Damyang Bamboo Forest – Top Tips for Your Visit
If you’re looking for a unique destination in Korea, head to Damyang Bamboo Forest in Jeollanam-do. This region of South Korea is particularly dear to my heart as it is home to several incredible tourist attractions, like the charming Jeonju Hanok Village, Suncheon Bay Nature Reserve, and Boseong Green Tea Fields.
The local Juknokwon (bamboo forest) is just as charming as the other attractions and I’d been longing to visit ever since I first moved to Korea in 2015.
Here are my top tips for visiting Damyang Bamboo Forest!
How to get to Damyang Bamboo Forest
Main Gate: 119, Juknokwon-ro, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Back Gate: 378, Jukhyangmunhwa-ro, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do
Damyang Bamboo Forest is located about 250 kilometers south of Seoul, and there are different ways to travel to the forest.
By bus: Coming from Seoul, you can take different buses:
- Bus from Central City Bus Terminal to Damyang Bus Terminal
If you’re coming from a different city in Korea, you can either take a bus to Damyang Bus Terminal or Gwangju Jonghab Bus Terminal and take a bus to Damyang from there.
By train: You can take a KTX to Gwangju Seongjeon Station or a Mugunghwa train to Gwangju Station. Buses are available from there to Damyang. This takes about 1 hour.
By car: There are several parking lots at the entrance of Damyang Bamboo Forest. No parking fee.
Korean name: 담양 죽녹원
Summer season: March to October, 09:00 to 19:00 (last admission: 18:00),
Winter season: November-February, 09:00-18:00 (last admission: 17:30),
Admission: 3,000 KRW
Time to explore: 1 – 2 hours
Recommend to visit on a weekday
What is Damyang Bamboo Forest?
The region has excellent environmental and geographical conditions for the cultivation of bamboo in Korea. Even before the Joseon Dynasty, Damyang was a center for bamboo crafts. These bamboo items were traded with people in Manchuria and Japan.
To honor the Damyang’s past the city decided to construct a vast bamboo forest to uphold a green footprint. The park was completed in 2003 and has become a popular place for visitors seeking a moment of serenity.
The Best Time to visit Damyang Bamboo Forest
While spring and autumn are usually the best time of the year to visit forests and parks around Korea, Damyang Bamboo Forest is different. Since bamboo is evergreen, you can enjoy the beauty of the forest during all four seasons.
Research has found that the temperature in a bamboo forest is between 4 and 7 degrees lower than the outside temperature due to the high oxygen generation. That’s why many people like to visit in the summer, as the tall bamboo trees give excellent shade and a cool breeze during a hot day.
Sleeping in a Hanok at Damyang Bamboo Forest
Would you like to sleep in the bamboo forest?
There is a hanok experience center at Damyang Bamboo Forest allowing visitors to stay overnight. Admission to the bamboo forest is free for guests staying at the experience center. Up to 12 people can stay together in one hanok.
If you’re interested in staying in a traditional Korean hanok house overnight at the bamboo forest in Damyang, you can make an online reservation here.
- Check-in time: from 3pm to 10pm,
- Check-out is until 11am.
What You’ll See At Damyang Bamboo Forest
This bamboo forest is very large and divided into 8 different walking courses. Near each of the two entrance gates, you’ll find a café. There are no other cafés/restaurants throughout the park, so be sure to bring along some water and snacks. Picnic and rest areas are available all throughout the forest.
Our visiting strategy was to walk from the back gate to the main gate to see the observatory and then head back to the back gate parking lot via a different walking route through the park.
So we did one big circle through the bamboo forest and were able to fully enjoy the bamboo in all its green glory.
Bonghwangru Observatory Cafe
One of the most beautiful photo spots at Damhyang Bamboo Forest is the bamboo-lined way of walking towards this beautiful wooden hanok cafe. The two-story building has a cafe on the first floor and an observation deck and the second floor. From here, you can overlook the outstanding natural scenery of Damyang.
Chuwoldang Hanok Cafe
This is a hanok cafe located near the back gate of Damyang Bamboo Forest. Here, you can enjoy coffee, traditional tea, and organic pastries. They also sell various bamboo-flavored products like tea or lemonade. But most of all, I recommend grabbing some bamboo ice cream right here! It’s absolutely delicious.
Shiga Cultural Village
When you park at the back gate parking lot and enter Damyang Bamboo Forest, you pass through Shiga Cultural Village. It’s a collection of hanok houses and pavilions located within the bamboo forest itself.
This section of the forest was established in homage to various famous figures of Korean literature in the mid-Joseon Dynasty. The village comprises beautiful walking trails, ponds, a hanok experience center, and a bamboo tea center.
It’s a great place to experience the history and culture of Damyang.
Korea Bamboo Museum
To learn more about the history of bamboo in Korea, I recommend visiting the Korea Bamboo Museum. This museum is located about 4 kilometers south of the Damyang Bamboo Forest and covers five exhibition halls.
You’ll learn the basics about bamboo and move your way through bamboo craft production, intangible cultural property related to bamboo, and lastly learn about the medicinal usages of bamboo.
Address: Jukhyangmunhwa-ro 35, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Come and visit Damyang!
Damyang Bamboo Forest is a truly fascinating place to visit. It had been on my Korea bucket list for years and I’m glad that I finally decided to go and explore the area.
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