Day 5 Part 1: Damyang Bamboo Forest

Leaving Gwangju

The view in Gwangju itself was already spectacular, with the really long straight roads through the city.

Long road that stretches out.

Long road that stretches out.

Just a quiet roadside in the morning.

Just a quiet roadside in the morning.

I’m already missing this kind of scenery. Its fine though, I will be back in Korea for a semester exchange in Pohang in a few months time. I wonder if Pohang looks somewhat like this. According to one of Mr Park’s recommendation and a little guide pasted on his walls, I decided to head to Damyang.

Mr Park's handwritten guide~

Mr Park’s handwritten guide~

On the way to Damyang

It was really easy to get to Damyang’s Bamboo forest, for it is only a bus ride away from a bus stop near Mr Park’s guesthouse. I suggest not to fall asleep on the bus, for the sceneries along the journey were a feast for the eyes.

On the way to Damyang.

On the way to Damyang.

On the way to Damyang.

On the way to Damyang.

On the way to Damyang.

On the way to Damyang.

The Bamboo Forest in Damyang

Could be just me, but I find the mountains in the background really amazing, coupled with the clouds. The buses seem to usually go quite fast on the highways between towns or cities where the traffic is light, so in no time, I was at the entrance of the Bamboo Forest, Juknogwon. But first, the magnificent view of the opposite direction to the entrance.

Just right outside the bamboo forest.

Just right outside the bamboo forest.

Entrance of the bamboo forest.

Entrance of the bamboo forest.

See the guy there taking pictures with a tripod? He’s a Korean solo traveller, currently at Damyang. During our short conversation, I asked him if the mountain opposite of the entrance could be scaled, but he told me it was his first time in Damyang, so he has no idea too. I saw him again twice later on inside the bamboo forest~

After getting the ticket, which was 2000 won, I made my way to the toilet for a quick pee before heading in. Ah.. although I enjoy the cold of the winter, it surely makes visiting the toilet a dilemma. “Should I wash my hands?” is the question I often ask myself after visiting the toilet. To wash your hand, you first have to take off your gloves (which I eventually learned to go bare handed), wash hands with the freezing tap water, put the gloves back on, step out of the toilet and finally, still feel the penetrating cold. If you do not wash your hands, you keep the warmth.

The only pandas you will see in this bamboo forest.

The only pandas you will see in this bamboo forest.

After passing by these little pandas, I thought I heard Singlish! I stalked followed the Singaporean family, and when they arrived at this little pavilion, I overheard this cute conversation.20131223-DSC_0354

Dad: okay, 可以了。(can liao)

Son: okay, one two…

Dad: eh, 等一下,一定要拍到雪hor! (hold on, must capture the snow hor!)

LoL, I just find Singaporeans’ amazement towards snow very cute. Myself included. I think they came with a tour group, for I heard them say “faster walk faster walk, later no time liao.” This is why I will ever join a tour group again. A tour group surely lets you see many attractions, but without depth. You merely see the surface of it, before having to hurry to another. Travelling alone, without a tour guide and/or friends, you get to explore the place at your own liking. If you like the place, take your time. If you don’t like it, leave and head to another.

Greens greens greens.

Greens greens greens.

Another pavalion. Standing amidst bamboos make it look even more serene.

Another pavilion. Standing amidst bamboos makes it look even more serene.

At some point after climbing, I came to this little summit, where there is a little mound in the centre and you get a pretty good view of part of the town. Spent several good minutes up there enjoying the view. And the cold.

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The Village within-

Within the bamboo forest, there is a section that has been preserved as a village. When I was there, there was no crowd at all, and it almost seemed like the whole place was opened for me and me only. There were also some games for everyone to try. Since there wasn’t a crowd that day, I tried one of them.

A couple playing before me.

A couple playing before me.

A couple playing before me.

A couple playing before me.

No goal on the first round of tries.

No goal on the first round of tries.

And I got it within the first few shots of the 2nd round!

And I got it within the first few shots of the 2nd round!

After getting the goal, and feeling accomplished, I put the rest of the remaining ammo back into the slots and started exploring the village. It was a very big and open space, and was in a pristine condition. It was so quiet that day, I could hear the splash of water from a mini fountain nearby.

Pots and Jars outside an old house in the village section.

Pots and Jars outside an old house in the village section.

Leaving the village and back to the bamboo forest-

Marking their love into the snow.

Marking their love into the snow.

Near the village, there is this little balcony for  viewing a plateau on the opposite. They call the plateau the Lying Buddha. If you try imagining, it looks like a Buddha laying on his back.

The Lying Buddha

The Lying Buddha

On the way out-

There is a bigger rest stop right before the exit of the bamboo forest, where you can have quite a pretty view of Damyang.

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View of Damyang from the rest stop. I like how there are no highrise buildings here.

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An ahjusshi taking a rest while enjoying the view and the cooling weather.

So this is the end of Damyang Bamboo Forest, but it definitely is not the last of Damyang. I got lost later while trying to look for the metasequoia road and had a good little exploration walk. Stay tuned~

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