I’ve had the Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon on my must-visit list for a while now, and last Sunday we finally decided to go check it out. It was a perfect fall day, sunny but not too hot.
We rode the subway to the main Suwon station, and then tried to take a bus to the fortress wall, which is in the center of town and supposedly pretty hard to miss. Unfortunately, I was following directions from a random blog (next time I will consult *multiple* sources), and we ended up in a very quiet part of town. Luckily, an empty taxi came by as we were standing on a street corner wondering what to do, and the taxi took us straight to the palace entrance. There was a festival going on (Hangeul Day). We decided against visiting the palace, instead focused on walking the wall.
We walked through an artsy street to the south gate, and started walking from the wall that was to the west of that gate. Right away, we faced a tall set of stairs:
All told, the wall stretches around 5.5 km, but in actuality we walked almost 9 miles total that day. The wall and buildings are beautiful, and there are guard posts, statues, towers, and four impressive main gates along the way. This is an excellent day trip from Seoul and I highly recommend checking it out!
Be prepared if you make this trip to not get a seat on the hour+ subway ride home. It can be tiring to stand for that long after climbing up and down stairs all day, so I highly recommend grabbing a meal or chilling out in Suwon at a coffee shop for a while after walking the wall and before heading home.