Several weeks ago a friend and I ventured out to Damyang. I had always wanted to see the Bamboo forest, but it is hard to get to Jeollanam-do on a weekend. I was not sure what to expect as I knew it would be touristy and I typically try to avoid places with lots of people (if I want to be around a lot of people, I can stay in Seoul). There were a lot of tourists, but it was surprisingly peaceful. I've never been around that much bamboo and the aesthetic was so nice. It seems ridiculous to say, but being surrounded by so much green (i.e., no brown tree trunks) was both disorienting and calming. As one person said while walking past, "Without the bamboo, there's nothing to do here."
But the real highlight was staying in Samjicheon, one of the 10 official Slow Cities in Korea. I had never been to a Slow City and I really wanted to experience it. It was incredible. It felt similar to staying in a hanok village, but it seemed much more natural and organic as there were far fewer tourists. Incredibly quiet and incredibly beautiful.
*smartphone pics ahead
Incidentally, this is my first post. There's not much to it, but I wanted to get started with something simple and Damyang seemed appropriate.