Getting to the city of Danyang from Seoul takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours by car. A great option for the first stop on your journey to the region is Dodamsambong Peaks and Seongmun Limestone Gate. Arriving here in the early afternoon when the weather is crisp and the sun is high adds a new, exciting layer to this already stunning site of natural beauty.
The spot is composed of a lush riverbank, part of the southern Han River, and mountainous countryside views. This stretch of the river is home to three towering peaks with one embracing a small pagoda that echoes the days of Joseon.
The big rock in the center of Dodamsambong is known in Korean as the Husband Rock 장군봉. The left side rock is called the Mistress Rock 첩봉 while the rock on the right is known as the Wife Rock 처봉. Pretty clever, huh? And certainly representative of the family units at that time. Legend has it that the rocks symbolize an angry wife turning away from her husband, who has taken a mistress in order to help continue the family line. The heavens, who saw this mistreatment, supposedly turned them all to stone. Seems a bit harsh, considering everyone was getting it on with everyone at that time.
Another interesting story from the grounds is that Jeong Do Jeon 정도전, a famous Joseon politician who helped establish the dynasty into its greatness, spent his youth here and used the pen name Sambong as an homage to this beloved place.
When looking at these natural formations, one can’t help but picture aging Joseon poetics sitting by the waterside with their paper and ink to reflect on days gone by. Additionally, the pagoda symbolizes a more outgoing, party-like atmosphere, as you imagine tipsy scholars making their way there on boats. It’s a truly romantic and magical setting, best viewed in the daytime to catch sight of the twinkling waves
Seongmun Limestone Gate
The area is also famous for Seongmun, a limestone gate carved from natural erosion of nearby hillsides. Chungcheongbuk-do is famous for its limestone mines, and this piece of natural architecture is a great homage to local resources.
Located just west of the peaks, this site isn’t easy to miss. The bottom of the hill has a large outdoor amphitheater and outdoor seating. The hike takes about 15 minutes in total, with a viewing pagoda platform halfway up the hill for those looking to catch their breath.
Keep heading down the makeshift and rather rickity pathway down the hill to the limestone gate. You won’t miss it – trust me.
We were fortunate enough to be sponsored by K Travel Bus for this trip – you can read about our full itinerary here. Our guide let us spend an hour exploring the grounds, which was plenty of time to snap some pictures and go for a hike to soak in the views.
The landscape has been a popular choice for variety show filming locations. The best-known program is 2 Days, 1 Night, which sees comedians and idols explore the natural side of their country.
For those wanting to get closer to the peaks, boat rides are available at recurring times for a price of 8,000 won for adults and 5,000 for children. The cruise/ferry ride lasts for about one hour and goes down the length of the river. This is a steal for the stunning scenery you’re able to see! Pay in cash and get a 2,000 won discount.
There are also restaurants, convenience stores, cafes and a small museum included if you’re looking to make a long morning of your trip. Coming here for a day trip definitely isn’t worth it, and it’s worth staying in the nearby city of Danyang to fully enjoy this region of Korea.
Address: Chungcheongbuk-do, Danyang-gun, Maepo-eup, Hagoe-ri, 84-1 | 충청북도 단양군 매포읍 하거리 84-1
Opening Hours: 24/7
Entrance Fee: Free
Handicap Accessibility: Dodamsambong – Yes, Seongmun – No
Getting here from Seoul
Head to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and take any bus going to Danyang for 14,5000 won. Buses are infrequent, so check the bus schedule here. From Danyang Bus Terminal, Dodamsambong is 3 minutes away via taxi and will cost about 7,000 won.
Total cost: 20,000 won
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
From Cheongnyangni Station, take the train to Danyang. Trains run every 4 hours and can cost anywhere between 9-28,000 won per passenger. Check train times here. The train journey is shortly over 2 hours. From Danyang Station, take a taxi for 10 minutes. It will cost around 10,000 won.
Total cost: 40,000 – 55,000
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Getting here from Busan
From Busan Central Bus Terminal, take the bus to Dongdaegu. The trip will take 1 hour and 10 minutes and costs around 10,000 won. Buses come every 30 minutes. From here, transfer to a bus for Jecheon that runs on the hour. The journey will take 2 hours and 20 minutes and costs around 20,000 won. From Jecheon, it’s easiest to take a 20-minute taxi to the peaks that will add up to about 25,000 won.
Total time: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Total cost: 50,000-60,000
From Busan Station, take the train to Osong Station. Tickets will cost about 30,000 won and the journey will take just under 2 hours. Trains run hourly. From Osong Station, head to Danyang Station. However, you’ll need to check the train times in advance as trains to Danyang are limited. The ticket price will cost around 20,000 won and takes just under 2 hours. From here, take a taxi to the peaks.
Total cost: 50,000 won
Total time: 4 hours 45 minutes