It is doubtless that living in the city of Seoul, the bustling capital of Korea can give out many advantages and opportunities to connect with people. It comes with many conveniences. The fastest deliverly services, abundant public transports, and plenty of entertainment you could ever imagine are allocated. There is literally nothing Seoul cannot provide.
However, there are times you just want to take a break from the hustle and somehow easy steps the city offers and go in to a little wild adventure with a completely different atmosphere. So, on one good weekend last summer my dear girlfriends and I did not waste any second to pack up and hit on a road making our way to Danyang County.
Danyang is in North Chungcheong Province. Reaching from Seoul, it is a few hour away southeast by car. The borough is famous for its geographical terrain which mostly is lush greenery mountainous. In addition, Danyang is well-known of being the most preferable spot for paragliding which was the major reason we were drawn to in the first place.
After two and a half hours drive, we arrived at Danyang Paragliding ground on top of Dusan Mountain where our names had been enlisted for the upcoming challenge. Up here with 600 meters high above sea level, it gives you the most spectacular views of downhill villages and the Namhangang River.
The site was apparently put on a spotlight because it was used to film one episode of KBS variety show, 2 Days & 1 Night (1박 2일). At the check-in facility, you will be asked to select the version of your gliding whether you want it to be in a regular or a more extreme way the pilot could provide. While the first option would give you a normal flight gently plunging down, the latter execute at least a full 360 degree loop of spinning before landing. For a choice of the first attempt, each of us went for an ordinary one without hesitation.
Later on, you will be then asked to do the fitting, waiting to get called and eventually strapping yourself to an instructure. Now it’s time to glide! At first I was expecting for an imminent anxiety but my mind was kept sharp by a relentless shouting of ‘keep runnin, just keep runningggg!!!’ from my pilot as we descending down the peak. Somehow after settling in the air, my mind was even more occupied by the view for the next 10 minutes.
It was surprisingly fun! Our utmost desire of this getaway therefore has been completely fulfilled. More information about Danyang Paragliding and booking here. If you are reaching by mean of other kinds of transportation, they provide a shuttle service to and from Danyang Station. The cost that we paid was rounded up to be about 100,000KW each (Gopro Video record is included).
Gugyeong Traditional Market (단양 구경시장)
After the excitement of flying, our tummies didn’t agree with us in doing anything else but finding delicious food to savor. So, we asked a local staff at the paragliding facility where we could go for late lunch to get our meal fixed. We were quickly told that the Gugyeong Traditional Market was where we should head to.
Almost a thirty minutes drive later (the traffic was more congested than usual due to Danyang’s annual festival in May), we were at our destination, the Gugyeong Traditional Market, the place where we learned that garlics are staple products of Danyang. Various Garlic Hanjeongsik (Table d’hote or Korean Set Menu) were provided by vendors whom we saw disorderly engaging with the masses of customers before their stalls. The garlic menu varied from garlic dumpling, garlic tteok-galbi (grilled short rib patties), garlic dakgangeong (chicken seasoned with sweet and sour sauce), garlic vernacular snacks to garlic ice-cream.
Danyang Rose Tunnel
On the day of our visit, we noticed there was an extra mass of visitors strolling along the street towards the Googyeong Traditional Market with different attempts. This was probably because there were at least two events hold at the adjacent area of the market. One of these special events was a fantastic rose festival that we felt so blessed to stumble upon to.
The entrance to the rose trail of the festival was situated in Sokumjeong Park (소금정공원) adjoining to Danyang High School (단양고등학교). There were over 10,000 rose varieties have been planted and curated since 1997 along this 1.2km road. At half way from the entrance, a 0.4km of a rose tunnel is installed for people to walk through. Nonetheless, there were less people walking inside the tunnel since most of the roses tended to be growing and blooming outside towards the sidewalks.
The festival is usually held in early June every year but this year roses started to bloom early hence it was organized a week earlier before June. However, unlike other late-spring flowers, roses are robust and can last for weeks after full blooms. Although, you missed out all the fun activities you could participate due to a super shot period of the festival, still there will be roses for you to fall in love with.
Try Garlic TTeok Galbi (Cheongpung Tteok Galbi – 청풍떡갈비)
Last but not least we ended our fun day in Danyang with the most palatable garlic-infused dinner. We let Naver Map to divulge Mat-Jib (tasty house in Korean) that fairly close to us and it exuded ‘Cheongpung Tteok Galbi’ as of our first choice.
Some of you might have an idea that the best Tteok Galbi (Korean dish of grilled beef patties) can be found in a specific part of Gwangju. But when it comes with garlics, the accolade goes to Cheongpung Tteok Galbi in Danyang.
We ordered 2 portions (25,000 KW for one) of Sutbul Garlic Tteokgalbi which was quite large enough for 3 girls. The dish came sizzling in a hot plate with a handful of Danyang garlics on top. Placing a morsel of hot patty on one sided leafy vegetable, dipping them in Ssamjang (spicy soybean paste) was the finest way to recover after a long day~
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