[WOW Korea] Day 1: Gochang, a hidden attraction

It’s been quite some time since I’ve travelled with #wowkoreasupporters to a 3D2N trip to Gochang, Gimje and Jeonju, and now that I’m done with midterms I finally have some time to sit down and tell all of you about the places! I am honestly excited for the blog post since I’ve really enjoyed myself on this trip, and I hope that through my post many more of you would discover these less known places in Korea ^^

As we went over a long weekend, the originally 3 hour trip became a 6 hour ride T____T So please take note, if you’re planning to travel over the long weekend, train is definitely recommended as the roads will be so congested!

[Transport] Getting to Gochang

From Express Bus Terminal station (Line 3 and 7), go to the Honam Line (Exit 8 of the subway, to the Central City Terminal) and take a bus for Gochang. It costs W15,900 and takes about 3 hours 40 minutes to get there.

There is no train station in Gochang, but fret not! You can take a train from Seoul station to Jeongeup station, then take a bus from Jeongeup to Gochang (buses run every 20 minutes). The train would cost between W12,900 to W22,000, and the bus costs W2,000. The journey would take about the same time as the bus as well.

[Food] Lunch: Sugung restaurant

Honestly by the time we got to the restaurant it was almost 3pm, and everyone was famished. So even though I was not a fan of shellfish, I had a go at the Manila clam bibimbap (바지락비빔밥) and I can tell you that it was the best choice of my life because it was just. so. super. good!!

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I took one look at the clam and I was really apprehensive since I really couldn’t take shellfish. But one bite and I was just won over!!

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It’s not a Korean meal without like 10 over side dishes! Note: You actually scoop the rice into the bowl with the clams to mix it into bibimbap with some gochujang ^^

The clams had no pungent taste of the sea (which is the one biggest reason why I don’t take shellfish), and mixed with the rice and various side dishes it was a really delicious meal! Highly recommend for all seafood abstainees out there 😀

Restaurant info: http://map.naver.com/local/siteview.nhn?code=11599825

[Attraction] Mandol Mud Field

If you watch Korean variety show often, you would have seen the celebrities playing in mud fields very often. Gochang also has its own mud field, where you can dig up some seafood and cook them on the spot!! You can also take a mud-taxi to get into the mud field.

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The mud taxi on the right. Isn’t it so pretty? 😀

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Look at the amount of clams they collected ohmy. Looks like someone is going to have a good meal!

Unfortunately due to time constraints we were unable to try going into the mud to catch sea creatures and things like that, but just taking the mud taxi and going into the mudfields, looking beyond to the horizon across the vast mudfield is really healing!

Information on Mandol Mud field: http://map.naver.com/local/siteview.nhn?code=12824681

[Attraction] Gochang agricultural and marine products showcase

Next we proceeded to Gochang Hanok village, where we were introduced various agricultural products from Gochang! Some of them are really interesting products I’ve never seen or heard of before, and so I shall introduce some of them.

Have you ever heard of barley coffee? If you’re a coffee addict (like me), you might enjoy this coffee sweetened naturally by barley! It is said that King Kojong, the last King of Joseon was the first person in Korea to try coffee, and it is said that he loved it a lot!

King Kojong enjoyed his coffee very much ^^

King Kojong enjoyed his coffee very much ^^

Have you ever tried Korean rice crackers? Maybe you did, but have you tried Korean rice crackers in citron (yuja) and berry flavors? Surprise yourself with these flavors!

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Yuja flavor is my favorite! 😀

Gochang has a few specialty products, one of which is black raspberry (복분자). Usually it is made into wine, but with this drink, you can taste all of its goodness (minus the alcohol!)

Taste the goodness of bokbunja all in this drink!

Taste the goodness of bokbunja all in this drink!

Look at those melons! Sweet and juicy, nothing else needs to be said 😀

Sweet and juicy melon!

Sweet and juicy melon!

Varieties of flower tea! I never knew there were so many hehe.

All sorts of flower tea for you to choose from!

All sorts of flower tea for you to choose from!

[Food] Dinner: Taeheung Galbi

After trying all sorts of Gochang’s agricultural products, we proceeded to dinner – Korean BBQ! (Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of stomach room left xD)

Gogiiiiiiii!!!!!!

Gogiiiiiiii!!!!!! ❤

We had the usual BBQ meat which tasted so delicious (as do all Korean BBQ), but since we’re in Gochang, of course we can’t miss out on its specialty – 복분자! So we tried 복분자 wine, and also bokbunja cold noodles (복분자냉면)!

The 복분자 wine has a sweet taste to it more than an alcoholic taste, and is ideal for those who like sweet things (like me!)

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Bokbunja naengmyeon, where the noodles are made from bokbunja! (Sorry for the blur shot, I was too excited to eat XD)

As you can see, the noodles are made from 복분자 ^^ The noodles are thus different from the normal naengmyeon noodles in that it is less chewy! Although I couldn’t really taste the 복분자 (maybe because the vinegar and mustard in the cold noodles overwhelmed the taste)

More information on the restaurant: http://map.naver.com/local/siteview.nhn?code=17434110

[Attraction] Gochangeupseong Fortress

After a super satisfying dinner, we proceeded to one of the bigger attractions in Gochang – the Gochang Eupseong fortress. The fortress was built in early Joseon to prevent invaders, as it housed government buildings inside the compound.

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The Gochang Eupseong Fortress at night

It’s different to come at night compared to the day, as they specially have lights along the fortress walls and the buildings, making it a very different night attraction.

There’s also an interesting legend about Gochang Eupseong Fortress. It is said that if you walk around the fortress (~1.6km in circumference) with a stone on your head once, all diseases will be cured; if you walk around twice you will be free of illnesses and live a long life; if you walk around three times you will go to paradise! But actually the aim of this practice was to gather a pile of stones to repair the walls which had been loss ended by winter thawing season. Aren’t they really smart to come up with this way of gathering resources? 😀

More information about Gochang Eupseong: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=658574&nearBy=site

[Accommodation] Gochang Hanok Village

Although I’ve been in Korea for 3 years now, it’s my first time staying in a Hanok! Some of you might worry, is there hot water? Is there a proper toilet? Are the rooms heated? Fret not! Here, you will get the traditional Hanok but with all the modern facilities you need! The floor heating (온돌) works perfectly fine as well so don’t worry about freezing your butt at night.

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Gochang Hanok Village! It’s right next to the Gochang Eupseong Fortress ^^

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The beautiful courtyard

Hanok just gives a very different feeling doesn't it ^^

Hanok just gives a very different feeling doesn’t it ^^

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Spacious room and a “balcony” outside!

Information on reservations and activities at Gochang Hanok Village: http://woko.kr/hosting/index.asp?pno=108

So here ends our first day! I will update more on day 2 in Gimje and day 3 in Jeonju so please be patient! ^^

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