Monday, October 24, 2011

Take the Wine Train in Korea for the journey, not the wine

Two women on the Korean wine train enjoy playing games on board the train headed from Seoul to Koreans only winery in Yeongdong.

   Wine Korea offers an amazing cultural tour of the Korean countryside through wine. Hop on the Wine Train for an all day adventure with your friends or lover. Whether or not you are setting out on a romantic date or a booze train, guests of all backgrounds will truly enjoy their day being immersed into Korean culture.
    My man Paulo flew in from Los Angeles during the coldest Korean winter in history to join me on the tour. We arrived at Seoul Station on a Saturday morning in January completely exhausted because of the early departure. The train boards its passengers at 8:55am. You may choose between 2 cars on board: Red/White Wine Passenger Car: KRW 85,000 or Ginseng/Medicinal Herb Passenger Car: KRW 80,000. We went for the more expensive car the Red/White car which seemed to be more VIP in overall nature of the tour. The 5,000 won increase in comparison to the Ginseng car is a small price to pay when you see the comfortable interior of the train.

    So what are you going to do on a 12 hour wine train tour? 

A strange platter of Western food on board the train.
First you will enjoy a fun and wine filled journey to Yeongdong. The DJ/host in your train will provide a variety of games for entertainment during the train ride. Several of the games involved popping balloons, using smiley face stickers to attach your table members and the Korean version of rock,paper,scissors. Prizes are awarded for the game winners. The games were fun, however they were all conducted in Korean. Nothing was in English the entire trip, which resulted in a lot of laughing, staring and use of the word waygooken (foreigner). I actually recommend going without a foreigner group because the experience of dancing, drunk, adjumas (old women) was so enjoyable! Most of the wine was unbearable, so we stuck to the white wine which was kind of like a bitter version of Chardonnay.

The all you can drink wine doesn't have the best quality.
Once you get to Yeongdong and have a good buzz, you will board a short bus ride to Wine Korea for lunch. The food is a buffet set up of average Korean/fusion food. Overall, I would give the lunch rating a C. Pasta, Korean food, salad and cake are not my favorite combinations.You can have access to giant barrels of wine and drink as much as you want before re-boarding the bus for your next stop.
    After lunch there are a few stops at several cultural attractions. I really enjoyed this portion of the tour and my man Paulo loved learning how to play traditional Korean music. This took place at the Nangye Educational Center for Korean Classical Music Instruments. We heard professionals play music first and then all guests were provided with their own drums and were given a 30 minute music lesson.

Learning how to play Korean drums was awesome.

  From the educational center we walked across the street to see a colossus drum and spend time in a small museum. There were also bows and arrows for those to shoot that were less interested in the museum.
The next stop takes you to an amazing underground tunnel which serves as an old wine cellar for Wine Korea. Because all of the signs were in Korean and the guides only spoke Korean, I was unable to learn the exact details of the tunnel.

A group enjoying the wine foot bath.

Finally, you will get the chance to sit back and relax as you stick your feet into boiling hot baths of wine water. The water was too hot for me and took a while to ease into! You will also make wine soap during this portion of the tour. This all takes black back at the Wine Korea location where it will end with a tour of the private wine cellar and gift shop.
Don't worry the party isn't over yet. You will head back to Seoul playing plenty of games and relaxing as a sweet Korean guy plays music on his guitar and sings to you. During this time, my train was getting wild with the DJ and all of the adjumas and adjoosis (old women and men) were out of their seats dancing.

By the end of the tour my car had plenty of wine for the day as they danced wildly on the train!
A peek inside of the Korea wine cellar cave.
The tour takes 12 hours round trip from Seoul Station and is well worth the price for transportation, all you can drink wine, and food throughout the entire day. Play the foreigner card, and you will probably end up with a free bottle of wine to take home with you at the end of the day!  Depending on the weather and time of year the Wine Train has different versions of its tours. It may subsitute the music and underground tunnel portions of 4 and 5 above for a stop at the Geumsan Ginseng Town.
Foreigners do not have to pay in advance, but they must call Tel: 02-3149-3333 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) to book their tickets! Use the Korea Tourism Org's Website for more help in booking your trip!

Graphics on the outside of one of the Wine Train cars.

Excited passengers on the Korea Wine Train!
Outside of the winery on a snowy day. 
Inside the soap making room. My group failed so I won't show our soap!
A massive Korean drum outside of the music center.

If you have any questions or comments about "Take the Wine Train in Korea for the journey, not the wine" please leave them in the comment box below or email

Creative Commons License  Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

3 개의 λŒ“κΈ€:

johndoe said...

All of that for 85,000 Won? Is it a year-round event? I hope I get a chance to go when I visit ^^

Marie W said...

Hi Philipguy! Yes the wine train is a year-round event!

Noel Liszkay & Janice Winter said...

Hi - where do you book for this as it sounds awesome :)

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Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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