The Korea Herald


Gochang offers nature, history and scenic walking routes

By 김후란

Published : May 20, 2011 - 19:07

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Gochang meets three main requirements of a good family trip: nature, history and nice walking paths. Especially in May, the barley fields in Hagwon Farm shine with a beautiful yellow-green hue and camellias cover the Seonun Temple.

A recommended one-day trip starts out at the Hagwon Farm. On the barley fields, you can walk along the winding paths with classical music gently piping from speakers along the way.

The barley fields give off their unique scent, especially early in the morning and at sunset. In those hours, you can avoid the crowds and lose yourself in thought along the way. A morning bowl of barley bibimbap at the farm’s restaurant after a good walk will allow you to indulge in the pleasant barley taste and enjoy a sense of fullness. 
Dosoram in Gochang, North Jeolla Province(Seo Young-jin/Korea Tourism Organization) Dosoram in Gochang, North Jeolla Province(Seo Young-jin/Korea Tourism Organization)

The path to the Seonun Temple from the barley fields is also full of the energy of spring. As you enter the temple compound, you will see Buddhist lanterns. The camellias, surrounding the Main Hall where the golden Buddha sits at the center, are another treasure that has adorned the temple for a thousand years.

You will also find a gently sloping path linking the Seonsun Temple to Dosoram with a magnificent cliff as a backdrop, offering a good trekking course.

Outside of the Seonsun Temple, there is a line of restaurants specializing in roasted eel.

Another five-minute drive will lead you to the Midang Poetry Museum of Literature, where works by late poet Seo Jeong-ju are exhibited. He was born in Gochang in 1915 and his pen name was midang, or “not yet fully grown.”

If you’re interested in history or archaeology, visit Maesan-ri, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has hundreds of dolmen, or check out Gochang Eupseong, a historic fortress offering easy walking paths. There is an old saying that if you walk around the fortress once, your legs will be cured; twice, you will live with no illness for the rest of your life; and thrice, you will go to heaven after death.

For more information, call Gochang County at (063) 560-2455.

(Source: Korea Tourism Organization)

How to get there:

By bus: The Gangnam Express Bus Terminal runs buses to Gochang and it takes about 3 hours. From Jeonju or Gwangju Terminal, it takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

By car: Take Seohaean Expressway, get to Gochang IC, Asan, Mujang and follow Hagwon Farm sign.

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