South Korea // Chungcheong //

Cheonan and around

After years in the shadows, Cheonan (천안) is a city on the up: now connected to Seoul by subway and high-speed train, its population has boomed in recent years, both with disaffected office workers from the capital and migrants from Asia who have been brought over to work on one of the many construction projects. The new KTX line has enabled commuters to work in Seoul while living in a cheaper, more manageable city, but despite the flashy new department stores and housing complexes, there’s little here to detain travellers bar the superb Arario Gallery – instead, visitors mainly use Cheonan as a jumping-off point for the largest museum in the country, the fascinating Independence Hall of Korea.