Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 Spring Visit to Soyang Dam and Cheongpyong Temple, Chuncheon, South Korea - Part 1

Julianne and I got out of the apartment today and headed to Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong Temple in Chuncheon.

This was our second trip. We had visited before in September of 2008 (Part 1 of 6). During that visit I took a lot of pictures . . . that particular series of posts ended up being 6 parts.

2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 1
2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 2
2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 3
2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 4
2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 5
2008 Sept 20 Soyang Dam and Cheongpyeong temple Part 6

Looking back I realize now that I never really completed the entire series of posts. I think, however, that I did put together a lot of info and pics . . . so I'm happy with what is there.

I even did a special posting with Information about Cheongpyeong temple, Chuncheon.

The official site of Korea, Koreasparkling, has an entry on the temple too. It has pretty decent info on traveling there,

Admission Fees

Ferry Cruise: Soyang Dam → Cheongpyeongsa Temple dock
- Hours: Mar~Oct -9:30am-6:00pm (30-minute intervals, 7-minute ride)
/ Nov~Feb- 10:00am~5:00pm(1 hour intervals, 7-minute ride)
- Round-trip fee:
adult 6,000won/teenager 5,400won/children 2,900 won
* management expenses for the village and Cheongpyeongsa Temple

Local Transportation

1. From Chuncheon Station, take city bus No. 12-1 and get off at Soyang
Dam (30 min ride).
2. From Namchuncheon Station, take city bus No. 12 that runs via
Intercity Bus Terminal. Get off at Soyang Dam (30 min ride).
3. Taxi takes 20 min from Chuncheon Station to Soyang Dam.
4. From Soyang Dam, walk 35-40 min to Cheongpyeongsa Temple.

Julianne and I took a taxi to the dam. It does take about 15-20 minutes, and costs 16,000won. You can also get a taxi home, but be aware you may have to take a bus back if you can't find a taxi (you should be able to find one though).

Oh yeah, the ferry ticket cost us 5,000won each--not the 6,000won the official website of Korea entry says . . .

There's also some useful info at this link from wikitravel.

"Here, on the way to the boat docks you'll find about 20 little eating places. Strangely they all sell the same things: Shellfish, twigim and corn. In summer you can buy bottled water for 1,000 won. One place did sell a few boiled sweet potatoes and another had some fried grasshoppers. If you prefer to eat anything else, then eat before you arrive. Or, there are about three places at the bus stop at Yanggu Pier with food - first place on the left serves an excellent potato pancake for 5,000 won."

The poster doesn't mention, though, that if you take the ferry to the temple that there are restaurants (open air sit on the floor Korean style) that line particular sections of the path you walk to the temple--so you can eat if you get hungry. There are also pop machines at about 4 or 5 different locations before you start the steeper part of the hike up to the temple itself.

Another link with a very basic description of Lake Soyang is here.

Anyways, a major reason for going back to the dam and temple is that it's spring, and I have a new wide angle zoom lens with stabilizer . . .

This is the view standing on top of the dam looking at its front.

I also had on my circular polarized lens filter . . . it really helps with the sun glare and light conditions.

On top of the damn there is a waterfall . . . a lot of people love taking pics there.

I'm not sure what this monument is about . . . and wikipedia doesn't have an entry for Soyang dam . . .

Julianne and I skipped taking pics in front of the dam as we did that last time and got some really nice shots . . .

Standing on the other side of the top of the dam . . . nice view.

Here's the row of snack tents the poster at wikitravel refers to . . . and yes, they ALL have the same snacks . . . if you want western food style snacks BRING YOUR OWN--you won't find them here.

This is from the 1988 Olympics in Korea . . .

I still haven't been inside this building . . . not sure what is in there . . . but when you get to the end of the building . . .

. . . watch for these stairs leading down to an observation deck with picnic tables. It has a really nice view of the dam and surrounding area.

Standing on the observation deck looking at the back part of Soyang dam . . .

It still makes me laugh every time I see a "tourist" map in Korea that has NO ENGLISH--lol, what makes it useful for tourists?

Keep walking down the road to get to the ferry docks . . .

Take the right fork going down to get to the ferry dock.

I think you can pay a fee and get taken for a ride in a speed boat that flys all over the area and does fast turns, etc. It looks like a lot of fun but not all that camera friendly so I haven't gone on it.

The ferry dock.

Ticket booth. As my Korean is limited I just walked up and said, "Duge ticket juseyo." (Two tickets please give me.) You don't really need to speak any Korean, however, the guys know why foreigners come there and will help you get your tickets.

Waiting in line for the ferry . . .

Julianne pointed out the textures and shapes of the rocks . . . so I took a pic.

Ferry boat cabin and navigator station.

The views on the trip to the temple are nice. Nothing breathtaking or epic in terms of landscape views . . . but they're still pretty nice.

We got off here, and I was puzzled . . . the docks looked different, and so did the location. I realized that the drout has been so severe that the water doesn't run the 700 meters or so into the distance to the normal dock location anymore--wow.

People like to pile stones along the paths leading to temples in Korea . . .

To the left of this couple there SHOULD be water . . . the last time we took the ferry it dropped us off where the path curves to the left up ahead in the shot.

Expect the hike to the temple to be a little longer due to the new ferry boat dock location.

About 10% of the way to the temple--if you don't stop to take pics, and are in good shape, you can expect it to take you about 30-45 minutes to get to the temple from the docks.

Here's a pic from part 4 of my September 20, 2008 trip to the temple looking back from almost exactly the same spot--holy crap!

Part II coming soon . . .



Brian said...

Nice work, as always.

When I went there in February, 2007, I didn't like most of what was available at the tents, and ended up eating a bag of deep-fried octopus. It was good, but there's only so much you can take.

Jason said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks. I'm still trying to figure out why the hell my shots lean to the left when I'm really careful how I frame the composition of shots . . . argh.

Yeah, the snack tents . . . I don't 'go there' . . . Julianne and I brought our own stuff.