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Monday, August 29, 2016

Busan to Seoul Cycle - A Pitstop in Deagu!

Many keen cyclists flock to the state of the art 500km cycle path that stretches across the length of the country in the early summer/autumn months. I did this journey myself at the beginning of August, which was not the most ideal time to be out in the beating sun all day. That said, I made it to Seoul after five days of pedaling, and what a journey it was. 
Deagu, whether you start in Seoul or Busan, should be a destination as a place to rest on your cycle. Because of its positioning beside the Nakdong River, as well as the neighbouring cities and towns you need to cycle through, it makes an ideal stop for those that want to simply rest up before heading on the next day, or if you fancy a longer rest and want to enjoy more of what’s on offer.
 You can enjoy the nightlife, have some R&R and relax in a spa or eat your way through the city in some of the finest restaurants. As the fourth largest city in Korea, there is no shortage of accommodation no matter the taste you’re looking for, and an abundance of restaurants to dine after a hard cycle all day.

The distance of the cycle is laid out by “passport offices.” These are red phone boxes every 30km or so, with a stamp marking each location to add to your cycle passport. I decided to make my way to the last phone box in the Deagu area, before starting the next leg of my journey to Chilgok the next morning. North of Dalseong was the district with the last stamp, and I managed to stay right next to the river, which allowed me to get up and back at it without any delays the next day. 
Dalseong is quite a rural area of Deagu, and I had the pleasure of staying in the countryside for the night while I rested my muscles for the following day. Although finding motels is far easier closer to the city, I was able to stay in a guest house, for much cheaper staying along the river. The personal touch of a welcoming Korean family was a lot more heartwarming to me than a motel, while I would only stay for the duration of a night. That said it all depends on taste, and whatever that is, you’ll find what you are looking for in Deagu. 
Although a rural village about 30km to Chilgok, I had plenty restaurants to choose from, between traditional Korean and western diners, I wasn’t stuck for choice. Even if you decide to stay in this area, you could venture into the city for food with taxi’s available at a convenient price. If you have Korean, you won’t have any trouble finding accommodation along the river passing through Deagu. If not, use Naver apps to locate accommodation that is near you. You will find anything from hotels to pensions and the distance in between. 
I was glad of my night in Deagu, as the comfortable stop lead me to travel all the way to Mungyeong the following day.  If you are coming from Seoul, then the next city you should aim for is Changwon, with plenty motels to available to cyclists. If the thought of making this journey fascinates you, I implore you to do it. It’s an incredible cycle with stunning views, peaceful stretches of countryside and a taste of Korea that you’ll never forget. 


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