Damyang is best seen as a day trip from Gwangju, another city in the south several hours from Seoul. Gwangju has it’s own sites to see but Damyang is the focus of our attention today! So let’s look at what to do in Damyang.
1. The Bamboo Forest
This is definitely the most impressive bamboo forest in Korea. It tends to be less crowded than many touristy spots, and it looks absolutely beautiful in all seasons. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it in winter. The snow adds an extra level of beauty. But do be careful of the slippery pathways! We practically slid down an entire path and had to hold onto the bamboo to stay steady. There is a small art museum on the property which is mildly interesting. But, this is the place to get bamboo ice cream. AKA, simply the most delicious of all touristy ice creams. Better than squid ink, tofu, and green tea. Please, if anyone knows where to buy a bucket of this stuff, let me know!
I’m normally not a fan of tourist villages. But this one, I’ve got to say, is rather cute. The shopping is surprisingly good and there’s some nice little snack stands. It does look very different from your typical Korean village, but then, Damyang itself is rather odd looking with its wide valley placement. Hang out, grab a snack, and enjoy a bit of people watching.
3. Bangmulkwon Apjip for Food!
If you’re looking for a near never ending feast centered around one of Korea’s best contributions to the food scene, this is it. At 박물관앞집, the star of the show is the tteokgalbi, which Damyang is famous for. is a type of minced beef rib patty that’s mixed with herbs and spices and then grilled right in front of you. It’s not BBQ, it’s completely different and totally delicious. They have even more to offer. The side dishes are seemingly never ending. Whole large crab, noodle dishes, soups, tofus, and of course kimchi. Their pumpkin shikhye (fermented rice drink) is fabulous as well!
4. Metasequoia Tree Walk
If you can’t make it to Boseong on your trip, this might be worth it. These sequoias are absolutely beautiful, but I find the experience in Damyang subpar comparatively. For one, they charge you to walk down these tree lined path alongside a fairly busy road. Again, it is beautiful, and if I hadn’t seen Boseong’s sequoia trees I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more.
5. Soswaewon Garden
This is a lovely garden that can round out your day trip to Damyang. It’s very peaceful as it was designed to be a scholars retreat. I think it’s not quite worth the trip in winter, but in the other seasons it will be lovely.
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