Tucked away in the middle of the Mountains in the Jeollabuk-Do province, lies South Korea’s very own Hidden secret, the breathtaking Muju-Gun.
Popular for its skiing and hiking adventures in the winter. Muju mesmerises with its natural beauty, breathtaking mountain views and the icy Gucheondong Valley.
Where is it
Muju is located in the central part of South Korea, in the eastern corner of the North Jeolla Province. It is a good three hours from the capital Seoul and at least six hours from Busan, South Korea’s second largest city in the South east part of the country.
How to Get there
The easiest way to get Muju is a bus from Seoul terminal to the Muju bus terminal, about three hours. From there you can either catch a bus shuttle to the main resort. Another option is to take a taxi to the more affordable accommodations a stone throw from the resorts and ski slopes.
When I left for Muju, we did it the hard way, and I strongly recommend you avoid this path especially if you don’t speak Korean, I would have never made it if not for my Korean wife. We left from Busan and caught about three different buses through various different towns, before finally getting a taxi for the remainder of the forty-five minute trip to our pension in Muju.
Do yourself a favour and leave to Muju from Seoul.
Where to stay
Muju is saturated with Guesthouses and Pensions that are at a very affordable price. We stayed at the Dasup Pension and besides the booking issues it was a lovely pension with large spacious rooms. Across from the pension was many restaurants serving only local cuisines at a very good price. The Pension is also located at the foot of hiking track that heads towards the Gondola that overlooks the main Deogyusan Resort.
If you are looking for a bit more luxury, then Deogyusan Resort is the place to be for the whole family. The resorts has local and western food, many shops, Kids fun centre where can ride a sled down the slopes. It also gives you a cappuccino fix at the Tom-N-Toms café. The resort is quite spectacular and if you are willing to pay that little bit more, I strongly recommend it.
Find accommodation in Muju on TripAdvisor.
Things to do
- Skiing: Skiing and snowboarding, take a pick. It is the reasons thousands venture to the slopes in winter to get their adrenalin hit. Be warned though, on weekends you will be waiting a while to get up the lifts. It’s packed.
- Bandi Land and Observatory: An insect museum on the outskirts of Muju. Study the insects of the world and how they came to happen over hundreds of years of history. The picturesque museum is quite different but a treat and educational for the whole family.
- Hiking: Having young kids in tow, we couldn’t hike up the mountains with the freedom we desired. But we did venture out along the trails in Deogyusan National Park that eventually leads to the Gondola overlooking the resort. Our part of the hike was simply breathtaking with the icy valley below and the mountains saturated with the overnight snow. Having snow ball fights in and around the naked trees is a must for the kids and adults. You are never too old to be a little young at heart.
- Deogyusan Resort: The best part of Muju with plenty of family friendly activities on offer. Entertain the kids in the resort at the Kids centre, with sleds down the slopes that was a huge hit. Travel up the Gondola and enjoy a coffee at the café when you get up top. Ski or snowboard down the ski slopes, remembering on weekends it gets very crowded. The resort is also the best place to get your western food fix at Lotteria, a burger joint. Domino pizza is also available, as well as local Korean cuisine of course.
- Tae Kwon Do Park: Unfortunately this amazing centre had not opened when I ventured to Muju in 2013. but it is now open for the public and I have heard it is quite stunning. google it and check it out. It is described as spiritual home of Tae Kwon Do. I wish I could tell you more, but below is a picture of the billboard when I was in Muju.
You will be at peace with Muju and one with nature. With a vast range of activities and precious visual scenery to gaze your eyes on, you will feel a great satisfaction in visiting another breathtaking part of the world.
So if you ever in South Korea, do yourselves a favour and venture a little south to Muju, especially during the winter season. You won’t regret it and a little secret will be discovered.