South Korea —
For nearly two years as an expat in Korea, it was my first time to step anywhere on the grounds of the province of Jeolla. It was an impromptu trip but, we managed to visit the popular spring festivals held in the counties of Damyang (담양), Gochang (고창), Boseong (보성) and Suncheon (순천). We also visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hwasun (화순). During our short yet spontaneous trip, I saw much more greens. It broke my heart a bit to say goodbye to colorful spring and to prepare myself to welcome the summer season.
Damyang Bamboo Park (죽녹원)
First stop, the filming location of SBS’ drama The Phantom Thief (일지매 / Iljimae) in 2008 and a 2004 Korean movie entitled R-Point (알포인트). I haven’t watched those films and honestly, haven’t heard about them, either. We were there for the bamboos. LOL
Address: 119, Jungnogwon-ro, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Website [Korean]: juknokwon.go.kr
- November to February 9:00-18:00 (Last admission 17:30)
- March to October 9:00-19:00 (Last admission 18:00)
- Adults – ₩3,000
- Teenagers – ₩1,500
- Children (6+) – ₩1,000
[KTX]: From Yongsan Station (Seoul), take a train to Gwangju. Take Bus No. 311 and get off at Juknokwon Bus Stop.
[Bus]: From Seoul Central City Bus Terminal, take an express bus to Damyang. Cross the road and take a bus bound for Bongsan-Damyang and get off at Juknokwon Bus Stop.
Damyang Jukrimwon Garden (담양 죽림원가든)
After looking around the bamboo park, we had a fancy dining with a view. Sadly, the food is utterly expensive and not pleasing to the palate. I supposed the money we paid for mostly went to the bamboo we used.
Address: 358 Hwasan-gil, Wolsan-myeon, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Operating Hours: Daily 10:30 – 21:00
Damyang Metasequoia Road (담양 메타세쿼이아길)
This 4-kilometer stretch road is surely a good spot to enjoy an afternoon stroll. Not only that, some scenes from the movies Wanee & Junah (와니와 준하 – 2001) and May 18 (화려한 휴가 -2007) and a reality-variety show 2 Days & 1 Night (1박 2일) were filmed here.
Address: 12, Metasequoia-ro, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
- May to August 9:00-19:00
- September to April 9:00-18:00
- Adults – ₩2,000
- Teenagers – ₩1,000
- Children – ₩700
Direction [Bus]: From Central City Bus Terminal, take an express bus bound for Damyang Bus Terminal. Take a Local Bus 10-1 (Nongeochon) at Damyang Terminal and get off at Gipeunsil Bus Stop. Walk 2 minutes more to reach the road.
Borinara Hagwon Farm (보리나라 학원농장)
Yes Goblin fans! This is the exact location where Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) often took his time off.
Address: 158-6, Hagwonnongjang-gil, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Website [Korean]: www.borinara.co.kr
Entrance Fee: FREE
Direction [Bus]: From Gochang Bus Terminal, take a bus to Mujang. Then, transfer to a bus bound for Gongeum (공음) and get off at Seonsan.
Hwasun Dolmen Site (화순고인돌유적)
A quick side trip at a UNESCO Heritage site before heading to Boseong.
Address: Hyosan-ri, Dogok-myeon, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do
Website [Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese]: www.hwasun.go.kr
Entrance Fee: FREE
Direction [Bus]: When exiting from Neungjuyeok Station (Gyeongjeon Line), proceed to the main road walking for about 4 minutes. Take the village bus No. 218 from Jamjeongni Bus Stop and get off at Ji-dong bus stop. Walk for about 20 minutes to reach the final destination.
Boseong Green Tea Plantation (보성녹차밭 대한다원)
Also known as Daehan Dawon Tourist Tea Plantation. This place is one of the Legend of the Blue Sea filming sites and my favorite amongst the list because green tea and Lee Min Ho. LOL
We had green tea noodles in thick black bean sauce (자장면/ jajangmyeon) and cold green tea noodles (냉면 / naengmyeon) for lunch. The flavor was bearable according to my non-matcha fanatic hubby.
Address: 763-67, Nokcha-ro, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do
- March to August 9:00-19:00
- September to April 9:00-18:00
- Adults – ₩4,000
- Youths & Children (ages 7-18), Seniors ( ages 65 & over) – ₩3,000
Direction [Bus]: From Seoul Central City Bus Terminal (Express Bus Terminal Station, Subway Line 3, 7 & 9), take an express bus bound for Boseong Intercity Bus Terminal. Take a local bus bound for Yulpo and get off at Daehan Dawon Bus Stop.
Suncheon Bay National Garden (순천만국가정원)
There was an on-going spring flower festival when we visited. Unfortunately, the tulips were dying. It must be due to the sudden increase of temperature.
Address: 47, Gukgajeongwon1ho-gil, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do
Website [Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese]: www.scgardens.or.kr
- Adults – ₩8,000
- Children (ages 6-12) – ₩6,000
Direction: Take a train from Seoul Station to Suncheon Station (takes 2 hours 30 minutes). From Suncheon Station, the festival venue is 10 minutes away by taxi
We only spared one weekend to explore those beautiful natural sceneries mentioned above yet, I listed it as one of the best road trips Danny and I had. If you wanna see all these festivals, better visit by the 2nd week of April to catch some pretty spring flowers in Suncheon, too. Thanks for reading!