After travelling down the track, you will finish your journey at Auraji Station, where you will see another café –
this time in the shape of two large fish. There’s also an opportunity to buy a framed photograph of you and your
‘bike partner’ (that’s right, some Korean guy jumps out of the bushes about halfway down the track and snaps your
picture!!!) The pictures are pretty pricey though.
From Auraji Station, you take a free train back to the top. However, on my second visit there, I discovered
something worth seeing before you do that…
If you head behind the fish shaped cafés, there’s a section of the track that you can walk across. Cross this,
and then cross the road and you’ll see a large car park. If you walk over to this (it’s only 2 minutes away), then
you will come across a river, with a bridge traversing it, topped with a crescent moon and star sculpture. You will
have already seen part of this on your ride down on the railbike. It’s a lovely little area to spend an hour having
a picnic and wandering around. There’s a little man in a rowboat, and for around 1000 won he’ll row you across the
river! You’ll also find some large stepping stones which you can walk across, as well as a small temple. You can then
wander across the bridge and head back over to Auraji station, catching the free train back to the top. It’s a really
nice way to finish off the experience.
Operating Hours - March - October 09:00-18:00. The railbike departs 5 times a day.
Booking - I have heard much debate about whether you should book this excursion in advance or not.
Personally, we didn’t – we just turned up at the ticket office and luckily there was a free bike with only a ten minute
wait. However, apparently we were lucky to have this experience, as other people I know have ventured there only to be
turned away as the attraction is fully booked. I think going in high season (late May, June, July, August) will probably
be busier and therefore harder to get a place without booking. You can book on their website (www.railbike.co.kr), but
will need someone to translate for you as it’s all in Korean, and I have also heard that the website only allows 50
people to make a reservation each day. I have also heard of other people camping out overnight, just to be first in
line in the morning! I think this is slightly extreme, so my advice is this: try to go in off-season, arrive first
thing in the morning, and if you plan on visiting with a large group, then call the Korea Tourist Information phone
line (02-1330) and enquire about how to make a booking. They are usually very helpful, and may even call the ticket
office on your behalf/visit the website for you to make a reservation/check availabilty. If not, they will be able to
give you advice at least.
Entry Fee - The bike is 18,000 won for a 2-person vehicle.
Getting There - Take a bus bound for Yeoryang (06:10-17:35, 10 daily departures) at Jeongseong Bus
Terminal. In Yeoryang, take a local bus that goes to Gujeol-ri. (This was just waiting at Yeoryang when we arrived there
– if you ask for the railbike, everyone will know what you mean). Get off in Gujeol-ri station to find the boarding
platform. The bus driver will shout when you have arrived.
After you are finished, if you want to get a bus back to Jeongseon, don’t bother getting the train back to the
railbike entrance. If you head towards the road from Auraji station, you will be in Yeoryang again! Wait on the other
side of the road from where you were dropped off, and wait for a Jeongseon bus to come along. We only waited around ten
minutes, but again, if you call the tourist info line, they will be able to tell you when the next bus is due.
Upon Arrival – Things were a little confusing when we first arrived (so if any of this happens to you,
you’ll know it’s normal!) The ticket office was small and pretty crowded. Lots of Koreans were pushing in front of us and
going to the desk, no-one seeming to pay any attention to the fact that we were waiting too! Even the lady on the desk
ignored us for ages… But finally we were summoned, and handed a number. We then had to sit down and wait for our number
to be called, before being served again at the desk and given a ticket. We waited around 5 minutes for this to happen.
Seemed like a strange system, but hey, it’s all about patience sometimes in Korea! And we got there in the end.