Monday, November 21, 2016

The Road Less Traveled: Damyang

After a few minutes of rest in our room, we found ourselves walking to the U-square bus terminal just beside the Gwangju branch of Shinsegae department store at 1:45 pm. Outside Gate 4 of the terminal, we waited for and rode Bus No. 311 and paid $3 to $4 fare using our T money to Damyang, a city known for its bamboo forests and crafts. Just say your destination ('Damyang Juknokwon') to the driver then he/she will drop you in the road just opposite the bamboo garden.

Damyang Juknokwon  (죽녹원; Bamboo Garden)

There were food stalls and a mini cafe near the bus stop and the Damyang Tourist Information Center was also in the vicinity. The Juknokwon was located across the bus stop and along convenience stores and restaurants as well as the bus stop for the Bus No. 311 going back to Gwangju. The ticket to the bamboo garden costs ₩3,000 or $3 per person.

Entrance to Juknokwon

The bamboo garden was a place of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is not a place many tourists go to. Most other visitors were Korean elderly who enjoyed hiking the forest trails. The garden houses a gallery, an observatory, cafes and some hanok (traditional houses) which were shooting sites of the variety show 1 day 2 nights. We walked around it for a good 2 hours. I recommend it for people who take pleasure in a tranquil yet charming environment as well as hiking.

View from the Observatory
Lover's Road
Cute Pandas that are hard to resist
Your stamina will be tested by the steep trails ahead.

1 night 2 days filming location

As we haven't had our lunch that time, we were famished, and ordered the famous Damyang bamboo rice in the nearest restaurant we found. A meal costs $10 per person and includes bamboo rice, grilled fish and lots and lots of banchan (side dishes). With just the first bite, the flavors of Jeolla province burst into my mouth. 

Bamboo rice Hanjeongsik

After the filling meal, we planned to go to Gwanbangjerim or the riverbanks, however, we lost our battle with the 4 degree Celsius temperature so we decided to return to Gwangju and call it a day.

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