There is something about nature that pulls me and it makes no difference what country I am in. That’s what brought upon the decision to seek out some of Korea’s rural areas and step inside this magical Bamboo Forest. Situated about 30 miles outside of Gwangju, Damyang Bamboo Forest is a perfect day trip to see the countryside and experience a different side of South Korea.
Most people come to South Korea and stick to Seoul, with its populous and quite exciting night life, while maybe venturing out to nearby places that are within an hour or two. As luck would have it, we were placed in Busan, across the country on the gorgeous oceanside. Only problem is, when you google things to see in Korea, everything tells you how to get there from Seoul. Or it was near Seoul and too hard to get to for me. Until I found this Bamboo Forest. This gorgeous 25 acre complex is full of hiking trails that whip and wind through skyscraper tall lush green bamboo, where the hustle of the city is not heard for miles.
Peeking through the sky, we curved our way around the park for a few hours. Lucky for us it was a gorgeous day and in fact quite warm. I brought my large peacoat (or my sexy blanket as I like to call it), but ended up carrying it around the entire time.
Because it was winter time, there weren’t as many people in park. At the same time, there weren’t many of the shops open. Personally, I found this much more serene.
To get to Damyang from Busan:
From the Busan Bus Terminal (off the Nopo Station, line 1) grab a bus ticket to Gwangju (roughly 24,000 won each way). The bus is a 3 hour ride each way. We caught the 8 AM, putting us in Gwangju around noon. The bus does make stops along the way for restroom breaks.
From Seoul: Take a train to Gwangju Station.
Once you exit the main bus station, head out through the front and catch the local bus 311. This will take you to Damyang Bamboo Forest (get off at stop Juknokwon) The bus takes about 50 minutes and costs 2500 Won each way.
Although, this is the easiest way, we accidentally got on an express bus to Damyang. If you happen to make the same mistake we did, not to worry. The express bus made one stop and dropped us in the middle of Damyang town. We could have walked, (it was about 2 miles,) but we grabbed a taxi from there and took the local bus back at the end of the day.
Before we headed out, we made sure to grab some of local food at a restaurant just down the path from the forest. Cross the bridge and keep left, this restaurant has an orange awning.
This food was incredible, and the flavors were different than anything we had. They also served the sweet and sticky bamboo rice served in a bamboo stalk.
On the way out, we had complimentary cinnamon tea that I’m currently still looking for, to replicate.
If you’ve been to the Bamboo Forest or have any questions, please comment below!