Top 20 Things To Do At The Damyang House

What will you do during your stay at The Damyang House?  Here are 20 suggestions to help you organize your visit (in no particular order).  These can all be done without a car (bus/transfer service gets you to the house):

1.  Hike Through the Bamboo Forest
Pretty obvious choice seeing as you’ll be surrounded by it on three sides.  Added bonus:  the trailhead is in the front yard.

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Hiking: TDH Top 5 Dog Friendly Hikes

Being dog owners ourselves, we’re constantly looking for dog-friendly hiking options. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite routes around the area to help take some of the guess work out of your weekend adventure in the countryside.  As a rule of thumb, Eco-Parks and National Parks are typically NOT dog friendly (there are exceptions as you will see below).  Also, please be respectful of other hikers that may not be comfortable around your “large” dog. Keep them leashed when necessary, clean up after them and don’t let them kill any of the wildlife 🙂

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Restaurant Review: Sanggyo Galbi (쌍교 숯불갈비)


Sanggyo has recently undergone some major renovations, presumably to solidify their reputation as “the” top dog in the Damyang restaurant market.  I try not to let fancy buildings influence my judgement of the food (it’s Korea after all…some of the best food in the country is found in some of the scariest looking restaurants), but it’s hard not to be impressed with this beautiful hanok inspired two-story restaurant.  As a testament to the quality of the food, I can tell you that for the better part of a year, during the renovations, they had people eating in make-shift shacks and it didn’t affect business in the slightest.  Be prepared to wait at least 45 minutes on the weekends…mind blowing when you see how big it is inside.

 

Like any good tourist restaurant (not a negative in this context) they provide, both floor and table seating as well as private rooms.  The food comes out quick and servers are accustomed to obnoxious picture taking so snap away.

 
They offer two local specialties: ddeok galbi and Damyang style BBQ’d galbi.  I’m sure you can find better ddeok galbi elsewhere in town, so stick with the galbi they’re famous for.  The Damyang style of BBQ is a bit different in that the meat is brined and cooked in back and comes out piping hot and ready to eat.  You have a choice between regular and spicy (it’s not spicy at all).  Both are delicious.

 
The basic banchan will arrive almost immediately and consists of three types of salad, three types of kimche, three types of seaweed and a couple of other odds and ends.  The server will recommend which salad or seaweed to eat with the meat, but after a decade of living in Korea I’m pretty sure that there is no rule about what goes in your lettuce leaf wrap.

Additional servings of meat are easy to order and encouraged by the staff.  Refills of banchan are no problem what-so-ever.  Basically, arrive hungry and ready to eat.  Be sure to save room for the “shik-sa” portion of the meal…because it’s not dinner unless rice is involved!  We, for some reason, always order the sujaebee and are always disappointed.  One portion is more than enough for three or four people though so at least it’s not expensive.  In fact our entire meal for three people, including five orders of meat (don’t judge), five beers, and an order of sujaebee was about 80,000…and I didn’t eat for the next 48 hours~

 


Not interested in galbi?  Plenty of other options can be found here.

Restaurant Review: Damyang Flower Ddeokgalbi (담양애 꽃 떡갈비)

I’m sure you’re painfully aware, like the rest of us, that Damyang is equally famous for and proud of the minced meat paddies known as ddeokgalbi (떡갈비).  It’s ubiquitous.  Personally I find most of it overpriced and not all that great.  In fact my favorite ddeokgalbi in Damyang can be found at a restaurant known for grilled fish (Dega/대가).

 

Damyang “Flower” Ddeokgalbi was recently referred to me by a friend, but has been on my radar for awhile because it’s consistently busy.  It’s hard to ignore their success.  So…I’ll save you the effort of reading the rest of this post:  it’s surprisingly clean, delicious, well priced and a place I’ll gladly take out-of-towners when they want to try some of the local flavors.

 


Walking in the restaurant it was instantly clear that it’s much bigger than it looks.  That explains the seemingly large parking lot in front!  Before you’re seated you’ll have to choose your set menu.  Pretty easy as it’s a ddeokgalbi restaurant serving ddeokgalbi.  Basically choose between beef, pork or a mix of both (the mix is recommended…called 반반정식, or the top right of the menu).


Once seated things start to happen pretty fast.  The banchan comes out first and is pretty damn impressive.  It consists of a lot of the usual suspects (kimches and namools) and is fresh and flavorful.  The server will recommend which to eat with the ddeokgalbi, but you’d be hard pressed to mix something “incorrectly”.

 

 


Shortly after, the ddeokgalbi will arrive.  Don’t panic if you’re trying to maintain that plus-size figure as additional paddies are cheap at 3,000 for pork and 6,000 for beef!

 


To top it off you’ll get some soup (된장), a bit of fish (고등어) and rice with bamboo shoots (죽순).

 


Dessert is where things got a bit weird.  Purple sweet potato tea anyone?


All said and done it was 30,000 for two people and we were stuffed.  Add some booze and an extra order of ddeokgalbi and you’re still under 50k for a memorable dinner.  At 13km, it’s also a quick drive or a scenic bike ride!  Here’s the directions and here’s the view:

 

 


Looking for something else?  Plenty of other restaurant recommendations can be found here.