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Suanbo

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Suanbo as seen from the Park Hotel's hot springs

Suanbo (수안보, 水安堡) is a hot spring village in North Chungcheong, South Korea.

Understand

Suanbo has a thousand years of history and has long been a favorite of Korea's emperors and presidents. Alas, not much has been done here since the 1970s, and the most attractive thing about the current incarnation is the location surrounded by mountains.

Get in

Buses connect from Seoul, Daejeon and other major cities to the intercity bus terminal on the north side of town.

Local buses 240 through 246 connect from pier 3 in front of (not inside) Chungju's bus terminal to Suanbo in about 40 minutes (W1000). Follow the crowd and get off at the first stop in town, which is near the tourist information office.

Get around

Suanbo is small enough to cover on foot, which is good, as there are no other options anyway (aside from the occasional taxi from Chungju).

See

Do

Suanbo is a hot spring town, so the thing to do is to go hot spring dipping. Most all hotels offer entry into their spa for W3000-5000, but it's worth it to make the 15-minute hike up to the Park Hotel on the western outskirts of town, which has the best views and the only outdoor tubs in town (W6000, open 6 AM to 9 PM; separate facilities for men and women).

In winter, skiing at the nearby Blue Valley Resort (2 km away) is a popular option.

Other hot springs in town include the Suanbo Hi Spa and the Goodstay Suanbo. Both have only indoor facilities, but include a warm pool, hot pool, cold pool and steam and sauna rooms. The Royal Jjimjjilbang hotel has a hot springs which is very small, and a Jjimjjilbang to lounge in with a salt room, charcoal room and ice room.

Buy

A market near the river sells all sorts of local specialities and handicrafts.

Eat

The local specialties are pheasant and rabbit, hawked by every restaurant in town, but you'll need to fork out W30,000-50,000 for a serving (feeds two or more). A more affordable option is sanche mountain vegetables.

  • Jeonju Sikdang (전주식당), (near Suanbo Hi-Spa). Does a good sanche bibimbap for W6000 and sundubu tofu stew for W5000.

Drink

Sleep

Suanbo has a glut of accommodation, most of it in older, grottier concrete behemoths from the 1970s, most of which will give you a room for around W30,000/night.

  • Royal Hotel (로얄호텔), (opp Suanbo Hi-Spa), +82-43-8460190. Probably the best value in town, this new, elegant half-hotel, half-motel has cozy, sparkling clean rooms with aircon, bath and the works. Spa and sauna in the basement not included (W3000). Watch out for mosquitoes at night if you leave the windows open. Double W60,000-.

Contact

The tourist information office is in a little Korean-style hut in Multang Park, near the intercity bus terminal. Some English spoken, and you can pick up a handy town map from here.

Get out


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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