Hwanseon Gul

Hwanseon Cave - Fairy's Cave

Useful Information

Location: Kangwon-do Samchok, Daei-ri district. From Tong Seoul Bus Terminal take a Samchok-bound bus, a 4:50 ride. At Samchok, take a bus to Taei-ri (55 minutes).
Open: MAR to OCT daily 8-18, last tour 17:30.
NOV to FEB daily 8:30-17, last tour 16:30.
Fee: Park Entrance fee: Adults Won 1,000, Children (13-18) Won 800, Children (7-12) Won 500, Soldiers Won 800.
Groups: Adults Won 800, Children (13-18) Won 600, Children (7-12) Won 300, Soldiers Won 600.
Cave Admission fee: Adults Won 3,000, Children (13-18) Won 2,000, Children (7-12) Won 1,500, Soldiers Won 2,000.
Groups: Adults Won 2,000, Children (13-18) Won 1,500, Children (7-12) Won 1,000, Soldiers Won 1,500.
Cave fee does not include park fee.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyriver cave.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=6,200 m. T=11 °C. A=820 m asl.
Guided tours: L=1,600 m, St=398, D=60 min.
Bibliography: Kyung-Sik Woo (1989): Original mineralogy and carbonate diagenesis of speleothems in Kwanum and Hwansun Cavern, Kangweond, Journal of the Geological Society of Korea 25, n.1, pp.90-97.
Address: San 117 Daei-ri, Singi-myeon, Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do.
Daei Caves Control Office, Tel: +82-33-570-3255 and +82-33-570-9266, Fax +82-395-541-7181.
Tourism Development Bureau of Samcheok-si, Tel: +82-33-570-3545.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


15-JUN-1966 area including the cave was designated a National Monument (#178).
1997 opened to the public.


Hwanseon Gul (Fairy's Cave) claims to be the largest show cave in the East of South Korea. 6.2 km of cave passage have been explored and surveyed, which also makes this cave one of the three longest of the country. But cavers discover new caves every year in this country, so this superlative may change soon. The cave is located in a karst area with many caves, nearby are Gwaneum Cave, Jeampung Cave, Yangtumokse Cave, Dukbatse Cave, and Keunjaese Cave, which are not open to the public. The landscape of Shingi myeon offers scenic mountains and Korea's "Grand Canyon" Kangwon-do Samchok.

From the ticket office it is a 45 minutes walk uphill to the cave entrance. Ihe distance is only 1.3 km, but the path climbs 200 m. The path leads along the river, which emerges from the cave portal at the end of the valley. The portal is 10 m high, and a wodden mill was constructed inside the portal to use the power of the cave river.

The height of the passages averages 15 m and its width 20 m. The main chamber, 40 m in diameter, features layers of white sand and is big enough to hold thousands of people. Some parts f the cave are up to 100 m high. The cave rivers forms ten pools and six waterfalls along the tour path.

But its main sight are various speleothems, the cavern is loaded with a variety of rimstones, popcorn calcite, calcite crstals and curtains. Outstanding are a structure named after the Great Wall of China and Okchwadae (Royal Throne) in the main chamber.

47 species of cave animals were found in the cave. This includes the lungless Korean clawed salamander Onychodactylus fischeri, the spider Allomengea coreana, the cave cricket Diestrammena japanica, the millipedes Epanerchodus kimi and Antrokoreana gracilipes, the moth Apopestes indica, and a species of amphipod in the genus Pseudocrangonyx. The beetle Kurasawatrechus latior and three other species are endemic to this cave.