Bicycling South Korea

Bicycles have long been the quickest way to navigate the traffic-choked streets of Seoul.

But far from a last resort, cycling has become a national pastime throughout South Korea. Since 2010, the country has built more than 1,000 miles of paved cycling routes and plans to create a network of paths along its four main rivers.

Reinventing the Wheel: Pedal pushers can take in a varied landscape—roughly 70 percent of this nation consists of forest, rivers, lakes, and mountains—as well as experience some of the world’s most advanced cycling infrastructure.

Bike-only highways tunnel through mountains and over rivers; bike repair shops, restrooms, and picnic sites line the paths; and special traffic lights assist urban crossings. Bike Tours Direct can help connect travelers to local tour operators.

Course of Action: On a 37-mile stretch of the Nakdong River Bike Path, cyclists pass the Sangju Bicycle Museum, a Confucian school founded in 1606, and Gyeongcheondae Terrace, a rock cliff prized for its view of the Nakdong.

Finally, at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Andong Hahoe Folk Village, weary riders can recover in a minbak (fire-heated inn).

  • Travel Trivia: One of South Korea’s 3,358 islands, Jeju claims one of the world’s longest lava tubes and is renowned for its female deep-sea divers.
Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips

This piece, written by Jayme Moye, appeared in the November 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

> Related:

Read This Next

Can science help personalize your diet?
Hogs are running wild in the U.S.—and spreading disease
Salman Rushdie on the timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet