• Gwamju Mudeungsan Monorail

    Gwangju’s Mudeungsan Monorail

    Living in and exploring Gwangju for two years, I only just discovered that Mudeungsan has a monorail. Oh yes! A chairlift and a monorail and an obesrvatory. All the stunning views without the sweaty hiking! Jisan Recreation Area used to be an amusement park back in the 70s. Faded waterslides snake eerily out of the overgrown forest and into a concrete car park. First, you take the chairlift. Purchase tickets from the convenience store at the entrance, hiding behind Mudesung Park Hotel. Tickets are 9,000won (Adult) / 7,000won (Child) for the lift and 7,000won (Adult) / 6,000won (Child) for the monorail. Children over two years are allowed on the chairlift.…

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    6 Things to do in Damyang with Kids

    Stroll through Juknokwon Bamboo Forest Juknokwon must be Korea’s most famous Bamboo Forest, and certainly is what attracts most people to Damyang. The calming effects of the bamboo swishing and swaying in the breeze is certainly a highlight. I’ve been lucky enough to experience Damyang’s Bamboo Forest in all seasons. In fact, the very first time I visited Gwangju as a tourist in 2006, my friend and local guide (who I’ve sadly lost touch with – Won, if you’r reading this, send me a message!) brought me here on a snowy winter day. The tall bamboo makes for effective shelter from cold winds. In summer, its cool and shady. There…

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    Gwangyang Maehwa Festival (but not a festival this year) – Blossoms in Korea

    Back in the spring of 2019, we were lucky enough to enjoy the Gwangyang Maehwa Festival. This was back before I had a ‘real’ camera and before I had any notion of maybe wanting to share our travels on a blog. I have very few photos, but the memories and the impressions have stuck. I was SO unimpressed with the traffic going into the festival area. Luckily (or unluckily?), you might not have that to deal with this year. Our then four-year-old was so desperate to go to the toilet while stuck in traffic that I offered her little brother’s nappy to wee in. She refused and held on! After…

  • Gurye Sansuyu

    Gurye Sansuyu Flower Festival – Springtime in Korea

    Spring is here! The striking yellow blooms at Gurye Sansuyu Festival signal the beginning of spring in South Korea. They are one of the first trees to start blooming in early spring. Last year we visited this quaint little village in Guryeon on the 20th of March. So, around about now. Since we just moved to Seoul and, well, travel is best avoided these days, we’ll have to miss out this year. My heart is melting looking back at the memories from last year. If you happen to be nearer and could visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds, I hope you can make some beautiful memories of your…

  • Hampyeon Dolmeori Beach in the Snow

    Winter Camping in Korea at Hampyeong Dolmeori Beach

    It was the year that all events got scratched out of my diary. Our travel plans got cancelled, my visit home got put on hold, and all the friends we had planned to catch up with are still waiting. 2020 also, unintentionally, become our year of camping in Korea. Or, the year of camping in our little corner of Korea. We do try to avoid accumulating too much stuff and try to keep things simple. Simplicity (laziness?) is important to us. So we purchased a simple, pop-up tent. That’s it. We jammed our spare floor mattress and our pillows and blankets straight from our beds into the car and headed…

  • Autumn leaves Korea

    Autumn Leaves in Korea; Naejangsan National Park

    Autumn, my favourite season in South Korea, has finally arrived. The air is fresh and cool, the skies are blue and the leaves are turning all shades of red, orange and yellow. Naejangsan National Park borders on both Jeollanamdo and Jeollabukdo, and it’s only an hour from Gwangju. The drive into the national park was beautiful! The entrance to the national park, not so much! Even on a Friday morning, the car park was packed, and the road leading up to the walking track was filled with food stalls and blasting trot music. Thankfully, just 15mins up the road, the crowds had dispersed, and we found a little peace and…

  • Explore,  Learn

    Mudeung Mountain Sheep Ranch, Hwasun

    After being stuck at home with Covid-19 restrictions, we were looking for somewhere remote but also interesting for the kids. You can imagine our enthusiasm when we discovered that Gwangju has a sheep ranch only 25mins from our house, right on the green slopes of Mudeung Mountain. Lovely green pastures, surrounded by the dramatic, green of Mudeungsan mountain in late summer and a slight cool breeze now that autumn is on its way. This is the perfect time to visit Mudeung Mountain Sheep Ranch. It cost us 20,000won for the four of us. 6,000 for adults and 4,000 for kids. The entrance fee included four baskets of straw to feed…

  • Namyeol Beach South Korea

    Namyeol Beach; Swimming, Surfing, Camping in Korea

    Yet another awesome spot for camping in Korea! Namyeol Beach is in Goheung, way down in one of the southernmost regions of Korea. An hour and forty-five minutes from Gwangju, it’s not the closest, but its quiet, peaceful, and an absolutely beautiful area! After Appa spent the morning preparing gimbap to take for lunch – yum! – we headed down to Goheung. The area is as rural as it gets, and the drive through the hills and rice fields is gorgeous. Appa tells me that the ageing residents of Goheung are amongst the healthiest and longest-living in Korea. It was a Thursday morning in September, which would explain the lack…

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    Oedaldo, Island Trip in Korea

    Around this time last year, we spent a weekend on Oedaldo. Oedaldo is an island off the south-west coast of Korea. You can get there by ferry from Mokpo in Jeollanamdo. The ferry takes cars but we decided to save money and leave our car in Mokpo. It’s a small island and you don’t need a car. The ferry ride was an adventure in itself. There are no chairs, just floor space for people to sit, lie, laze about. Outside, birds were circling the boat. Likely waiting for people to throw them snack foods for entertainment. Not sure how good it is for the birds. Blue skies and beautiful green…