Changwon Travel Guide
Unlike other cities in South Korea, Changwon hasn’t been around for that long. It is a planned city, as it came into being back in 1973. With mountains all around, planners dubbed it an alternative capital, should North Korea occupy or render Seoul unliveable.
While this means it lacks cultural attractions, there is still plenty to do in this vibrant city. From a famous cherry blossom festival to excellent hiking, boredom won’t be a thing during your stay.
Come check out our Changwon travel guide for visitors as we cover the best things to do in Changwon, Korea.
Held in early April, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival is the most significant cultural event that happens in Changwon. It hails the arrival of the cherry blossoms, and therefore, spring. Originally meant to honour naval admiral Yi Sun-sin, people relax under cherry trees with loved ones during this festival.
Start by checking out the Victory Parade. You’ll see performers in costume reenacting the pride felt after winning a decisive battle in the Imjin War. This ceremony will take you back to the 16th century when the Joseon Dynasty was at its peak.
Next, make time to check out the fireworks by Sokcheonhang Port. You’ll only have one chance to enjoy this exhilarating display, so take note of its date. At this event, you’ll get to see a demonstration of pyrotechnics that put those in the West to shame.
Finally, check out Yeojwacheon Stream at night to see a dazzling fusion of cherry blossoms, lights, and laser beams. The vibe is completely different from the day time, so be sure to check it out.
If you aren’t in town for the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, make The House of Changwon your first stop. Once home to famed Korean academic Du-cheol, it is now a centre of learning for Korean culture.
Its 14 buildings contain various attractions. One highlight is a building that shows off the farming tools used in centuries past. If you’re lucky, you may get to watch students playing traditional folk games. After your time here, you’ll have a firm understanding of how Koreans led their lives in past generations.
Korea is famous throughout Asia for the quality dramas it produces. In Changwon, you’ll find the Marine Drama Set – here, filmmakers have shot sea town scenes for countless productions. It portrays buildings like iron smelters, fish markets, horse stables, and places where ocean side shots are possible.
God of War, Princess’ Man, and The Duo have all used this set – keep an eye out for familiar buildings if you watch any of these movies afterwards.
Check out some of the best clay art in Korea by paying a visit to the Clayarch Gimhae Museum. Throughout its halls, you’ll find numerous examples of beautifully crafted clay, from vases to sculptures. As a quiet place, it is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Changwon.
If you need a break from hectic nature of central Changwon, take a trip out to Mageumsan Hot Springs. Known since the time of King Sejong, these steamy waters will soak the stress out of your body.
Boasting a peak temperature of 55 degrees and minerals like manganese and sulphates, they’re reputed to have curative properties. Here, dramatic peaks surround you, making these hot springs a pleasant place to end a day of hiking. With admission only costing 6,000 won (4,000 won for children), it is an affordable outing for budget travellers.
If you are travelling in Changwon during cherry blossom season, do not miss Yeojwacheon Stream. Made famous by the Korean drama, Romance, it is set upon by crowds of tourists during the spring. It is worth it, though, as its cherry blossoms, goldenrod, and the river make for scores of photo ops.
Fans of botanic gardens will want to make the trip out to Jinhae NFRDI Environment Eco-Park while in Changwon. Sprawling over 84,000 square metres, you’ll find over 60 different species of tree and many flower specimens here.
Far away from the crowds at Yeojwacheon Stream, you’ll be able to enjoy spring at its finest. Film directors agree, as this stunning park has been a filming location for dramas like On Air.
If you need a quick break while in Changwon, spend an hour or so relaxing in Yongji Munhwa Park. A lush oasis in the middle of a rapidly-growing city, this green space is popular among locals looking to unwind. For example, many come here with musical instruments and wine on beautiful days. During the spring, summer, and fall, fountain shows are held twice nightly in its centrepiece lake – don’t miss it!