We just welcomed our last of many guests to Korea, wonderful friends and family who have made it all the way out to Korea just to see us. It’s been wonderful and we feel so lucky that people have wanted to share this experience with us. It’s difficult being so far away from home, but knowing that our loved ones support us makes it easier.
Anyway, the reason I am being so soppy is that I’ve realized there is something we have done with every single one of our visitors, a place we have shared with them that is now quite special to us, that we have never mentioned here on the blog.
I’m talking about Wolyeonggyo Bridge in Andong.
You probably haven’t heard of it, unless you’ve been one of our lovely guests, and I don’t think that too many people have. Andong has so many other things going for it, like the Hahoe village, mask dance festivals and Jimdalk, that this bridge often gets overlooked. But it shouldn’t, because it’s lovely.
Just a short 5-10 taxi ride from central Andong you’ll come across a beautiful wooden bridge stretching across the Nakdong River, complete with an intricately carved pagoda at its center. It’s Korea’s longest wooden walking bridge and offers gorgeous views over the river and part of Andong city on a clear day.
Funnily enough the name, Wolyeonggyo, means moonlight bridge as the area is meant to be beautiful at night, but despite our numerous visits we have only witnessed it by day!
It’s worth it though as across the bridge is a beautifully reconstructed traditional village. The bridge is by Andong Dam which, during its construction, flooded the valley and destroyed many traditional old buildings which have now been relocated here. The place is not as large or bustling as Hahoe Folk Village but the houses are in great condition and the pond, stream and stone bridge, alongside a few colourful pagodas and many flowering trees make it just as pretty.
As a little side trip on the way to eat the delicious spicy chicken stew that Andong is famous for, the aforementioned Jimdalk, our guests loved peering into the old homes and taking a stroll along the Nakdong to work up their appetites.
We’ve visited in every season and it’s always been a pleasure and on our most recent visits we stumbled upon a lot of construction going on up the hill behind the village. The area is being developed to include more Hanok architecture, a museum and places to take part in traditional arts such as Hanjii paper making.
On a longer day trip there is also a hilarious Confucian museum closer to the dam called Confucian Land where you can learn a little more about traditional Korea by dressing up in Hanbok and observing the creepy wax statues. The place has barely any English, so be prepared for a lot of guesswork.
Then, further along the river, along steep winding roads, you will come across a beautiful lake where various water sports are available. This really is a lovely part of the city, well worth a visit.
We have many wonderful memories of our times at Wolyeonggyo bridge with friends and family and it’s just another reason to head to Andong, the Cultural Spirit of Korea.
Have you been out to Wolyeonggyo Bridge? How about Andong itself? And do you know any hidden gems in Korea you can let us in on??
Update: Are you interested in taking your own unique journeys in Korea? Our Korea Journey Handbook is now available on the Kindle Store for only £2.58!