Travel Highlights

Similar but Different: Gapyeong vs. Damyang

  • Date11/07/2019
  • Hit3859

The Garden of Morning Calm (left) / Juknokwon (right)

When traveling in Korea, you might find different locations with similar attractions, causing a déjà vu. Gapyeong in Gyeonggi-do and Damyang in Jeollanam-do offer similar but different attractions that constantly attract both domestic and international visitors. Read on to see what kind of charms both cities hold.

Namiseom Island Zipwire vs. Damyang Paragliding

Damyang Paragliding (left) (Credit: Damyang Paragliding) / Namiseom Island Zipwire (right)

At the height of 30-story building 80 meters above ground, Namiseom Island Zipwire zooms across the river for a 1-kilometer course. From the zipwire tower near Namiseom Dock, the ride takes approximately 1 minute 30 seconds to the finish point. There are two different courses to choose from: Adventure Course and Family Course. The Adventure Course first takes you to Jaraseom Island, where you take a ferry to Namiseom Island, whereas, the Family Course passes through a slight slope before taking you directly to Namiseom Island. The Adventure Course is recommended for those looking for extreme speed and thrill, while the Family Course allows riders to enjoy the view of the surroundings on their way to the island.

While Gapyeong Zipwire zooms across the sky, Damyang Paragliding flies across the sky! A sport that combines parachuting and hang gliding, paragliding was first introduced to Korea in 1986. With more than 70% of Korea’s land consisting of mountain terrains, paragliding became one of Korea’s popular leisure sports with more than 100 take-off points across the country,  including Damyang. With a view of  dense forests and small villages, paragliding in Damyang offers beautiful scenery.

  • Namiseom Island Zipwire
  • ☞ Address: 1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 가평읍 북한강변로 1024)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 20 min from Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
    * Take an intercity bus for approx. 1 hr 20 min from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gapyeong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-18:00 (Summer season until 19:00)
    * Limited or no operation under bad weather conditions
    * It takes approx. 20 min for preparation (elevator ride, rider education, ride preparation)
    * Zipwire only available in one direction (must use the ferry when leaving the island)
  • ☞ Fee: Adventure or Family Course 44,000 won per person
    * Including admission to Namiseom Island and ferry out of the island
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-31-582-8091 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Websites
    - Namiseom Island Zipwire: http://www.zipwire.co.kr (Korean only)
    - Interpark (reservations): ticket.interpark.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • Damyang Paragliding
  • ☞ Address: 107, Yucheon-ri, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 창평면 유천리 107)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min or a bus for approx. 1 hr 30 min from Damyang Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
    * Hours may differ depending on weather conditions
    * Must make a reservation 2-3 days prior to the expected date
  • ☞ Fees:
    - A Course (Paragliding): 100,000 won
    - B Course (A Course + Active Flying + Video or Photos): 130,000 won
    - VIP Course: B Course + Self maneuver + Extra flying time 150,000 won
    * A Course options (extra fee): Photos 10,000 won / Video 20,000 won / Active Flying 20,000 won
    * Must sign a consent form and watch safety education video
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-10-4840-3330 (Korean only)

Namiseom Island Metasequoia Road vs. Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road

Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road (left) / Namiseom Island Metasequoia Road

Namiseom Island was formed in 1944 during the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam. Located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do along the border between Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do, visitors can use a ferry or zipwire to get to the island. As one of the most popular attractions in Korea, approximately 3.3 million tourists visit the island every year. The Metasequoia Road became even more popular as a regular dating spot for couples when hallyu drama "Winter Sonata (2003)" starring Bae Yong Jun and Choi Jiwoo was filmed here. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of attractions within the island such as performances, festivals, exhibitions, Music Museum, World Folk Instrument Exhibition Hall, Nami Gallery and more.

 Namiseom Island Metasequoia Road (top) / Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road (bottom)

In comparison to Namiseom Island’s Metasequoia Road, Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road is considered one of the most beautiful paths in Korea. This magnificent tree-lined street forms a natural tree tunnel that visitors can walk or drive through, making this attraction more memorable. The tree saplings were planted in the early 1970s and grew beautifully to what they are today. Visitors can take in fresh air and the phytoncide produced by the trees, healing the body and the soul.

  • Namiseom Island Metasequoia Road
  • ☞ Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 춘천시 남산면 남이섬길 1)
    * Walk approx. 10-15 min from entrance
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 20 min from Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
    * Take an intercity bus for approx. 1 hr 20 min from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gapyeong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 07:30-21:30
    * Ferry Schedule
    - 07:30-09:00 (30 min intervals)
    - 09:00-18:00 (10-20 min intervals)
    - 18:00-21:40 (30 min intervals)
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 13,000 won / Teenagers 10,000 won / Children 7,000 won
    * Includes round-trip ferry ride
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-31-580-8114 (Korean, English, Chinese)
  • ☞ Website: http://www.namisum.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • Damyang Metasequoia-lined Road
  • ☞ Address: 19, Metasequoia-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 담양읍 메타세쿼이아로 19)
    * Metasequoia Land: Metasequoia-lined Road, Children Provence, Weather Experience Center, Frog Ecological Park, etc.
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 20 min from Damyang Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
    * Summer season – Open until 19:00
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers 1,000 won / Children 700 won
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-61-380-3149 (Korean only)

Petite France vs. Meta provence

Petite France (left) / Meta provence (right)

Petite France is located on the left hillside along the lakeside road from Cheongpyeong Dam in the direction of Namiseom Island. Looking like a village that would belong on the Mediterranean coast or in the Alps, this popular attraction got its motive from Saint-Exupery, the author of the celebrated French novel Le Petit Prince (1943). From Orgel House, where a 200-year-old music box plays soft melody, to Traditional House Exhibition Hall and Antique Exhibition Hall, Petit France offers traditional French experience like nowhere else in Korea.

  Petite France (top) / Meta provence (bottom)

If Gapyeong has Petite France, Damyang offers Meta provence. The attraction got its motive from a small village in the southern region of France, designed to reproduce the European atmosphere. With various experience programs as well as a wedding hall and multiple photo spots, visitors can enjoy everything this artistic attraction has to offer. Once you’re done with looking around, relax with a cup to coffee at a French-style café or buy cute souvenirs at the gift shop.

  • Petite France
  • ☞ Address: 1063, Hoban-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 35 min from Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-18:00
    * Last admission 1 hr before closing
    * Closing hours vary by season and weather condition
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 10,000 won / Teenagers 8,000 won / Children 6,000 won
  • ☞ Inquires: +82-31-584-8200 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.pfcamp.com (Korean, English, Chinese)
  • Meta provence
  • ☞ Address: 2-17, Gipeunsil-gil, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 담양읍 깊은실길 2-17)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min or a bus for approx. 20 min from Damyang Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Admission: Free
    * Fees vary by store and experience program
  • ☞ Operating hours: Open 24 hours
    * Hours vary by store and experience program, check before visiting
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-61-383-1710 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: metaprovence.co.kr (Korean only)

Gapyeong Dakgalbi vs. Damyang Tteokgalbi

Dakgalbi (left) /  Tteokgalbi (right)

A must-eat when visiting Gapyeong is the famous dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken). Dakgalbi consists of chopped chicken marinated in a sauce mixed with gochujang (Korean chili paste), soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It is then cooked on an iron plate with ingredients like sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbages, onions, green onions, tteok (rice cake) and more.  As the food originated from Chuncheon, Gangwon-do near Gapyeong, this meal is more famously called Chuncheon dakgalbi. With more people searching for dakgalbi, variations from the original spicy recipe have been developed, such as ganjang (soy sauce marinated) dakgalbi, charcoal grilled dakgalbi, and dakgalbi dipped in fondue cheese. Be sure to also order makguksu (spicy buckwheat noodles), which goes perfectly with dakgalbi.

 Tteokgalbi (left) / Dakgalbi (right)

In Damyang, the representative meal is tteokgalbi (grilled rib patties). Originated in Damyang, tteokgalbi is a must-eat food when visiting the area.

Tteokgalbi (top) / Dakgalbi (bottom)

Tteokgalbi in Damyang is famous for cooking after the order is made, making the meat crispier and more flavorful. Daenamutong bap, a rice meal steamed for 40-50 minutes in a bamboo tube goes especially well with tteokgalbi due to the subtle bamboo scent. Some restaurants allow customers to take the bamboo tube after the meal as a souvenir.

  • Atti Dakgalbi
  • ☞ Address: 1080, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 가평읍 북한강변로 1080)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 5 min or a bus for approx. 20 min from Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
    * Take an intercity bus for approx. 1 hr 20 min from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gapyeong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-21:00
  • ☞ Signature menu: Chuncheon dakgalbi 12,000 won per person / Ganjang dakgalbi 12,000 won per person / Makguksu 7,000 won
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-31-581-6171 (Korean only)
  • Namdoyedam
  • ☞ Address: 143, Damjang-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 월산면 담장로 143)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 15 min or a bus for approx. 25 min from Damyang Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 11:00-15:00, 17:00-21:00
    * Break time 15:00-16:00
  • ☞ Signature menu: Hanu (Korean beef) tteokgalbi set menu 30,000 won / Half-half tteokgalbi set menu (hanu, handon) 25,000 won / Handon (Korean pork) tteokgalbi set menu 17,000 won
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-61-381-7766 (Korean only)

The Garden of Morning Calm vs. Juknokwon

The Garden of Morning Calm (left) / Juknokwon (right)

The Garden of Morning Calm is a horticulture garden that promotes the beauty of Korea. With various theme gardens and a pine nut forest perfect for forest-bathing, the Garden of Morning Calm offers visitors many things to see and enjoy. The most popular attraction is the Sunken Garden that uses beautiful flowers to replicate the Korean peninsula and the country’s beautiful scenery.

   Juknokwon (top) / The Garden of Morning Calm (bottom)

Chosen as one of 100 Must-Visit Tourists Spots in Korea, Juknokwon is a 310,238㎡ bamboo forest that offers eight different walking trails to recharge your energy. Listening to the gentle sound of bamboo leaves rustling against the wind as you walk will calm both the mind and the body. The anions produced by the bamboo forest are known to help clean the blood and strengthen the immune system, making the forest a perfect attraction for nature therapy. The forest also offers an observatory, rest area, a pavilion and a hanok café for the convenience of the visitors.

More info
  • The Garden of Morning Calm
  • ☞ Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 35 min or a bus for approx. 1 hr 30 min from Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line)
    * Take an intercity bus for approx. 1 hr 20 min from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gapyeong Intercity Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours: 09:00-21:00
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 9,500 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-1544-6703 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: www.morningcalm.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • Juknokwon
  • ☞ Address
    - Main Gate: 119, Jungnogwon-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 담양읍 죽녹원로 119)
    - Back Gate: 378, Jukhyangmunhwa-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 담양읍 죽향문화로 378)
  • ☞ Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min from Damyang Bus Terminal
  • ☞ Operating hours
    - March-October 09:00-19:00
    - November-February 09:00-18:00
    * Use the Lee Leenam Art Center to exit when leaving after Juknokwon’s closing time
  • ☞ Admission: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers 1,500 won / Children 1,000 won
    * Admission to Lee Leenam Art Center available only with Juknokwon admission
  • ☞ Inquiries: +82-61-380-2680 (Korean only)
  • ☞ Website: http://juknokwon.go.kr (Korean only)
  • ☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in October 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.