Welcome to week 251 (10/22/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday! I have been yearning to get out of Seoul, and last Saturday I finally did it. I day tripped with the Royal Asiatic Society to Danyang, North Chungcheong province, exploring Gosu Cave, Woraksan National Park, and cruising Chungju Lake. The drive took a little longer than expected due to huge amounts of smog/pollution across the entire peninsula this week. Thankfully, we had a great bus driver who navigated the smog and heavy traffic without incident. Once we got to where we were going the weather was picture perfect!
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Our first stop was Gosu Cave, which, with luck would have it,we arrived just before lunch and the afternoon crowds. The route inside the cave is well laid out, and easy to navigate. Towards the end the stairs got a little steep, but nothing to worry about. I didn’t really care for the circular staircase, which seemed to go round and round forever. It was just a matter of not getting dizzy, and making sure that my feet stayed on the steps. The cave was discovered in the 1970s, and it is designated as a national monument. The caverns, stalactites, and stalagmites are pretty to look at. Photography is a bit of a challenge with the not so great lighting.
A brief explanation of the importance of the cave, and the entrance leading up to the cave.
We meandered through the cave along well built and maintained man-made paths. There was a bit of stair climbing, and I honestly could have done with the circular staircase. I am such a wuss! 🙂 The light made photo taking a challenge. Here are a couple of my better shots.
Here you can see people navigating the catwalks.
We stopped for lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant serving vegetarian fare. The tofu soup was delicious as were all the banchan. Even the acron (featured in this photo), not usually one of my favorites, mixed with cabbage and gochujang was tasty. You might also recognized the egg dish from my recent visit to Gwanghwamun Jip. The remaining side dishes were mostly vegetables and roots gathered from the local countryside.
Then it was off to enjoy blue skies, and stunning scenery, as we cruised on Chungju Lake. The lake is a result of the Chungju Dam, the countries largest dam project. I loved the rock formations!
One of at least two bridges that span the lake.
Our final stop of the day was the Cheongpung Munwha Folklore Village , which is a reconstruction of Cheongpung Village. The historic village was submerged after the construction of the Chungju Dam. It took three years to relocate the historic building to this site overlooking ChungJu Lake.
Honestly, I have seen so many Korean traditional buildings over the years, they really don’t excite me. However, the glorious fall colors and the lake views were outstanding. The fall mums added the perfect touch of color along the pathway.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day; sunshine and perfect temps.
The Royal Asiatic Society offers regular weekend excursions across the country. If you’re going to be in Seoul over a weekend, you might want to check out what they have on offer. The tours are affordable, well organized, and a perfect way to see what lies beyond Seoul.
If you’re planning to visit Korea, autumn is one of the best times of the year to travel the peninsula. The temperatures are balmy, no humidity, and lots of sunshine. Check out the Korea Tourism website for what to see and do.
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