Damyang Bamboo Forest
I had heard before that there was this famous bamboo forest in Damyang called Juknokwon that made me curious about why my Korean friends kept recommending it to me as good getaway location. The bus ride to Damyang was easy as. I had to take a bus from the bus terminal to Damyang. The bus went outside Gwangju and onto the expressway and we passed rice fields and stuff. It was a pretty quick 45-50 min bus ride. The bus stopped right at the entrance of Juknokwon.
The forest itself was packed with loads of people wandering around. There is a special relaxing atmosphere to this place. The entrance is very picture worth or selfie worth to some. They have little panda bear statues.
This is the first time in my life to walk through a bamboo forest and have always thought the idea to be enticing and so I couldn’t resist the chance of coming here. As I entered deeper into the thicker part of the forest and the light grew dimmer with each step and shaded in lovely ways by the leaves and stalks, When walking through the forest I couldn’t stop looking up and taking my time to admir the sunlight coming through the leaves, making lovely silhouettes that reflect of the ground below your feet. I knew that I had arrived in a uniquely special place.
While you make your way through the forest you will pass fountains, benches and other little spots here and there that you must stop by for a moment and just take in the scenery. Carved into the bamboo were names of couples who had left signs they had come and gone.
It looked cool and I sort of wished I had a knife to carve something into the bamboo with too. But then I also didn’t wanna further ruin the overall beauty of this place.
When you get to the back of the forest you enter into the “experience village”, where there are traditional houses,grassy greens and fountains. I wasn’t all that sure what there was to “experience” but I had an enjoyable time nonetheless. Generally, the path throughout the forest is not to hard on the body but there are some hills here and there.
There was also this gift shop in the forest that sold things made of bamboo. They had a lot of interesting things, like bamboo salt, bamboo tea, and of course souvenirs like key chains and little cups made out of bamboo. Worth a visit but be prepared to be pushed around a bit if you go there when there is lots of people. And also be prepared to hear the sound of bamboo whacking backs constantly. Your head might explode!
Damyang is located a bit north of Gwangju in the Jeollanam-do province on the Southwestern side of Korea. In all my time here in Korea I have never ventured to this far into rural Korea and for each time I had my vacation time I never figured I would get a chance to cover this ground, but luckily I found the time and the energy to get to Damyang.