At Mindungsan (민둥산), 35km west of Taebaek, a spur splits from the main train line and barrels up north through an extremely picturesque valley, whose undulating hills and unspoilt scenery carry echoes of Shikoku in Japan. A single-carriage train plies this route, heading through Jeongseon to Auraji, though its modern swivel-chairs are somewhat incongruous with the surrounding bucolic scenery and the small, unassuming towns on route.

Situated 20km along this spur line, JEONGSEON (정선) is the only stop that could possibly be termed “touristy” – most of the valley’s accommodation and restaurants can be found here, and there’s a market on every date ending with a 2 or a 7, along with coinciding assorted cultural performances from April to November.

For the most enjoyable attraction on the route, you’ll have to head 15km further to AURAJI (아우라지) at the end of the line: shuttle buses meet the trains and head further up the track to a now-disused station, from where you can cycle the 7km back down the train line to Auraji on a specially crafted rail-bike. Its popularity means that it can be booked solid at weekends, though on slacker days curious foreigners may be given a free 100m dash – don’t forget to brake. Also at the station is an odd burger-bar-cum-café in the shape of two fish.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

South Korea features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Seoul food: the transformation of a neighbourhood

Seoul food: the transformation of a neighbourhood

Itaewon, a neighbourhood in the South Korean capital Seoul, is on the up and food is at the forefront of its renaissance. Here Amy Guttman explores a district u…

14 Jan 2016 • Amy Guttman insert_drive_file Article
Would you get down and dirty at South Korea’s Mud Festival?

Would you get down and dirty at South Korea’s Mud Festival?

What once began as a marketing ploy for a therapeutic mud found near Boryeong, a small city on South Korea’s sandy west coast, has since transformed into a un…

17 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: traditional dress around the world

In pictures: traditional dress around the world

The Sari, India Ostensibly the simplest item of clothing possible – a single length of fabric, up to nine metres long – the sari is also one of the world…

02 Feb 2015 • Alice Park camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month