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Certification

A guide to Korea’s national bike certification system.

South Korea wants to play a game. What game? How about a country-wide treasure hunt?

Korea’s Bike Certification System created a system where cyclists can document their journey across Korea’s extensive bicycle paths.

A picture of a certification stamp booth near Jeongdongjin Beach (정동진해변).
Find the stamp booths at points of interest, including Jeongdongjin Beach (정동진해변) near Gangneung (강릉시).

First, buy a Bike Certification Passport. As you ride, find red phone booths along the bike paths. Stamp your Bike Passport with the unique stamp inside. After you collect all the stamps, win a certificate and the right to buy an Olympic-style medal.

Interested? You bet!

Below we present the tools to fill your Bike Certification Passport to the brim with stamps. We’ll give you a guide, a complete list of checkpoints, and maps, maps and more maps.

Let’s get stamping!

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An in-depth look at the Certification System and Bike Certification Passport.

The complete list of checkpoints (red stamp booths) for your Bike Certification Passport.

Maps detailing the locations of each Bike Certification Passport checkpoint.

A guide to downloading and using your Bike Certification Passport app on your smartphone.

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Certification Guide

A guide to completing Korea’s Bike Certification System.

Want to collect all the stamps in Korea’s Bike Certification System? We’ll walk you through buying a Bike Certification Passport, spotting the checkpoints, and getting certified.

Let’s hit the path. Don’t forget your passport!

A picture of a bike passport book and stamp in a checkpoint booth.
A bike passport sits above a stamp in a checkpoint booth.

What is the Bike Certification System?

Korea completed the Four Rivers Project (4대강 정비 사업) in 2012. The infrastructure project constructed a series of dams and weirs to secure water resources and restore Korea’s four major rivers.

The project also built recreational parks and added an extensive network of bike paths. These new paths connected with local bike paths and allowed bikers to ride clear across Korea.

A picture of Gangjeong Goryeong-bo dam near Daegu.
Find a certification center in Gangjeong Goryeong-bo dam in Daegu.

To enhance the cycling experience, the Ministry of Interior and Safety and K-Water created a Bike Certification System.

Also known as a stamp tour, the certification system dropped a series of stamp booths along the bike paths. Cyclists could buy a Bike Certification passport and document their bike journeys.

Korean Certification Bicycle Paths

Twelve bike paths make up Korea’s Bicycle Certification System. They flow across the peninsula, along the east coast, and down four major rivers.
  1. Ara Bicycle Path (아라자 전거길)
  2. Hangang Bicycle Path (한강자 전거길)
  3. Bukhangang Bicycle Path (북한강 자전거길)
  4. Saejae Bicycle Path (새재 자전거길)
  5. Nakdonggang Bicycle Path (낙동강 자전거길)
  6. Geumgang Bicycle Path (금강 자전거길)
  7. Yeongsangang Bicycle Path (영산강 자전거길)
  8. Seomjingang Bicycle Path (섬진강 자전거길)
  9. Ocheon Bicycle Path (오천 자전거길)
  10. East Coast Gangwon Bicycle Path (동해안자전거길 (강원))
  11. East Coast Gyeongbuk Bicycle Path (동해안자전거길 (경북))
  12. Jeju Fantasy Bicycle Path (제주환상자전거길)
A bike leans against a checkpoint booth along the Gangwon Bicycle Path on Korea's east coast.
A bike leans against a checkpoint booth along the Gangwon Bicycle Path on Korea's east coast.

Collect all the stamps on any bike path and receive a sticker (스티커) to put in your Bike Passport.

Finish the Cross-Country, 4 Rivers, or Grand Slam paths and receive a certificate (인증서). You can even buy Olympic-style medals (인증메달) to make everyone jealous.

Han River Bicycle Paths

Note there are three bicycle paths along the Han River.
  1. Hangang Bicycle Path (한강자 전거길)
  2. Hangang Bicycle Path (Seoul) (한강 자전거길 (서울구간))
  3. Namhangang Bicycle Path (남한강 자전거길)
A picture of a bicycle along the Hangang Bicycle Path in Korea.
The Namhangang and Hangang (Seoul) bike paths form the Hangang Bike Path.

Hangang Bicycle Path (Seoul) and the Namhangang Bicycle Path combine to form the Hangang Bicycle Path.

The Hangang Bicycle Path runs from the Ara Hangang Lock (아라한강갑문) just before Seoul (서울) to the Chungju Dam (충주댐) outside of Chungju (충주). It connects with the Saejae Bicycle Path and is a part of the Cross-Country Bicycle Path.

The Bukhangang Bicycle Path splits from the Hangang Bicycle Path east of Seoul (here) and detours seventy kilometer north to the city of Chuncheon (춘천).

Namhangang vs. Bukhangang

To understand the Namhangang and the Bukhangang, let’s translate some words.
A picture of a bike rider on the Bukhangang Bridge outside of Seoul.
The Bukhangang Bridge crosses the point where the North and South Han Rivers meet.

Now take the names apart. You can see that Buk-Han-Gang (북-한-강) translates to North Han River. And Nam-Han-Gang (남-한-강) equals South Han River.

The Namhan and Bukhan Rivers combine to form the Han River east of Seoul. The Han River continues westward. It spills into the Yellow Sea near the DMZ. (That’s why you won’t see cargo ships sail the Han River.)

How Does It Work?

Simple.

After you buy an official Certification Bike Passport, ride along Korea’s twelve certification bike paths. You’ll stumble upon a series of red phone booths, or Certification Checkpoints.

Inside each red phone booth sits a unique stamp. Mark your passport with the stamp to prove you visited the location.

Step 1: Buy a Bike Certification Passport

To start your certification journey, you’ll need a Bike Certification Passport (인증수첩).

Visit a Certification Center (인증센터). You’ll find them in culture centers or offices near large infrastructure installations, like weirs (보; bo).

(Reference our Certification Checkpoints listings page for exact locations.)

A picture of the Korean Bike Passport book.
Record your progress through Korea by stamping your certification passport book.

Certification Centers sell Bike Passports for ₩4,000. A paper bike certification map costs an extra ₩500.

When you finish a bike path, Certification Centers will certify its completion and give your award.

You can also buy Bike Passports online. However, you must create an account on the Rivers Guide website. This might not be possible for some because it requires a Korean phone number and Alien Registration Card (ARC).

Inside the Bike Passport

Slip your crisp, new Bike Passport into the protective sleeve and open it up.

Inside the cover, a serial number (i.e. BK1234567) sits above a bar code. This unique number comes in handy if you want to sign up for the bike certification smartphone app.

First Few Pages
A screenshot of the Bike Passport app in Korea showing certifications progress.
Inside your Bike Passport you'll find a space to place certification stickers.

On the next page, you’ll see a space to write your contact info and some instructions on how to use the Bike Passport.

Continue to flip and find a list of all the bike paths and checkpoint names (구간 및 장소). Next to each checkpoint, you’ll find two columns.

See a dot next to the checkpoint in the 수첩판매 column? Buy a new Bike Passport there. A dot under 종주인증? Certify your Bike Passport.

Next up, the master cycling road map (자전거길 전체지도). This map will show you all of Korea, it’s bike paths, and Certification Checkpoints. Behold it with awe.

Passport Pages

The next twenty-eight pages show map sections with bike path lines connecting circles. Each circle has the name of a Certification Checkpoint. Inside, find a bike icon and the word “stamp.” 

You guessed it! Slap your certification stamps here!

The map sections list each bike path’s name in Korean and English, start/end checkpoints (코스; course), time & distance (시간 & 거리), and a brief description.

The last few pages of the Bike Passport leave room to mount your spiffy certificate of completion stickers.

Step 2: Find a Certification Checkpoint

Hop on your bike and hit the bike paths. Let’s hunt for those Certification Checkpoints (인증장소).

A bike leans against the checkpoint booth near the Uljin Sweet Bridge on the East Coast bicycle path in Korea.
The checkpoint booth sits under the Uljin Sweet Bridge on the East Coast Route.

Every fifteen to thirty kilometers you’ll stumble upon a red phone booth.

They hang out at major points of interest. On the Cross-Country Bike Path, you’ll spot them at weirs (보; bo). Along the East Coast Bike Path, they lounge on famous beaches.

Certification Checkpoint vs. Certification Center

There are many names for those red phone booths that sit along the bicycle paths. We’ll make it simple. We list them as Certification Checkpoints and Certification Centers.

Certification Checkpoints, as we define them, red phone booths on the paths. Others might call them unmanned checkpoint booths. Why? Because there’s no one to turn to ask questions or help if there’s a missing stamp.

Certification Centers are inside government buildings, like culture centers or near infrastructure offices. They have a Certification Checkpoint (red phone booth) outside the building. Inside, you’ll find someone to sell you a map and certify your Bike Passport.

I Saw the Sign

Worried about missing a stamp booth? Along the bike paths you’ll spot signs with 자전거길 인증센터 (Bike Certification Center) emblazoned on them. They let you know a Certification Checkpoint sits just down the path.

A picture of a certification center sign on Korea's bicycle paths.
Certification Center signs tell you know when a certification checkpoint is near.

The signs give the checkpoint’s name and the remaining distance. For example, 상주 상풍교 — 3.0km 전방 (Sangju Sangpung Bridge — 3 kilometers).

Checkpoint Listings

Still worried about missing checkpoints? Reference our Bike Certification Checkpoint Listings page. It lists every checkpoint in Korea.

Better yet, open our South Korean Bike Certification Map on Google Maps and Kakao Maps.

Give Me a Break!

Certification Checkpoints pop up every fifteen to thirty kilometers (nine to eighteen miles). The perfect distance. By the time you reach the next stamp booth, it’s time to take a break and peep the view.

Because checkpoints loiter beside local attractions, you’ll have interesting spots to explore. You also might discover restaurants and convenience stores to refuel.

Step 3: Stamp Your Bike Passport

Inside each Certification Checkpoint booth, you’ll find a unique stamp, ink pad, bike map, and QR code for the certification app.

The unique stamp shows the name of the checkpoint and a picture that represents the area.

A picture of a stamp at a checkpoint booth in South Korea.
Some stamp booths have fresh ink. Some don't. Bring your own inkpad, just in case.

Open your Bike Passport. Flip to the bike path’s page and find the checkpoint’s circle.

Dab the stamp on the ink pad. Press it on the circle, firm and even. Lift and let dry.

Checkpoint complete!

Get the Perfect Stamp

Who likes a smeared stamp? No one.

Some checkpoints sit far from civilization. They don’t sit atop many to-do lists. So you might find a dry ink pad, a deformed stamp, or worse.

Some riders squirt water on drying ink pads to get that last bit of ink. That’ll leave an ink blot mess in your pristine Bike Passport.

Ensure the perfect stamp. Bring a cloth, scratch paper, and your own ink pad.

Like the look of your practice stamp? Time for the real thing. Don’t be nervous. It’s just your whole stamping reputation on the line.

Note: Certification Centers accept smeared stamps.

Oh no! Someone tossed the stamp in the bushes! Or the ink pad ran dry!

Don’t fuss. Take a picture. Get yourself, your bike, and the Certification Checkpoint booth in the frame. Certification Centers will accept it as proof.

Step 4: Get Certified

You got all the stamps for a bike path? Oh, wait! For the entire Cross-Country Bike Path? Wow! We’re impressed.

What now? Visit a Certification Center. Don’t forget your Bike Passport!

Once you arrive, flip to the last page in your Bike Passport. You’ll find a form. Write your name (성명), address (주소), phone number (전화번호), and identification number (ARC or passport).

A picture of the Wolsongjeong Certification Center along the East Coast Bicycle Path in Korea.
The Wolsongjeong Gate adds a gorgeous backdrop for a certification checkpoint along the East Coast Route.

Tear the form out of your Bike Passport and hand it to the certification center clerk.

Now sit back and reflect on your bike adventures while the clerk enters you into the system. Think about all the hills you climbed and flats you repaired while they inspect your stamps.

Thud! What’s that sound? Is that a special stamp? Yes. An official certification sticker. One of a few awards you’ll receive upon completing routes.

Awards? Read on!

Bicycle Path Certifications

You can receive four types of certifications when completing the official certification bike paths. Let’s explore!

Bicycle Path Certifications

Gain a certification by collecting all the stamps on any of the eleven bicycle paths below.
  1. Hangang (한강 종주)
  2. Hangang (북한강 종주)
  3. Saejae (새재 종주)
  4. Nakdonggang (낙동강 종주)
  5. Geumgang (금강 종주)
  6. Yeongsangang (영산강 종주)
  7. Seomjingang (섬진강 종주)
  8. Ocheon (오천 종주)
  9. East Coast (Gangwon) (동해안 종주 (강원))
  10. East Coast (Gyeongbuk) (동해안 종주 (경북))
  11. Jeju Fantasy (제주환상 종주)
Awards

Collect the stamps for any of these bike paths and receive a certification sticker (스티커). Stick it in the back of your Bike Passport. The bicycle gods will look down upon you approvingly.

Cross-Country Cycling Road

Complete the Cross-Country Cycling Road (국토종주) certification by collecting all the stamps on the following bike paths below.
  1. Ara Bicycle Path (아라자 전거길)
  2. Hangang Bicycle Path (한강자 전거길)
  3. Saejae Bicycle Path (새재 자전거길)
  4. Nakdonggang Bicycle Path (낙동강 자전거길)

Start/End at the Ara West Sea Lock (아라서해갑문) Certification Checkpoint in Incheon (인천) on the northwest coast of Korea. End/Start at the Nakdonggang Estuary Bank (낙동강하구둑) Certification Checkpoint in Busan (부산) on the southeastern tip.

Exceptions
You don’t need the following stamps.

Both Certification Checkpoints lie far off the cross-country path.

However, you’ll need both stamps to get the Hangang, Nakdonggang, Four Rivers, and Grand Slam certifications.

On the Hangang Bicycle Path, the Ttukseom Observatory Complex and Gwangnaru Bicycle Park checkpoints sit on opposite sides of the Han River. If you get either stamp, the other will count. You don’t have to hop across a bridge.

Don’t mind the Bukhangang Bicycle Path. It isn’t a part of the Cross-Country Bicycle Path.

Awards
Got all the Cross-Country stamps? Great! You’ll receive three awards.

Not only will you get a sticker for your Bike Passport, you’ll receive an official certificate with your name. Free of charge!

It doesn’t stop there. Set up an account on the Rivers Guide website. Then you can order an Olympic-style medal. The medal costs ₩7,500. A display case adds ₩4,000 to the bill.

The bicycle gods are beaming.

Hangang Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Certification Sticker
Cross-Country Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Cross-Country Certification Sticker
Cross-Country Certificate. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Cross-Country Certificate
Cross-Country Certification Medal. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Cross-Country Medal

Four Rivers Bicycle Path Certification

Complete the Four Rivers Bicycle Path (4대강종주) by riding along Korea’s four major rivers.
Collect all the stamps on the following bicycle paths.
  1. Hangang Bicycle Path (한강자 전거길)
  2. Nakdonggang Bicycle Path (낙동강 자전거길)
  3. Geumgang Bicycle Path (금강 자전거길)
  4. Yeongsangang Bicycle Path (영산강 자전거길)

Unlike the Cross-Country Bicycle Path, you need the Chungju Dam and Andong Dam stamps.

A mountain sits above the waters of the Nakdong River, the longest in Korea.
A mountain sits above the waters of the Nakdong River, the longest in Korea.
Exceptions

You need not complete the Bukhangang Bicycle Path.

Again, you don’t need both the Ttukseom and Gwangnaru stamps. One counts for the other.

Awards
You sailed Korea’s rivers and collected all the stamps? Fantastic! Like the Cross-Country certification, you earned three awards.

The bicycle gods will hold a banquet in your honor.

Hangang Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Certification Sticker
Four Rivers Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Four Rivers Certification Sticker
Four Rivers Certificate. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Four Rivers Certificate
Four Rivers Certification Medal. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Four Rivers Medal

Grand Slam Certification

Visit every Certification Checkpoint in Korea to receive the Grand slam (국토완주 그랜드슬램) certification.

Yes, all of them. Every red stamp booth from Jeju Island (제주도) to Chuncheon (춘천). No exceptions.

This is the most prestigious award bestowed upon Korea’s bicycle adventures.

A picture of a bike rider along the East Coast Bicycle Path in Korea.
Mountains sit near the East Coast Bicycle Path.
Awards
You caught them all? No way! Dress to impress and visit a Certification Center. Three awards await.

Drape all three medals around your neck. Take a bow. The bicycle gods forged a statue of you and your bike and raised it in the Plaza de Korean Bicycle Tour.

Hangang Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Certification Sticker
Four Rivers Certification Sticker. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Grand Slam Sticker
Grand Slam Certificate. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Grand Slam Certificate
Grand Slam Certification Medal. Korean Bicycle Certification System.
Grand Slam Medal