When we first researched South Korea, a biking activity never came across my mind. Someone even suggested to me to go biking at the Han River which is definitely not my cup of tea!
Anyway, I decided to take on the Gangchon rail bike only after I came across the day trip for Nami Island offers on the Klook app. As the Nami Island day trip offers add-on activities, I decided to book it along with Petite France and Italian Village. I was so glad we went for it as both my children loved this activity!
This day tour was hosted by SA Tour and the day before the tour, they contacted us via WhatsApp to inform us of the details. On the day itself, we met up with our lovely tour guide at Yejang Bus Station near Myeongdong Subway Station at 7.45 am. Luckily, the group we were travelling with were very time conscious and everyone arrived on time!
Even though we had booked to visit Nami Island first (according to our booking via the Klook app), the program changed on the day. The available time slot for the rail bike was at 10am, hence we travelled to this location first.
Gangchon Rail Park has two courses: Gimyujeong Station and Gyeonggang Station. Our tour was for Gimyujeong Station, 8.5 kilometres long. The Gyeonggang Station is 7.2 kilometres long with a separate charge.
Gimyujeong Station was named after a famous novelist from Korea, Gim Yu-jeong or Kim Yu-jŏng. He was also recognised as the icon of Chuncheon, where he was born. He was born on 11th January 1908 and passed away on 29th March 1937. Hence this place was decorated with books (fake books) to honour him.
As we had arrived with plenty of time to spare (9.30 am), we managed to take a couple of photos without any other tourists around! With an additional fee, visitors can enjoy the VR experience section of the ride if you choose to do so. They also offer rides with pets at certain times (please check their website for more information).
This rail bike offers 2-seater (requires extra money) and 4-seater bikes, with a handbrake on the right side. Luckily, we were a family of four and we were the first one in the queue! We managed to get the first bike to go on the railway without anyone in front of us blocking our way!
This old train track has been running for 70 years, but it was closed after the Gyeongchun Subway Line was opened. They converted it into a rail bike park ever since.
A lot of the track is downhill with beautiful views of mountains, fields, rice paddies and the Bukhangang River (the North Han River). There are a total of four tunnels to pass through and each tunnel has a different theme and is filled with a surprise!
After you have completed the 6 kilometres ride (we went pretty swiftly and I think it only took us 25 minutes), you will come to the resting stop with stunning views, where you can buy your group photo, have an ice cold or hot drink or visit the toilet (beware of spiders!).
Then you have to wait for everyone to turn up before boarding the romance train to the final stop. If you didn’t board this train, you would have to wait for at least an hour for the next one! Please be careful of all your belongings at all times during the ride. As the ride is one-way, it will be difficult to retrieve any dropped items.
After riding the final section on the slow train (20 minutes) along the Bukhangang River, riders will take the shuttle bus back to the original location. As for us, our tour bus was already waiting there for us to continue to our next stop, a Korean BBQ lunch and Nami Island.