The Eight Scenic Wonders of Danyang (Danyang Palgyeong)

When Scholar Hwang Lee (1501-70) came to Danyang as a chief governor, he was so moved by the natural beauty that he designated the eight scenic areas.

1. Dodam Sambong -- This island in the Namhan River has three peaks, which are said to represent three people involved in a love triangle: the husband, the concubine, and the wife. The story is that a man couldn't have a son with his wife, so he took on a concubine. The wife was so upset that she refused to speak to him and turned away. Locals say that the orientation of the rocks symbolizes this relationship.

advertisement

2. Seokmun -- Going upriver from the three peaks about 200m (656 ft.), you will find a stone gate shaped like the arc of a rainbow. Locals say that heavenly spirits must have sung a song when they passed by.

3. Sainam Rock -- This large rock cliff, surrounded by old pine trees, hangs over a clear stream. On it is inscribed a poem by Confucian scholar Utak (pen name, Yeoktong). The poem reads: "Something far superior to other things / indeed matchless, cannot be cast aside. / There is nothing to be afraid of, even standing all alone. / There is nothing to worry about, in this secluded life."

4. Haseonam -- Along the range of Doraksan are three peaks that people liken to brothers. Haseonam is the first, with a large boulder on it said to look like a reclining Buddha (so it's called "Bulam," Buddha Rock). During the Joseon Dynasty, it was given the name "Sonam," which means "a rock where the mountain wizards strolled." And local legend has it that the gods once descended from heaven and had a banquet there.

advertisement

5. Jungseonam -- About 5km (3 miles) from Haseonam is the middle brother peak. On its slopes are the Ssang-yong Falls, where it is said that twin dragons ascended to heaven through a crevice. During the Joseon Dynasty, many yangban (those from the gentlemen class) would come here to make music, write poetry, and commune with nature.

6. Sangseonam -- Sangseonam was named by Gwon Sang-ha, who was said to have built a thatched pavilion and lived here writing poetry. There are three hermitages in the nine valleys surrounded by the rocky peaks.

7. Gudambong -- This peak gets its name, which means turtle, from the shape of its reflection in the lake below, which is said to look like a turtle swimming just below the surface of the water. Gudambong and nearby Oksunbong are both popular in the fall season when their trees change color.

advertisement

8. Oksunbong -- This peak was originally a part of Cheongpung-gun, but the story is that the female entertainer Duhyang coaxed Yi Hwang into including it in Danyang-gun. The magistrate of Cheongpung didn't agree but Yi Hwang carved DANGU DONGMUN on the rock wall, stating that it was "the gateway to Danyang." The unusually shaped boulders are surrounded by various trees.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.