Suwon (수원,水原) is the capital of Gyeonggi province.
Suwon is the provincial capital and largest city in Gyeonggi-do and has a population of just over one million. It is about 30 km from Seoul.
The bus lines in Suwon are reliable and cheap. Most major stops have a listing of available bus lines with route information. Green buses typically run around the cities, and larger red buses take passengers to Seoul and neighboring cities. While mainly listed in Korean, most major stops and points of interest are also listed in English.
Taxis are prevalent in Suwon, and easy to use. Several offer "free translation" services. You should know a major feature near your destination as the Taxi drivers may not know specific addresses or minor building names, however with a little patience and understanding you will find a taxi willing to get you near your destination. Some will even call "English speaking" friends or relatives to help. Taxis are easily identified, mainly gray, white or black with lit signs on top and in the front windows. Black taxis are "luxury" taxis, tend to be more comfortable/larger cars, go slower, and cost more. The gray or white taxis tend to get you there faster and cheaper, but may drive more recklessly.
Taxis can be quite cheap in Suwon for short distances. For instance, a taxi from Suwon Station to Paldalmun Gate (a good place to begin walking the Hwaseong Fortress) is only 3500-4500 won (3-4 USD).
There are currently four stops on Seoul subway Line 1 that service the Suwon area. Suwon Station is the central, and largest in Suwon, and the second largest in the country, and also houses the train station proper, where you can catch a train to nearly anywhere else in the country. Seryu, Hwaseo, and Sungkyunkwan University are the others.
Cycling in Suwon is easy as the sidewalks are wide and many are combination sidewalk and bike path. There are only a few challenging hills in Suwon and pedestrian traffic is not congestive in most areas.
Suwon is a large city, but walking can be a nice alternative to driving around downtown, the markets and the fortress proper. Whilst the walk between Suwon train station and the fotress is doable at a stretch, the Intercity Bus Terminal on the south side is well too far away, via a polluted mess of urban sprawl.
You can find many cloth and jewellery retail outlets near Paldalmun(Nammun). It is a part of Hwaseong Fortress.You can shop for brands like Chanel, Boss, Diesel and other international fashion chains at Galleria or the Suwon station mall
Paldalmun is a famous place in Suwon for buying winter clothes, apparels and cosmetics
The food court in the mall at the train/metro station offers an excellent quality Korean meal- for a very nice price. One can get a fantastic meal for 4500 (about $5) One may select from many choices; there is a showcase displaying them.
Besides plentiful traditional Korean restaurants there are many places which serve other cuisines and fast food.
One of the finest Japanese donkas restaurants in the city is Datzzang, on the north-east side of Manseok Park, in an area with plenty of variety of food and drink.
Vegetarian food is difficult to find without a Korean speaker in your party. Korean food is very tasty, and does have vegetarian dishes, you just need to know how to ask for them. At a pinch, there are always Western options such as baguette sandwiches, Pizzas, burgers etc. where you can point and show how many you want. If all else fails, a big smile and a "ch'e-shik-chuui-jah" (a Vegetarian person) will earn you a selection of veggie side dishes in most of the very many korean restaurants. Korean hosts are very keen to please. Be prepared that it may contain a couple of shellfish thrown in here and there, which you may prefer to leave on the side. Christianity is more widespread than Buddhism, so the usual gambit of claiming to be Buddhist may not help as much as in, say, China, Tibet, Japan, etc. There is at least one Vegetarian restaurant in Suwon, which has changed names a couple of times, is generally very busy, and quite a way from the central area. There is also a chain veggie restaurant in Seoul.
Suwon is famous for its "Galbi". Restaurants near the Yeongtong Square(Sagori) serve Galbi. There is also an excellent Galbi restaurant right across the street from the World Cup Soccer stadium. Gyeongbokgung - pricey Bon suwon Galbi - 50 years history, newly renovated Kabojung - nice panchans, nice Korean traditional decoration, meat from various countries available
Major nightlife seems to revolve around three areas: Ingyedong, Yeongtong, and Nammun (Paldamun).
In Ingyedong you will find an amazing number of hofs, bars, restaurants, hostess bars etc. There's also several Korean nightclubs such as Juliana, Boss etc.
Nammun is big among the university students of Suwon. It has a fashion street and the majority of nightlife is centered on Rodeo Street which is behind the main street to the left of Nammun Gate.
There are also dozens of love-hotel style motels (모텔) in Suwon, starting from 25 000 won for a double room. They can be found in clusters, e.g. near Suwon Station, in the Ingyedong party area and behind Ramada Hotel. Another cheap option is a jjimjilbang (찜질방). They are all over Suwon.
Yeongtong Plaza Hotel (YT). 155,000 won a night. Mate Hotel Suwon www.matehotel.co.kr . Luxury & Business Hotel. [email protected]