for posting.
dgodave is offline  
Likes For dgodave:
Old 05-13-23, 06:22 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 3: North Han River, Seoul to Chuncheon

Checked out of Star Hostel Dongdaemun Suite
Quiet, close to everything, friendly.
​​​​​Recommended, though not for full size bikes as the place is tiny.

Racked up 111km going to the city of Chuncheon to the northeast of Seoul, my personal record on a folding bike. Total distance was closer to 125km as I missed the right turn at the point in the image below, and had to backtrack.


Turn right to continue on the Four Rivers path.


Riding on the bike path along and above the Cheonggyecheon stream as I headed out of Seoul, I caught a glimpse on the pileons holding the highway that use to run on the stream.
















111km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:45 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-13-23, 06:29 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
How much weight am I schlepping?

4kg (8.8lbs) in total




Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-14-23 at 08:34 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-14-23, 02:34 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 4: Chuncheon to Sokcho

After a very long day in the saddle the previous day, I took it easy this morning. I checked out of the Brown Dot Hotel late morning. Clean, modern, quiet. Highly recommended.


Gargantuan screen
​​​​​​
I headed for the bus station, a ten minute ride from the hotel, and bought a bus ticket to Sokcho.




KRW15000

With an hour and a half till departure, I rode around the bus station to look for a place to have lunch. I stumbled upon a Chinese restaurant and enjoyed a filling and tasty fried rice meal.


KRW8000

I got back to the bus station and on the bus.





I arrived in Sokcho about an hour and forty five minutes later. Lots of tunnels along the way. The ROK doesn't seem to do mountain roads. They blast through mountain instead.


Sokcho bus station

I headed for the hotel, a five minute ride from the bus station, dropped off my front luggage, and headed out to cycle around Sokcho's lake. A very pleasant pontoon bridge crosses the lake.







Note the common theme in Korea: water. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, crisscrossed by rivers and blanketed with lakes.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-14-23 at 08:35 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-15-23, 05:04 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 5: East Coast, Sokcho to Gangneung

Started the East Coast bike path heading south from Sokcho.

Very windy today, with wind chill being the top challenge. Foggy and cold the first hour out of Sokcho.

Signposting is not the greatest so stopped quite often to check Naver to make sure I was on the bike path.

Very chill sea side towns and gorgeous beaches along the way.




















48km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:41 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-16-23, 01:38 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 6: East Coast, Gangneung to Donghae

Today was a much better day weather-wise. No battering by cold wind the whole day today. The weather today was sunny, dry and warm.

More climbs today than yesterday and quite a bit of riding on the road. Quite a mix, in fact. Noobs, I imagine, will dismount a couple of times due to the short but steep inclines.


Path-side temple


Country roads...



56km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:40 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-16-23, 09:28 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 861

Bikes: Cannondale '92 T600 '95 H600 '01 RT1000

Liked 112 Times in 83 Posts
How much interaction do you have with other cyclists? And what is your Korean proficiency? It sounded like PedalingWalrus did well with his smartphone--quite the great use of modern technology. I didn't have that (car) touring Europe with my family back in 2000 (nor GPS, etc.), but English was widely spoken.
MNBikeCommuter is offline  
Old 05-16-23, 04:15 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter
How much interaction do you have with other cyclists? And what is your Korean proficiency? It sounded like PedalingWalrus did well with his smartphone--quite the great use of modern technology. I didn't have that (car) touring Europe with my family back in 2000 (nor GPS, etc.), but English was widely spoken.
Besides acknowledgement as we speed by one another on the road and participation in a couple of Korea cycling FB groups, I have no interaction with other cyclists. It's not like the paths are chocked with cyclists. Except on weekends when the groups come out, you are likely to encounter only a handful each hour. A social scene it is not

My Korean language proficiency is zero, nol, zilch.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-17-23 at 04:05 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-17-23, 02:53 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 7: East Coast, Donghae to Samcheok

Four brief but steep, challenging climbs today.

Weather is in the high 20s, but with low humidity. Quite pleasant, in fact, if you are not exerting yourself pedaling up steep inclines.





















47km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:38 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-17-23, 11:04 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 8: Rest day

I've been going non-stop for a week since I left home on May 10. Today I took a rest day.


Clean, new-ish, quiet $50 room at Lamer Pension, five minute walk to the beach


Lunch around the corner from the hotel


Yonghwa beach

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-18-23 at 06:06 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Old 05-19-23, 04:11 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 9: East Coast, Samcheok to Uljin

.














​​​​​

51km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:32 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-20-23, 07:26 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 10: East Coast: Uljin to Pyeonhae, then inland to Andong

Cycled from Uljin to Pyeonhae...













In Pyeonhae, I took a bus to Andong via Yeongdeok.

Pyeonhae to Youngdeok


Pyeonhae bus station


Youngdeok to Andong


Waiting for the bus to Andong at Youngdeok

37km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:30 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-21-23, 05:24 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 11: Nakdong River path, Andong to Mungyeong

​​​​​​Checked out of Andong Guesthouse, a very good hostel/hotel with very reasonable prices. Popular with both Korean and foreign guests. It is conveniently located a 10 minute bike ride from the bus station. Laundry facilities and free breakfast included.


Common area / coffee shop

The Nakdong River path follows the river by the same name. Eventually it meets the Han River and the Four Rivers bike path.
​​​​






The Nakdong River path passes near UNESCO World Heritage Site Hahoe Village, a well preserved, living village. This is how 19th century late Joseon rural Korea looked like. It's a very pretty place.

If you are ever in that area, and you crave a Burger King meal, well, here's an one. A Whopper with fries and a Coke sure hits the spot.




​​​​​

The Nakdong River path is mostly along very quiet farmland fed by the river.



​Coming from the east along the Nakdong River path, one can get to Mungyeong more quickly than jumping on the Four Rivers path by taking Rt. 923 and Rt. 924 instead. It makes for a good short-cut. The Four Rivers bike path on the left/west on the map. The Nakdong River path meets it at the bridge with the dotted line at center bottom.




En route on Route 924

82km

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-24-23 at 06:23 AM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:
Old 05-21-23, 05:24 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 531
Liked 33 Times in 30 Posts
Stunning photos ! What camera are you shooting ?
pakeboi is offline  
Old 05-21-23, 05:29 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Originally Posted by pakeboi
Stunning photos ! What camera are you shooting ?
Thanks! All images here were captured with the Huawei Mate 20X smartphone...

Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-21-23 at 07:45 PM.
Ron Damon is online now  
Old 05-22-23, 04:40 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 1,271

Bikes: Several, all affordably priced.

Liked 736 Times in 475 Posts
Day 12: rest day, Mungyeong

Took the day off, but I rode briefly around the farmland on the outskirts of Mungyeong.


Cabbage as far as the eye can see


Recently planted rice paddy
Ron Damon is online now  
Likes For Ron Damon:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.