A little while ago Christina and I took a day trip to a town called Danyang near Chungju. Photos are already up but here’s now a little report about the trip.
Danyang is famous for its limestone caves and the area offers a few nice spots that easily keep you entertained for a weekend. It was actually the second attempt to get there, already back in February I had tried to get there, together with Leah and Natasha. But we somehow managed to underestimate the travel time and ended up arriving just in time to catch the last bus back. This time however we had a rental car which made the trip a whole lot easier. The GPS guided us past my work and my former home Chungju through Woraksan National Park where we stopped to enjoy the view across Chungju Lake and take some photos.
Soon after we reached Danyang decided to visit the nearby Guinsa temple complex first. We only got lost once although a few times it seemed that the GPS wasn’t quite sure what to tell us and where to go:
But we eventually arrived at the temple and it is actually quite impressive. More than 35 buildings are nested into a narrow valley and appearently they can house more than 10’000 monks at a time!
Around Danyang there are eight rock formations called the “Eight scenic wonders of Danyang”. Each of the sites has their own old legend behind it that tells a story of old times.
With all the sight seeing we had totally forgotten the time and hence it was already mid afternoon when we rushed back to Danyang to grab some yummy beef BBQ. After this rather late lunch we crossed the river one more time to get to Gosudonggul (Gosu Cave), the largest of several limestone caves in the area. It was freezing inside and water was driping down on us constantly. Sometimes it was quite tough to squeeze past huge stalctites and stalagmites, following the narrow metal foot path deep into the mountain. Although the experience got a little spoilt by the Korean guard who wanted to get home and made us hurry up and get out of the cave, it was still a very impressive excursion.
When we left the darkness of the cave it was just about time to look for a place to view the sunset; an observatory high up on a hill above Danyang seemed to serve this purpose perfectly. When we reached the summit it turned out to be a popular spot as there were quite a few Koreans with the same intention. But there’s enough space up there and the view was amazing, with the hazy air making for a very unique scenery around Danyang.
While we were on the way back down the winding road, one by one the lights came on and illuminated the city far below us. We stopped a few times to take more photos before driving back to Cheongju.