Cheongju is the capital of the North Chungcheong Province 충청북도, which means that there are lots of restaurants, motels, and easy to use public transportation.
TRAVEL ITINERARY: ONE DAY TRIP
1. Cheongju Early Printing Museum / Heungdeoksaji Temple Site 청주 고인쇄박물관 / 흥덕사지
2. Suamgol 수암골
3. Sangdangsanseong Fortress 상당산성
You can get to Cheongju by bus or train, but I prefer the bus since it only takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. The bus runs 81 times a day from Gangnam, Seoul to Cheongju from 5:40am to 11:30pm.
From the express bus terminal you can take bus 831 (5.4 km) to get to the Cheongju Early Printing Museum and Heungdeoksaji Temple Site 청주 고인쇄박물관 & 흥덕사지. This early printing museum is located on the site of Heungdeoksa Temple where Jikji, the world’s oldest book printed by movable metal type, was found.
The museum features early printing in both Asia and Europe, focusing on the history of Korean printing technologies and culture. There are detailed English translations available.
Right outside the museum, you’ll find the remains of Heungdeoksaji Temple.
Operating Hours: 9am – 6pm
Average Viewing Time: 1 hour
Contact Information: www.jikjiworld.net (Korean only)
After you’ve checked out the museum, go back to the bus stop and take the same bus, number 831, to get to Suamgol. This is a hillside slum village that was formed by refugees during the Korean War. However recently there were many a wall paintings created as part of a community art project and this led to the area being reinvented as a hotspot for tv dramas. Here, you’ll find the bakery from the show 재빵왕 김탁구 and a noodle restaurant from 영광의재인 as well as some places from the show 캐인앤애블. There are lots of cafes here as well as a couple restaurants.
Suamgol Admission Fee: free
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Average Viewing Time: 1.5 hours (including a lunch break)
Then take a bus to the 도청 Provincial Government and then transfer there to another bus to go to the Sangdangsanseong Fortress (상당산성)
Sangdangsanseong Fortress (상당산성) is a fortress believed to be from the Baekje Kingdom, but the actual construction date is unknown. It’s 4.2 km long and contains three gates, two secret exits, and some drainage systems. There was no north gate built because of how steep the north side is. On the weekends, you’ll find lots of locals here on a picnic. Inside the fortress walls, there is a large pond and a village, where you can buy lots of street snacks.
Sangdangsanseong Fortress Fee: free
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Average Viewing Time: 2 hours
After the fortress, go back to the express bus terminal and catch one of the last buses back to Seoul.