This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gurye.
Gurye is a very small, rural town in Gurye County (Gurye-gun) in the South Jeolla province of South Korea. It is in the far south of the country at the confluence of two rivers, and is famous for its markets and flower festivals. The nearest large cities are Gwangju, Busan and Daegu, both of which have train service to Gurye. There is also a direct bus service to Seoul. The town itself is small enough to explore on foot, although if you want to visit some of the surrounding rural areas you might prefer to hire a car for a day.
During the spring and autumn, Gurye is a popular hiking destination for Koreans. The Jirisan National Park is very close; if you are keen to hike, Gurye is a great place to base at a hostel. Don’t miss the hot springs at the base of Mount Jiri, either - its a great place to soak after a long day on the trails. Jirisan National Park is South Korea’s first national park and is well known across Asia for its Asiatic black bear conservation program and both biodiversity conservation and damage restoration programs.
If you are hiking in the summer, be sure to book your hostel in advance, since it’s a small town and does get busy during the high season. There aren’t too many traditional hostels in town either, so if they are booked, consider a guesthouse or Korean inn instead. Also, this area often hosts major events like the Ironman race; its a very good idea to check dates in case something like this is happening!
One of the cultural reasons that Gurye is famous in Korea is for the Sansuyu (Cornus Fruit) Flower Festival. It is held every March to celebrate the yellow flowers that produce a local liquor and unique tea; they are also an effective herbal remedy known from early Korean times.
Written by local enthusiast for Gurye hostelsJakob Lombardi