Set on the edge of Seorak-san National Park, Yangyang is a laid-back coastal town overlooking the East Sea. It’s renowned for its delicious pine mushrooms and salmon sourced from the Namdaecheon River, with annual festivals dedicated to celebrating the local produce.
Things to do
Spend a day hiking beneath the jagged peaks of Seorak-san National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve blanketed in verdant pine forests. Explore the Cheonbuldong Valley, which is crisscrossed by crystal-clear streams and home to long-tailed goral, musk deer and otters.
If you’re interested in Korean shamanism, visit the Seonghwangsa shamanistic altar, which was once used for sacrificial rites. The 14th-century Yangyang Hyanggyo school is a fascinating destination for those keen to learn about Confucian beliefs.
Yangyang is considered the gateway to Odaesan National Park, which centres around the towering peak of Birobong. Follow one of the walking trails that lead through the dense yew conifer forests while keeping an eye out for turtledoves and woodpeckers.
Want to purchase Yangyang’s famed local produce? Visit the five-day market that takes place in the town on days ending in “4” and “9”. It’s one of the biggest traditional gatherings in the area, with growers flocking to the market to sell their fresh fruits, vegetables and artisan goods.
Yangyang International Airport has seasonal flights to both Seoul and Busan, with the drive to the capital taking around two hours. The town is compact enough to explore on foot or by bicycle, but a vehicle is best for accessing Seorak-san National Park.