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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Hiking: Chuwolsan Provincial Park – Dog Friendly

Chuwolsan is somewhat of a no-brainer in terms of hiking.  It’s easy to find, has facilities, and as a provincial park it’s not too strict with dogs.  All trails from the parking lot lead straight up the mountain and it can be steep so if stairs aren’t your thing, maybe give this one a pass.  The views are killer though if you do make up to the top, or even part of the way!
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Hiking: Mudeung National Park (Shinseondae) – Dog Friendly Route

 

 December Hiking

 

Mudeung National Park (or any NP for that matter) doesn’t exactly scream “dog friendly”, but Mudeung is unique in a few key ways that make it a bit more accessible for you and your pup.  In short, it’s very large and was only recently given national park status.  Provincial parks, Mudeung’s former rank, aren’t as heavily funded and therefor lack the strict regulations found in national parks.  They’re usually free so there is no reason to limit the number of access points and trailheads leading into the mountains can be found in just about every village in the countryside.  We have one right in our front yard that connects to Sosaewon, Shikyoungjung, and a massive network of trails throughout the surrounding mountains.  These types of trails are dog friendly and usually much less crowded!
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Bike’n Hike (XI): Naejangsan National Park

Destination:  Naejangsan National Park
Cycling:  50km (one-way)
Hiking:  5km

This is our fourth visit to Naejangsan National Park for good reason (see also Bike’n Hike I, II & VI).  It’s not only a beautiful underrated park, it’s also extremely accessible in terms of cycling and hiking.  At this point it pretty much acts as the “entry level” Bike’n Hike adventure for those on the fence about whether something like this would be fun or torturous.

We’ve covered this trip in detail in the past, so here is a brief photo essay of this most recent trip.  When my friend wasn’t complaining about the cycling and my wife wasn’t complaining about the hiking it was a perfectly lovely two day adventure!

 Early start to the day.  Perfect weather.

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Bike’n Hike (XII): Byeongsanbando National Park / Wido Island

Destination:  Byeonsanbando National Park / Wido Island
Cycling:  180km
Hiking:  2km
Days:  2.5

 

This trip to the Buan peninsula had been canceled twice previously, so even though I got rained out on the last day it was still labeled a success.  The entire area is beautiful and offers excellent coastal roads for cycling (didn’t do much hiking due to the incredible heat during mid-August).  Oddly enough the biggest challenge was finding food!
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Restaurant Review: 지실리애 (Hand-Made Tea)

 

This former BBQ restaurant (숫불갈비), no more than a five minute walk from the house, was the kind of place that made you NOT want to visit.  I had walked/driven/cycled by it a million times over the last couple of years and could never really tell if it was a functioning restaurant and open for business or…something else.  It had that run down “given-up” look to it.
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TDH Updates: October 2015 – Artists Eric Davis and Chung Park


Artist Eric Davis


Artist Chung Park

The outdoor gallery continues to grow.  These two new works help tie in different corners of the property and add to the overall aesthetic of the house.  They complement the natural surroundings better than I could have imagined.  The pictures don’t really do them justice!

First, we have the Ruddy Kingfisher by artist Eric Davis.  Nothing about the subject matter or placement is random.  Anyone involved in the birding community in Korea (all 10 of us!) knows we’ve had a returning Kingfisher the last two summers.  It’s significant because it’s the bird that really got me to open my eyes and ears and look up at all the wildlife in the trees.  Bird watching also happens to be a great accompaniment to day-dreaming and sipping makoli, so ties in well with the other activities common around the house.

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Bike’n Hike Update and Summary

The “Bike’n Hike” concept was born out of a failed backpacking trip to Jirisan National Park in February of 2014. The logistics of that trip, for whatever reason, weren’t coming together and out of frustration we got out our wall map of Jeolla-Do and started looking for alternatives.  Naejangsan National Park, the closest to Gwangju, was an obvious alternative choice.  Within about 15 minutes Jirisan was long forgotten, our bikes had replaced our car, and our first Bike’n Hike tour was organized and ready to go.
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