Halfway between Seoul and Daegu is the little town of Danyang. This little sleepy town is not normally on the tourist guides for foreigners and to be honest I didn’t know about it until I got a shout out to a short volunteering at a great guesthouse there.
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I was planning to go first for just a couple of days and ended up staying for a week.
Not only I felt at home at the Factory G Ssang Guesthouse, which is one of the nicest places I have stayed during my backpacking adventures in Korea, but also because there are so many things to do in Danyang!Booking.com
If you’re backpacking in Korea I’ll definitely recommend you to visit this hidden gem of a place! these are my favourite things to do in Danyang:
Hike Sobaeksan Mountain
This was one of my favourite things to do in all of Korea, a perfect day out that is doable for anyone with a minimum level of fitness.
MY HIKING ESSENTIALS
The views of the region are wonderful and a perfect setting for a lunch with a view! try to go in Spring time for the blosomming of the Azaleas.
I wrote more in detail about hiking in Sobaeksan on this post.
Explore Gosu Cave
If you have travelled around the huge caves in Vietnam, perhaps this one will not impress you so much. But at 1395m long, this one is still impressive. If any, it’s just narrow but still cool.
This limestone cave was formed around 450 million years ago and although you cannot walk all over it, the metal railings installed for the visitors is still 940m long so you have plenty to walk and see some really cool rock formations.
The cave is just 10-15min walk from town and it’s a great option for a half day activity.
Visit Guinsa Temple
The headquarters of the Cheontae school of Korean Buddhism. This religious complex is tucked in the beautiful Sobaek mountains.
Although the temples are relatively new, I really liked on how they integrate with their natural surroundings. It’s even possible to do a little bit of hiking around the temple!
You can easily get there by bus from the main bus station in Danyang. Check the times in advance as the bus depart every hour or so. Go early and eat the free lunch offered by the monks!
Eat, eat, eat!
Korean food is delicious, fresh and healthy in most cases and Danyang has so many places to eat!
Walk around the central market which is full of restaurants, I tried a few of them at affordable prices and all super tasty.
A special shout to Song’s Kitchen, which is just a minute walk from the market. Don’t be fooled by its appearance as from the outside looks a little bit posh but it’s very affordable!
They have a very limited menu and boy! they know how to cook pork! we tried everything in the menu and it was heaven!
Go to Dodamsambong Peaks and hike!
The Dodamsambong Peaks are considered one of the 8 sights in Danyang, and although they’re not particularly impressive, what I loved from this place was that there are a few hiking trails starting at the visitor centre.
I did a lot of trail running there and went all over the place!
Walk towards the natural stone arch called Seongmun which is 5 min walk from the tourist centre and look for a diversion on the path about 150 meters before the arch itself.
There are quite a few Km of trails to wander around!
You can go walking to the Dodamsambong Peaks from the city centre, it’s about 30 min walk.
I walk more in detail about this hike on this post.
Mancheonha Skywalk, Sainam Rock, Moss Tunnel and Suyanggae Light Tunnel
Although these are 4 different attractions, you can do them all on the same day if driving around.
You can also get to them by bus or cycling.
The Mancheonha Skywalk is just another tourist attraction, but it has some cool views and at just 2000KRW for the entrance fee is definitely worth a visit. You could also do some zip lining although it’s around 40000KRW.
The Sainam Rock is not utterly impressive but it’s a pretty sight.
There’s a small temple next to it and quite a few restaurants and coffee places on the other side of the river.
It’s a good spot for lunch if you’re doing the 4 “attractions” in one day.
The Moss tunnel is not technically a real tunnel and not really an attraction but it’s close to these sites and a common photo stop for the local tourists.
The Suyanggae Light Tunnel was built in the early 20th century as a railroad and since 2017 it was transformed into a multimedia tunnel with different spaces and music backgrounds which at times make you feel you’re at a club.
On the gardens outside the tunnel there are also lots of LED light installations. If you’re driving or moving by taxi try to leave this site for later in the day so you can enjoy the gardens well lit!
You may think some of these places look too touristy, well think again! I enjoyed all these places mainly because there were no crowds at all.
Danyang is definitely still a hidden gem in Korea so you better go now before it changes!
Feel free to drop any questions or comments if you’re planning to go to Danyang!
Check out the rest of my posts about backpacking in Korea for more inspiration on your next adventure!