Asia’s best train stations — where you’ll be spending your leisure time

Written by By Thomas D’Errico, CNN

It can often be said that trains are one of the most beautiful and memorable forms of transportation.

If you fancy yourself a self-proclaimed grandpa traveling for the sake of history, scenery or culture, then there’s no better way to explore Asia.

In particular, train journeys — especially those running in the Korean peninsula — are particularly fascinating. From cultural itineraries to journeys of culinary and historic discovery, travelers will find something to tickle every traveler’s fancy along the way.

1. Central Station: Seoul

Courtesy AirKorea

If you want to do something truly different and get your bearings when traveling in South Korea, then spend your time in Seoul’s central station.

Beyond being one of the country’s largest stations, it’s also one of the most beautiful. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano , the facility spans 55 meters (197 feet) with over 6,000 square meters of main floor space.

Alongside its elaborate architecture, it also offers 360-degree views across the city. And if you’re up for a ride, it’s also the best place to experience one of Seoul’s excellent ferries — offering a great view of the ancient Han River in the background.

2. Hanjin Line Station: Busan

Beam me up, Scotty! Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you want to head out and have a look at the most famous line of the South Korean Peninsula, then head over to Busan’s new transport center.

While the station is aimed primarily at leisure travelers, visitors will no doubt also find it educational. The highly modern station, designed by Japanese architects MAD and South Korean firm Alvar Aalto Architects , houses an exhibition space and library, as well as a bustling food court.

Photography enthusiasts will also be in luck, as the station has some impressive panoramic views to capture.

3. Silang Station: Daegu

Whammm! Henk Meijers/Gallo Images

While anyone who loves the first day of school feeling can’t help but want to spend time at Daegu’s Silang station , it’s good to remember that it was first opened in 1976.

The station is still an awe-inspiring structure at 36 meters (133 feet) tall. The Wider Seoul and Travel China remain the most popular destinations for travel agents, according to Daegu Railway , while taxi fares can reach up to 1,000 won ($0.84).

Among the buildings in the station are some that commemorate or are meant to be markers to the connection between Daegu and the Warring States’ Era

4. Wutang Station: Busan

Raise your hand if you see some of these colonial-era buildings on your route through this railway station. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Busan’s Wutang station is one of the best big buildings in the country, with the earliest modern train car dating back to 1937.

This branch of the Seol-gyeong International Railway Lines dates back to South Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and is a major tourist attraction.

According to the Busan Railway, the street weaves through mangrove forest and limestone cliffs. A sign on one of the winding paths marks the traditional South Korean Blue Bridge and Caladium Bridge, while a popular spot is the bridge overlooking the group of buildings at the station’s entrance.

5. Samjin Station: Yeosu

Souram Castle (pictured) is one of the oldest buildings in the country. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ever heard of Souram Castle? Never mind. While you may have already seen it — as in the popular South Korean TV series — it might also be one of the country’s most important buildings.

Leave a Comment