Damyang Bamboo Forest in Jeollanam-do, Korea

by Audrey on October 6, 2012

A few weekends ago we decided to escape the city and take the train down to the Jeollanam province in the southern part of Korea. We’ve both been wanting to visit the bamboo forest all summer, so we made a bee line for the city of Damyang (담양군). After taking a 3.5 hour train ride, a bus, a taxi, and climbing a set of steep steps, we finally arrived there!

Looking up at the Bamboo trees in Damyang Forest, Korea

The Damyang Bamboo Forest can be best described as a theme park. I went with the expectation that it would be a ‘real forest’ untouched by man, and well, that wasn’t quite accurate. There were water wheels, panda statues, small pavilions, and a little conservatory turned gift shop along the way.

Nomadic Samuel admiring the bamboo forest

But even though the park was a bit kitschy, the bamboo itself wasn’t any less impressive. The thin yet sturdy bamboo rods rise close to 10 meters into the air, and it really is a sight to behold – especially when the sunlight streams through.

Sun light shining through the Damyang Bamboo Forest

Since it was the weekend, the trail was quite busy with families and children eating ice cream, but every once in a while it was possible to have the forest all to yourself. It felt serene, and the foliage made it a lot cooler than the rest of the city.

Admiring the bamboo forest in Damyang - Juknokwon  죽녹원
The bamboo forest is a very popular place with young couples; we noticed many of them strolling hand in hand, as well as stopping for the mandatory photo shoot along the way.

Korean couples carve their names on the bamboo rods in Damyang

Many Korean couples have engraved their names on the bamboo rods professing their love for each other –  so we decided to do the same.

Carving on the bamboo tree
Not as fancy as their hangul characters, but considering we were only equipped with a jagged little stone we picked up along the path, I’d say we did pretty well.

Visiting the forest

If you are interested in visiting the bamboo forest and you’re coming from out of town, you’ll need to take a local bus from the Gwangju Bus Terminal bound for Damyang. Once in Damyang you can either walk from the bus terminal (it’ll take about 20-30 minutes), or take a taxi for roughly 3,000 won. The Bamboo forest is open from 9:00 ~ 19:00, and admission is 2,000 won per person.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack from eyeflare travel tips October 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

That’s a fantastic sight. Never been to Asia, so haven’t had a chance to see bamboo as it grows. Thanks for the photos.

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Nomadic Samuel October 8, 2012 at 11:06 am

Thanks Jack, it’s quite impressive. I can’t believe how long and thin they are.

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memographer October 9, 2012 at 2:08 am

This park is so good! Wanna go there!!
Love the colors on a pic with Sam!

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Hogga October 11, 2012 at 1:06 am

Bamboo always fascinates me because I forget that it’s not a tree.. and that it gets so big!

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Felix October 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Hello.

I have a German Korea Blog ( http://korea.lablob.com/ ) and want to write an article about the Damyang Bamboo Forest.
Doing some research I found your blog and your wonderful pictures. can I use some of them in my article? Of cause I will mention you as a photographer and will link to you blog.
Will it be fine for you?
Best regards
Felix

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Dawnrichard February 5, 2013 at 4:19 am

S ( <3 ) A = Samuel (love) Audrey 🙂

Heehe I got it………….

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debbie April 17, 2013 at 10:36 am

Great photos. I would love to see the Bamboo forest… it looks so cool!

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

It was beautiful! It’s best to go in the late spring – summer when the forest is at its greenest. 🙂

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