I enjoyed the Coastal Exhibition outdoors showcasing various traditional boats. Bob was perplexed by the notion of an anchor built of wood!
We returned to Gwangju that evening and the following morning we set out to explore Damyang - home of the revered bamboo forests of Korea. Our first stop was Soswaewon Garden, which is supposedly the best example of a traditional Korean garden. This small private garden was built in the 1500's and features a bamboo forest in the outer garden, with a small stream trickling between pavilions in the inner garden. Several poems were written here on sign-boards by poets of the time and hang in the buildings.
The city of Damyang was hosting a "World Bamboo Fair", so we decided to see what it was all about. It looked like a pretty big deal - like all Korean festivals! There were exhibitions and experience centers, a show, musical performances, food vendors, a bamboo product market, science and craft classes, and more. But it started raining when we arrived and we were not interested enough to pay the price and join the crowds.
Instead, after the rain subsided, we took a walk down the Damyang Metasequoia Road. The Sequoia is famous as an extinct fossil tree in Korea, and in 1972, as a government roadside tree pilot project, Metasequoia trees were planted along a 1.5 mile stretch of road in this area. Today, it creates a beautiful and popular refreshing roadside walking path. Tourist attractions are available all along the path, including experience centers, cafes, artistic endeavors, theme parks and amusement centers.