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Discover Suwon, Korea’s Newest MICE Destination

March 25, 2020 MICE No Comments Email Email

With the opening of a new convention center, hotel and luxury department store, Suwon is quickly on the rise as Korea’s latest MICE destination. The location puts visitors just far enough from Seoul to provide a break from the noise and crowds, but still within easy reach for those wanting to take a day trip into the main city.

Suwon provides an experience of both the old and the new, the nature with the city. Stone walls of an ancient fortress weave through the city center, and modern high rises surround the sprawling greenery of a lake park. You can go from exploring a bustling traditional market to shopping for the latest trends all in a single day.

Whether you are looking for something new, or simply want to escape the crowds, be sure to add Suwon to your list of destinations.

What to do

A trip to Suwon would not be complete without a visit to the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed during the Joseon Dynasty by King Jeongjo, the fortress served as a display of filial piety towards the King’s father and the pioneering of a new city. The 5.52km ancient fortress wall still remains much intact today, and is quite an unusual sight amidst Suwon city’s modern landscape.

There is much to see in and around the fortress grounds, including the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace and numerous traditional markets. A great way to explore the area is by going for a walk around the Suwon Palsaek-gil Trail. The trail goes around the length of the fortress wall and takes about 2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Another option is the Hwaseong Fortress Tourist Trolley, modeled after the royal palanquin of Joseon dynasty kings. The trolley takes visitors on a scenic ride around the fortress and surrounding areas.

What to eat

Suwon is famous for two foods – Fried Chicken and Galbi (grilled short ribs).

If you are a fan of Korean dramas or television shows, you may be familiar with chi-maek, the combination of fried chicken and beer. This pairing of crispy chicken with an ice cold glass of beer is a perfect way to bond with your group and enjoy a night out on the town. In Suwon, you can find Suwon Chicken Street, an entire street filled with shops selling fried chicken. What makes the chicken here special is that the chicken is fried fresh in gamasot, a large iron cauldron traditionally used for Korean cooking. The result is an especially golden, crispy and flavorful fried chicken.

Another local specialty is the Suwon Galbi. Galbi is a popular Korean dish of grilled beef short ribs, and in Suwon, you will find the ribs are larger than that of other regions with tender, juicy meat. The ribs are first marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, then grilled over hot charcoal for a smoky and flavorful taste.

Where to shop

Suwon is home to Korea’s newest department store, Galleria Gwanggyo. The massive 12-story shopping center opened on March 2, 2020 and its unique exterior has been garnering much attention since construction began. Designed and constructed by Dutch architectural firm OMA, the exterior was designed to embody the inner patterns of a massive layer of rock, with a textured mosaic stone facade that evokes the nature of the neighboring Gwanggyo Lake Park. A glass walkway winds its way across one side of the building to connect all floors, with the concept of connecting the public sidewalk to the building’s roof garden. The all-glass walkway offers a unique, thrilling experience with beautiful views of the surrounding Gwanggyo New Town.

The 12 floors provide a shopping haven for all tastes, with an entire floor dedicated to high-end fashion houses including Gucci, Fendi, Balenciaga, as well as a line-up of contemporary street brands and a 3-story Samsung Electronics future-concept “Premium Store” for all your tech needs. For foodies, Galleria Gwanggyo boasts a selection of some of the hottest eateries in Seoul, including popular burger spot Downtower and tonkatsu restaurant Jeongdon. Even for those not a fan of shopping, Galleria Gwanggyo will provide a unique space with plenty of new sights and experiences.

Where to stay

Stay in comfort and style at the newly opened Courtyard Suwon. Part of the Suwon MICE Complex, the hotel is located steps away from Gwanggyo Jungang subway station and offers direct access to Suwon Convention Center and Galleria Department Store. Hop on the subway to reach Gangnam Station in just 30 minutes.

The hotel offers a spacious 288 rooms including suites and executive rooms, offering breathtaking city views of Gwanggyo New Town. Rooms are designed with the modern business traveler in mind, each equipped with efficient work space and a sleek contemporary décor.

All-day-dining is available at Suwon Kitchen, the contemporary casual restaurant located on the second floor. Enjoy a fresh international buffet or select from the a-la-carte menu offering up Western comforts including burgers and sandwiches, or try the Korean classics including Korean Bulgogi and Suwon Galbi, a regional specialty. Vegetarian options are available as well, including Beyond Meat Steak and Fries and Korean Bibimbap. Four private dining rooms offer privacy for group gatherings.

If looking to unwind after a long day, visit The Lake Tavern, a luxury lounge and bar. Treat yourself to handcrafted cocktails and accompanying snacks or choose from the wide selection of beer, wine and liquors.

Last but not least, a 24-hour fitness center makes it easy to squeeze in some exercise into your schedule or take advantage of the adjacent Gwanggyo Lake Park to go for a walk or a leisurely bike ride.

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