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 are plenty of rest spots along the way to enjoy the breeze and a lovely little playground for the kids.
Ride a Duck Boat or a Whale Boat or a Shark Boat
Ducks (or are they swans?), whales or sharks – whatever takes your fancy there’s a paddle boat for you on the little river in Damyang. There are paddle boats for two or four people. Life jackets are included in the rental fee. The kids were super excited to ride in one! Although the novelty wore off before our time limit was up, it’s a fun family activity in Damyang.
Try Bamboo Shoot Bread and Ice cream
Damyang is most famous for its tteokgalbi restaurants, and I certainly recommend you try one! But, for an afternoon with the kids, there are some even more enticing snack options! There are several soft serve ice cream shops along the bamboo forest side of the river. This one is our favourite because it has seating outside AND has a bamboo shoot bread snack that was a big hit with the kiddos. Why not do like our little guy and stick your warm, crispy, bamboo shoot bread into your ice cream!
Explore the Cafes and Quaint Souvaneir Stores
Between the ice cream shop and the back entrance to the bamboo forest is a little hill with very cool looking cafes and quaint little souvenir shops. I’m not usually a fan of the touristy souvenir shop, but these ones are enticing. Selling bamboo products like chopping boards, kitchen utensils and even clothing, there’s a lot to tempt you.
Walk along the Yeongsan River
Especially beautiful in autumn, the Yeongsan River has a long walking/cycing trail, especially popular with young couples on the weekends. Our kids had a ball playing in the autumn leaves and I enjoyed watching all the young people posing for photos, with the obligatory selfie stick, against the attractive backdrop. I also felt quite old!
Bikeride along the Yeongsan River
This was the highlight of our most recent day out in Damyang. We’d been to the bamboo forest several times but this was the first time we hired a bike to ride along the river. There are regular bikes for hire at several points along the river, but a big four wheeler, family-sized bike with a spot for the kiddos at the front was a winner! The bike path along the river actually goes all the way to Gwangju, via Naju – for those more adventurous than us.
While you’re in the area:
These activities are all within walking distance in Damyang City. There are plenty of other places to explore within the greater Damyang County.