Accidental trip to Hwaam Cave, Jeongseon.

31 03 2009

Saturday 28th of March. No school. No rain. Perfect time to head out and do something a bit touristy.

The plan was to leave Taebaek and head north, looking for the mysterious Gwandong Dam, the source (or lack of) all the water in our area. I must have shrunk more than we thought as it was nowhere to be found.

Still, not all bad news. Instead of the Dam we stumbled upon Hwaam Cave in Jeongseon Country.

First stop was actually lunch at one of the many restaurants that surround the carpark. Some of the most delicious Naengmyeon (cold noodles) and KamjaJeon (potato pancake) that I’ve eaten in quite a while.

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Next we bought tickets (W2000 for the monorail, and W5000 for entry) and climbed onto the monorail for the trip up the mountain. About 5 minutes of slooooow monorail action later we arrived at the entrance to the cave. A wooden building that contained a tunnel heading straight into the mountain.

It turns out that this “cave” is more of an old mine that joins up with some natural cave systems, and has been turned into both a Mining museum, museum of natural caves, and a display of, in typical Korean style, Jeongseon.

The first half, or upper tunnel was the mining museum, interspaced with relics from various years of mining.

From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave

More bizzare, and hopefully restricted to Korea was the presence of mobile phone antennae spaced throughout the whole complex. These Korean can’t be without reception for even an hour. Crazy.

From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave

The cave itself was beautifully done, with great lighting, stairs, even space so only in 1 or 2 places could I possibly hit my head.

From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave

Even a “batman” style statue, much creepier than it looks here in the picture as it was much darker.

From Hwaam Cave

All of this was great, amazing and much better than expected. But still, not bizzare enough for Korea? Ok, time for the animated Jeongseonites.

From Hwaam Cave

These little fella’s seem to represent the peoples of Jeongseon county and the daily activities that they take part in.

From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave
From Hwaam Cave

Overall, a great day out. Not at all what we expected to find, especially after missing the dam, but a great experience. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a day out in the area. It seems to be around 40km from Taebaek, so easily doable as a day trip.

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