Whenever we can, we prefer to spend our weekends in the countryside. Lucky for us, Korea has a well-connected number of highways that allow us to travel conveniently. Of course, traveling outside the city on a holiday is a different story.
When going to the countryside in Korea, the trip is as exciting as reaching the final destination — all because of the highway rest stops! If I were the driver, I would take a break at every rest area, but that would mean stopping six or more times on a 200-km long trip ;p
Like the rest areas in other countries, the ones in Korea also have the basic amenities – gas station, restrooms, convenience store, information center, ATMs and food stores – enough to provide comfort to the weary drivers and passengers.
In Korea, there are some rest areas that provide more than the basic services. If you’re lucky, you may catch a live performance:
Depending on the city where a rest area is located, one can find food stalls selling Korean snacks like “tteokbokki” or spicy rice cake, “ho tteok” or pancake with sweet sesame filling, “hodu kwaja” or walnut cookie, “ojingeo” or squid and more. Some rest stops also have food courts selling Korean rice meals, noodles and even “Western” food like pork cutlets, fried chicken and burgers.
On a cold winter day, I enjoy having “ho tteok” or the pancake with sweet sesame filling with a hot cup of Americano. I usually buy a 3,000 won bag of “hodu kwaja” or walnut cookie to eat in the car.
My husband, the driver, would always look for massage chairs. My son would always ask if there is a playground, park or mini-rides. Some rest areas also have batting cages. Most cities would have stores selling their specialty products. I’ve also been to a few rest stops that have fashion outlets.
Korean highway rest stops make traveling a lot more convenient. They make me look forward to our next weekend trip ;p