I’ve never been to Korea in summer. Crazy, I know. I’ve been in winter many times and even spring, but never when the weather was really nice and warm. That will all change in a few weeks. I am heading over to Seoul with Rory to visit the family again but this time, I will frolic with the students playing guitar on park benches, ogle the sea of short skirted and high heeled ladies and get out of the city into the rugged countryside of a beautiful country. In fact, we’re going on a road trip!
That’s right, Rory and I are planning a 4 day trip around most of the peninsula. We’re open to taking any suggestions from readers who might suggest some great stops along the way, but here is the general plan:
Day 1 – From Seoul to Gwangju: We don’t expect the drive to be too exciting along this route but the destination is. For anyone that knows me, I love bamboo. I believe it is the most versatile, renewable material on earth. The Chinese build 50 ft scaffolding with it, it’s edible, bugs don’t eat it, it grows faster than anything, and it doesn’t rot. I also think it’s beautiful and some of my favorite scenes in Asian martial arts movies is when they have elaborate fight scenes in majestic bamboo forests. So that’s where we’re going on Day 1.
Damyang forest outside Gwangju, is a very popular spot in Korea. Damyang plays host to the Damyang Bamboo Festival which is located within a forest of 2.4 kilometers of bamboo and includes many activities celebrating the beauty and function of the bamboo plant. We won’t be there for the festival but I still hope to take some fun pictures there. So stay tuned.
Day 2 – From Damyang to Gyeongju: After a nice winding drive through South Korean hillside, we will arrive at Gyeongju, also known as the ‘Museum without Walls’. Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC – 935 AD) which ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. The city has 31 National Treasures, and Gyeongju National Museum houses 16,333 artifacts. There are four broad categories of relics and historical sites: tumuli and their artifacts; Buddhist sites and objects; fortresses and palace sites; and ancient architecture.
Day 3 – From Gyeongju to Donghae: The next leg, and the longest will see us up the Eastern coast of the Korean peninsula. I’m really looking forward to this drive as it will be most beautiful, winding through mountain roads with the China Sea on our right. We will spend the night in a coastal city called Donghae, which is famous for its scenery and beaches and the next morning will venture to one of the most popular beaches in Korea, located in Gangneung. We expect it will be extremely packed, much like the image below, which is kinda why I’m excited to go. It looks absolutely nuts.
Day 4 – Gangneung to Seoul: The last leg of the trip will have us going through some lush mountains, back towards Seoul.
All in all, it’s a pretty fun 4 days that I get to spend with Rory all to myself. I’m really looking forward to it.
I’ve added the spots to our Google Map of Korean Tourist Destinations. Check it out and feel free to let us know what other great road trip destinations we should add on the map.
By the way, here are some other great Korean Road Trip Blog Posts: