South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Friday, May 16, 2014

Experience Korea's Nature at Its Best at Danyang

When I was still in the Philippines dreaming about going to the land of the calm morning, there are only three things that pop up on my thought bubble when I hear the word KOREA. First is its ability to fuse the culture and tradition into its modern way of living, second is the Korean Drama, and third is, needless to say, the KPOP, thanks to PSY. Now that I am here in Korea, I've got the chance to engulf myself with the Korean culture and at the same time explore the country which leads me to discover more things that this country has to offer. On my recent trip to Danyang, I found out that Korea has been blessed by God with head turner views and breathtaking nature.

Together with the congregation of SSCFM, a Christian church community, we traveled to Danyang since it was a Children's day holiday and to also kick off the anniversary of the church. It was a long drive from Seoul to Danyang, more or less 4 hours I guess, I must have got lost in time during the trip because we were all having fun in the car while we were traveling. The occasional napping and the frequent throwing off of jokes made the trip less boring and at some point relaxing. I have no idea about the place, but the longer we traversed the road, the more I was overwhelmed with the scenery of mountains, rivers and bridges. 

We arrived at Danyang safe and sound, and of course, we should start it with a group picture. We first went to Namhangang River where the three tall rocks stand in the middle of the river.




The Sinwoldong Sungkyul Church Foreign Ministry congregation at Danyang

The Dodamsambong Peak

These 3 rocks called the Dodamsambong peak stand tall and proud in the middle of the river. This is actually the only place in the world where you can see 3 long rocks in the middle of the river. I even asked if this is man made or a beauty built by nature. Nobody could answer me because we were all staring at the awesome structure standing right in front of us. I have to scout for information to answer my own question, and yes, it is as natural as the water flowing in the river where it stands.

3 Peak Island called Dodam Sambong
There's a quite interesting story about these 3 peaks. Accordingly, these three peaks represent a tragic love story in ancient Korea. It actually represents a love triangle where the highest peak is the husband, the smaller peak is the wife, and the smallest peak is the mistress. The wife could not give her husband a son, so the husband look for another woman. The wife was very angry with the husband because of that, so she turned her back to her husband. Well, that's just according to the legend.

 The Stone Gate

After we enjoyed the Dodamsambong peak and took a lot of selfies with it, we proceed to see another spectacular architecture made by nature. But before we get into it, we have to climb a very high mountain. Thank God there's actually a stairway that lead up to the natural treasure of the place.

Stairway to Stone gate

The climb took our breaths away, as in literally we gasped for air because it was really an uphill climb. We ended up breathless when we reached the top of the mountain, but the breathtaking view from the top worth it all.



                               
 There you can see the SEOKMUN or the Stone Gate. It is about 200 meters away from the 3 Peak Island. As you can see, the stone gate is like in the form of a rainbow. Instead of colors, it is made of rock and some green plants sprout from it. If this is Mount Olympus, I would rather say that this is a gate where Gods and Goddesses would likely sojourn. But then again, it's just my conspiracy theory.

Seokmun (Stone Gate)
 Hangeul:석문
I am glad they have placed something like a photo opp area in front of the gate. A lot of people lined up just to get a picture with the stone gate, so I felt like I was lucky enough to see it in actual. Is it possible to put a zipline that passes through the gate and ends up at Namhangang river? Just my two cents.

Photo opp at Seokmun

Of Nature, Mountains and Rivers

Aside from the architecture designed by nature, Danyang is a place you would like to visit if you are a mountain lover. It is a mountain surrounded by many mountains and it looks so awesome. Imagine you can see green scenery everywhere.
Mountainous area at Danyang
And not only that, I notice that the mountains are forming into some interesting shapes. If you love walking, you can relax and enjoy nature at its best in this area of Danyang.


Jump shot at Danyang

At any random corner of Danyang, you can just get off the car and feel the fresh air from the green trees that you can actually see all over the place.

The green trees of Danyang
 Aside from that, the beautiful flowers of Danyang add to the attraction and the beauty of the place. This is a perfect spot for a family picnic.
The Yusi Family enjoying the view
 And I stood in awe of the rivers at Danyang. It was so clear and the big rocks are quite interesting too. For one second, I thought of indulging myself into the riverbed, but it's still spring and it's cold.

River at Danyang
 The Gosu Cave

The adventure that capped off our one day tour at Danyang is the memorable trip inside the Gosu Cave. Philippines has a lot of caves but it was my first time to enter a cave.


Entrance to Gosu Cave

We entered the cave without idea of what's waiting for us inside. And these beautiful stalactites and stalagmites welcomed us with strong conviction that something interesting is waiting for us in our cave journey.
Stalactites and Stalagmites of Gosu Cave 

And true enough, I was bewildered with what I saw inside the cave. Different forms of rocks, different shapes and sizes of the stalactites and stalagmites and a roller coaster like stairway to explore the cave.

Inside the Gosu Cave 
But you know what surprised me? The way they constructed the passageway inside the cave. It was carefully planned and built to ensure the safety of the people. We even brought with us the kids inside the cave and they really enjoyed the trip.
Gosu Cave Exit Area
For a one day trip, we have made the most of our time at Danyang. I just realized one thing though, that one day is really not enough. I came without really minding what to find out at the place, I ended up wanting for more adventure. It looks like we have visited a lot of places for one day, but I'll tell you, there are still a lot of interesting places worth visiting. You should allot at least one week to explore the place. There are hotels at Danyang where you can stay during the trip, I am sure you can find some cheap hotels there. You can visit the 8 scenic views like Haseonam, Jungseonam, Sangseonam, Sainam, Gudambong, Oksunbong, Dodamsambong, and Seokmun.


30 comments:

  1. Looks gorgeous. These are places some day I hope to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing. IT was like going on a mini-vacation. Relaxing!!!

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  3. I love the pics in the caves. The scenery is amazing

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  4. I love the photos.. I want to visit Korea to see this places.

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  5. I think I'm gonna love Korea because of its nature.

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  6. Korea does remind me of Japan. P and I are planning to visit Korea next year.

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  7. I am so jealous. I dream of visiting Korean some day! I am friends with a mom whose son has physical therapy with my daughter and she is Filipina and we sit and watch K-Dramas while our kids are working. LOL

    These are phenomenal photos!

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    1. That's hilarious. But true, Filipino loves Kdramas. I am planning to visit some remarkable kdrama shooting locations. I just don;t know though when.

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  8. Those are some beautiful places to visit. Great pictures too.

    Michelle F.

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  9. This reminds me of Natural Bridge and Dixie Caverns in Virginia! What gorgeous views.

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    1. Thanks. For some reason, I suddenly become interested with that natural bridge

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  10. What beautiful photos. Seeing God's handiwork while helping do His physical work must have been very rewarding!

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    1. Agreed. This is one wonderful way to appreciate God's creation

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  11. Thanks for sharing i hope soon i can visit korea for a danyang trip. Ehehe.

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  12. What stunning pictures! Korea is beautiful! I hope to one day visit this beautiful land.

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  13. Wow! What terrific pictures and amazing scenery! I never knew Korea had that much to offer! Thanks for sharing this!

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  14. I love seeing other peoples travels through their writings and pictures. I love the story and lore of the 3 rocks. Thank you for taking me to a place I will unfortunately never be able to travel.

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    1. Why not? Nothing is impossible. I know you can if you want to.

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  15. The husband rock must really have been in the doghouse. lol ;) I love all the scenic views from the cave too.

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  16. When my husband was stationed there, he didn't show me how beautiful it was there... I'm loving Dodamsambong peak, that looks really cool to see..

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    1. You should have explored Korea. I;m guessing your husband is on a military service? if yes, then he doesn't have ample time to tour you around then.

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  17. Beautiful pics.. I would love to visit Gosu cave.. they look so adventurous... :D

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  18. beautiful! I would love to go to visit--my husband lived there for two years.

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  19. Found this on the expat blog. Looks like a fun place to go hiking. Great photo of the three rocks. After seeing Seoraksan this weekend, will have to make a trip down there since I am currently living in Gyeonggi-do. Happy travels!

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    1. Thanks.. Nice to meet fellow foreign blogger of Korea.

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  20. Wow! The three rocks are so pretty!

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  21. Maganda parin ang pinas....ugly view! peace!

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