Tuesday, 18 September 2012


수원화성 . 水原華城 . 水原华城

Our taxi brought us from KBS Suwon Center to the Yeomingak Bell Tower 여민각.

To herald in the new year, ceremonies will take place here

We crossed the road and cut across a very very big open space to go to Sinpungnu 신풍루, the main gate of the palace Hwaseong Haenggung 화성행궁, located within the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress 수원화성.

Mt. Paldalsan 팔달산 in the background, performances under the white tent on the right, and Sinpungnu is next to the tent

An attraction of Suwon - public toilets!
Facing Sinpungnu, turn left and walk until the end of the gate, then turn right to walk uphill to the Trolley boarding point
The signages were not very clear on directions

We did not visit the palace, but we watched Korean traditional performances held near the gate.

Then, it was a long and tiring climb up to the Hwaseong Trolley Mt. Paldalsan 팔달산 boarding point (about 10 mins)!

Up the steps from the side of Sinpungnu...
Then more steps ...
Then down the slope ...
And then up the steps again ...
And we're finally here!
Mt. Paldalsan 팔달산 boarding point and ticket booth

On the 30 mins trolley ride, we saw many stone walls and gates, and they looked somewhat the same after a while. But there was also beautiful scenery.

Hwaseomun 화서문
Janganmun 장안문 (North Gate)
Stone bridge near Janganmun
Hwahongmun 화홍문, with Dongbukporu 동북포루 (Northeast Sentry Tower) in the background
Hwahongmun 화홍문
Suwon River 수원천

The trolley ride ended at Yeonmundae 연무대, also known as 동장대.
Mom and I walked around a bit to see the walls up close.

I wondered what they used this hole for
A peek over the wall to the other side, with Changryongmun 창룡문 in the background
View of Suwon City from the wall

Here, there was also a large field for Archery 국궁체험 where people could shoot some arrows. I wanted to try ... but it was only for kids above 10 years old. The old uncle here was very friendly, and he spoke English to me.

We could take a bus back to Suwon Station from the bus stop here, but we took a taxi instead because we were very tired.

Changryongmun 창룡문
Mom said it was 'mind boggling' trying to figure out the right
bus to take, based on the bus route table at the bus stop

Mom's Notes
  • To read about the interesting historical background of the fortress, refer to the UNESCO website, Visit Seoul website, or the Visit Korea website
  • Great day-trip from Seoul for adults and kids, but you'll need to prep the kids for lots of walking, and arm yourself with some historical anecdotes or stories to keep the kids interested
  • Personally, I thought that the trolley moved too fast for us to get a good picture, or to appreciate the sights. Hence, exploring on foot might be a better option, although it may be rather challenging with kids in tow
  • It was definitely easier to board the trolley from the Yeomundae stop versus the Mt. Paldalsan stop!
Distance of other countries from Suwon

About the Hwaseong Trolley
Operating Hours: Daily 10am - 5.50pm
Note: 1. In Nov-Feb, the trolley ends earlier at the 11th round
             (refer to the time schedule)
         2. Trolley stops operating when there is heavy rain or snow
         3. No refund if the boarding time is missed
         4. Timings differ on weekdays 평일 vs. weekends/ public holidays 주말·공휴일
         5. No stops in-between
Duration:  30 mins
Cost:       Children 700 won / Teens 1100 won / Adults 1500 won (one way/ direction)
Tel:         Mt. Paldalsan Ticket Counter 팔달산 031-228-4683
               Yeomundae Ticket Counter 연무대 031-228-4686

About the Archery Activity
Opening Hours: Nov - Feb  0930-1630 hours
                       Mar - Oct  0930-1730 hours
                       (weekends & public holidays in Mar - May  0930-1820 hours)
Timing:     A session takes place every 30 mins (break @ 1230-1330 hours)
Duration:  About 15 mins
Cost:        2000 won for one session (about 10 arrows)
Max no.:   30 persons each session
Tel:          031-228-4686

About Hwaseong Fortress
Operating Hours: Mar - Oct  0900-1800 hours
                         Nov - Feb  0900-1700 hours
Cost: Child 500 won / Teens 700 won / Adult 1000 won (to tour the gates)
Map:  Click here for a detailed map in Korean
Tel:   Click here for the various tourist information centers in Suwon

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