Chungju city 충주

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October 31st 2009
Published: December 13th 2009
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My crazy-packed end-of-October weekend started off with an early trip to the Dongbu Intercity Bus Terminal in Daejeon Saturday morning. Since our first tour (Chungju) with Adventure Korea left from Seoul, it didn't make sense to meet them in Seoul first thing Saturday as the city of Chungju was closer to Daejeon. It took 1.5hrs to get to Chungju from Daejeon.

Chungju is a city in North Chungcheong province, South Korea. Its flower is the Chrysanthemum, its bird is the Mandarin Duck, and its tree is the Apple Tree. Did you know? Chungju is famous for its production of apples. The principal reasons being because of the large amount of daylight received and high different in temperatures.

Once we arrived at the city, we took a taxi, which drove through a beautiful winding road with autumn-coloured trees flanking either sides, to the ferry dock. Our timing was spot on as Adventure Korea arrived roughly 15 minutes later.

We clambered onto the large ferry boat, choosing to sit on the top open deck to maximize our viewing pleasure of Chungju Lake. Chungju Lake, which was built by blocking the valley between Jongmin-dong and Dongnyang-myeon, is the largest and cleanest multi-purpose reservoir in Korea.

We ended up making a good choice as we made a new friend! Her name is Julia from NYC, and she's currently teaching in Seoul. Meeting her was great and definitely made our trip a lot more fun! Together, the 3 of us admired the beautiful view of the lake, trees, and rocks amidst the foggy atmosphere. The weather was perfect and the water calming, making me feel peaceful, content, and serene. The ferry boat trip took approximately 1.5hrs until we circled back to our starting point.

After getting off the ferry boat, we got back onto the bus and proceeded in the direction of the Gosu Cave (고수동굴). This cave is one of Korea's most famous limestone caves, with striking displays of stalactities and stalagmites. It took us about an hour to tour through the entire cave. It was quite straightforward as there was only one path for everyone to take and the occasional spotlights would throw light onto notable spaces within the cave which were picture-worthy.

From the Gosu Cave, we headed to Dodam Sambong, which is one of the Danyang Palgyeong -- the 8 Wonders of Danyang. An island in the Namhan River, it has three peaks named Changgun-bong, Cheop-bong, and Cheo-bong. AK called them the "3 Weird Rocks". They also represent the three figures of a love triad (husband, concubine, and wife, respectively). The story states that the husband could not get a son by his wife, so he took on a concubine. The wife was so upset that she turned away from her husband and refused to speak to him. Locals feel that the orientation of the three peaks represent this relationship.

Climbing upstream from Dodam Sambong about 200 metres, we came upon a stone gate (Seokmun) in the shape of a rainbow. It was definitely something magnificent...

The three of us were so spent from our day that we spent the next 3hours on the bus back to Seoul occasionally nodding off, while the horror movie, Orphan, played in the background, in celebration of the Halloween weekend.

The timing of the weather was perfect as while we were in Chungju, it had been raining cats and dogs all day in Seoul. However, by the time we arrived in Seoul, the rainy weather had moved South, to Daejeon, thus we completely avoided getting wet all weekend!

We arrived at Hongik University stn around 930pm and Ryan and I proceeded to search for our hostel for the night: NAMU Guesthouse Hostel. It was a 5 minute walk away from the station which was perfect as we needed to return back to the station early tomorrow morning for our trip to the DMZ. The hostel was warm, cozy, and CLEAN with hot showers, free wifi and breakfast, and bunk beds. Since we were both knackered, we decided to stay in for the remainder of the evening, staying up for a while to recall the day's events before falling into bed.

Additional photos below
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13th December 2009

Bravo Jessica with your story
Firstly, thanks for including me in your travelblog. Your tour story is very well written, describing your tour makes people want to go. You can be a tour guide writer, contributing to the Lonely Planet tourist books. With the beautiful pictures too. Thanks again and hope to receive more your travelblog. Take care and be happy. uncle yc

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