How to Get There
The Gyeongbuk (East Coast) Bike Path passes tourist and port towns along North Gyeongsang Province’s shores. Its train lines don’t accept full-size bikes. And no metropolitan city subtracts subways from the transportation equation. That leaves only one option:
The towns that occupy East Gyeongbuk Bike Path aren’t population hotspots. Unless you live in Seoul, you might need to take connecting intercity buses, with nearby cities acting as transfer hubs.
As of this writing, the Gyeongbuk Bike Path begins on the southern border of Yeongdeok County (영덕군), right above Pohang City, halfway up the North Gyeongsang Province coast.
This differs from other certification paths in Korea, which start and end with certification centers.
(Why the discrepancy? Route builders plan to extend the path through Pohang, Gyeongju City, and down into Ulsan Metropolitan City.)
Let’s simplify and make the bike path’s start line Yeongdeok’s southernmost bus terminal.
Local buses frequent North Gyeongsang counties, including useful routes along the coastal bike path: Ganggu, Yeonghae, Hupo, Pyeonghae, Uljin, and Pohang. Buses flowing north on the Gangwon (East Coast) Bike Path drive to Samcheok, Donghae, Gangneung, and Sokcho.
One problem. Yeongdeok Terminal sits 5 kilometers inland. To get to the seaside bike path, you can either:
- Follow a two-lane road 5.5 kilometers east over a tall hill (directions).
- Follow another two-laner 6.9 kilometers south to the port town of Ganggu (directions).
- Or take one of the 17 daily, ten-minute buses from Yeongdeok Terminal to the port town of Ganggu (timetable).
What do I recommend? Second or third option. The first option is shorter, but climbs a 102-meter hill. Second option avoids climb. The third trims away the extra cycling.
Plus, Ganggu’s got crabs. Crab parks. Crab restaurants. Crab bridges. Spectate your heart out.
Tiny Ganggu Town, known for crabs galore, is the Gyeongbuk Bike Path’s best current starting point. It’s pocket-sized Ganggu Bus Terminal (강구버스터미널) is the southernmost in Yeongdeok County and rests only 250 meters away from the cycling route (directions).
Sharing space with a convenience store and restaurant on the eastern edge of town, the terminal runs buses to a handful of local towns and cities, including Yeongdeok, Pohang, and Daegu (timetable).
A Complicated Finale
Like its start, the Gyeongbuk Bike Path’s end is complicated.
Technically, the Gangwon and Gyeonbuk Bike Paths don’t connect. Planners are still connecting the neighboring province’s coastal bike paths.
What do cyclists usually do?
If they’re just riding the Gyeongsang Bike Path, they collect the Uljin Fish Bridge stamp, hop on an Uljin Terminal bus, and sail home.
If they’re continuing onto the Gangwon Bike Path, riders may either:
- Skip the gap and take a bus to Hosan Bus Stop, 6.7 kilometers south of the Imwon Certification Center, the Gangwon Bike Path’s start.
- Or, they cycle the gap.
If you cycle the gap, you won’t notice much of a difference. its coastal roads, hills, and picturesque ports look and feel like any other section of the east coast’s bike paths.
The Gyeongbuk Bike Path only passes two districts: Yeongdeok and Uljin County. Their largest terminals offer the best points of entry.
However, between each county’s downtowns, three mini shoreside settlements offer mini terminals:
Each are useful entry and exit point. But because of their aging, shrinking population, service in these port towns varies.
Sitting south of Yeongdeok County, as of this writing, Pohang doesn’t host any part of the Gyeongbuk Bike Path. Its terminals, however, provide excellent transfer points.
(Unlike other cities, Pohang’s express and intercity terminals sit 2.6 kilometers apart; directions.)
Some intrepid cyclists start the East Coast Route from Pohang, riding north to the Gyeongbuk Bike Path, plowing past the gap, then snaking up the Gangwon Bike Path to the DMZ.
The route through Pohang lacks stamps and passes heavy industry. But it also offers photo-worthy seaside views and villages.
Gyeongbuk Bus Terminals
- Pohang Intercity Terminal — <small>(포항시외버스터미널)</small> — Transfer
- Pohang Express Terminal — <small>(포항고속버스터미널)</small> — Transfer
- Ganggu Bus Terminal — <small>(강구버스터미널)</small> — Start
- Yeongdeok Bus Terminal — <small>(영덕터미널)</small> — Start
- Yeonghae Bus Terminal — <small>(영해버스터미널)</small>
- Hupo Bus Terminal — <small>(후포공용시외버스터미널)</small>
- Pyeonghae Bus Terminal — <small>(평해버스터미널)</small>
- Uljin Bus Terminal — <small>(울진종합버스터미널)</small> — End