Yesterday Daniel and I went on yet another day trip with Adventure Korea, this time to the Danyang area which is a few hours southeast of Seoul. We visited Chungju Lake, Gosu Cave, and Dodamsambong.
Chungju Lake was our first stop and we took a long sightseeing cruise across the water. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery while eating lunch and drinking beers.
Next stop: Gosu Cave. This huge limestone cave is 4,264 feet deep. It is among the best known natural caves in Korea, called the “underground palace” because of its breathtaking natural beauty. “Gosu” means “field of tall reeds,” and comes from the fact that the area used to be filled with tall grass. Rough stone instruments were excavated at the cave entrance, which revealed that this area was also home to the prehistoric humans. About 120 different stalactites and stalagmites are found here. Some of the formations resemble animals or human figures, such as Lion Rock, Octopus Rock, Eagle Rock, and even the Virgin Mary Rock.
I really enjoyed the cave, especially since it was so cool inside (around 60 degrees)! It was a bit scary though, as there are some really steep metal ladders. Wikipedia states: “The vertical height of the walkways is 164 feet.” See… scary! Another cool thing about the cave is that there is no guided tour, like all caves I have visited in the U.S. You could just walk through at your own pace, and there were English signs pointing out the different formations.
We also went to see Dodamsambong Peak, which is basically three rocks in the middle of the Namhangang River. According to Adventure Korea: “This is the only place in the world where you can see such three longest rocks protrude in the middle of a river.” The legend of Dodamsambong: “There lived a couple who loved each other, but had no child. They found a mistress because they wanted to have a baby, but once she had the baby, she began to mistreat and taunt the wife. The heavens saw them, and turned all of them into stones.”
It was pretty cool but at that point we were exhausted and sunburnt so we spent most of the stop drinking more beer rather than hiking up to the lhoyangjeong pavilion (shown in the photo directly above). Little did we know the bus ride back to Seoul would take twice as long thanks to traffic! It was a long day, as we woke up at 6am and didn’t get home until 10:30pm. But well worth it as always. 🙂
I have been attempting to learn Korean. Ohee and some of my students teach me from time to time and last week I started a language exchange with a Korean girl who wants to improve her English. I have been learning basic words and phrases. I need to work on my pronunciation though and learn the alphabet still!
Last week “Typhoon Kompasa” hit Korea. What a disappointment! I was so excited because school called to saw it was canceled for the day… only to change their mind an hour and a half later! Minimal damage from the storm in Bundang, all I saw was this:
I had one kindergarten class parents meeting last week and it wasn’t too bad. I was a little nervous though. I didn’t have to talk too much, and I’m not even sure how much the parents understand English. I just told them what textbooks we are using and explained a little about that and then told each parent how their child is doing in school (sugar coated of course). Then I sat there while everyone else spoke in Korean for an hour! The other parents meeting is tomorrow, as it was postponed due to the typhoon.
Our first bowling experience in Korea was last weekend. It was exactly the same except that there is no computer for the bowlers to use, so you can’t put your name in or think of any funny nicknames to use. But we had fun and I was pretty impressed with my skills that day!