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Danyang's new, old indoor tourist attractions beckon family travelers

March 2, 2024 - 15:59 By Lee Si-jin
A family enjoys a media facade at Pops World Dajagu Halmine in Danyang, North Chuncheong Province. (Popsline)

DANYANG, North Chungcheong Province -- Danyang, home to multiple outdoor activities and renowned historical sites, like Dodamsambong Peaks, three stone peaks rising out of the Namhan River, is starting to draw more traveling families with its unique indoor spots as well.

The augmented reality-themed tourist attraction Pops World Dajagu Halmine is a place that has appealed especially to young visitors since its opening in August 2023.

Pops World Dajagu Halmine, a four to five-minute ride from the Danyang Intercity Bus Terminal, is the latest former school-turned-travel attraction. The old school closed in 1999.

Inspired by Danyang’s popular folktale featuring Granny Dajagu, Pops World Dajagu Halmine offers various hands-on activities featuring AR technology.

Visitors play Darian War, a survival game, at Pops World Dajagu Halmine in Danyang, North Chuncheong Province. (Popslines)
This image shows a player's smartphone after completing a quest at Pops World Dajagu Halmine at Danyang, North Chuncheong Province, on Feb. 20. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

After passing through the iconic blue entrance gate, visitors can either choose to visit “Granny’s House” or take a light stroll around the open field, which once was a school playground.

“Granny’s House” features four different AR programs, allowing the visitors to hunt the mischievous ghosts and clear out the thieves that threaten the county.

“Two of the most popular activities are the digital football game and 'Darian War.' 'Darian War' allows visitors to play a five-minute survival game by using their smartphones like a video game console,” Kim Young-duk, the CEO of Popsline, the company behind Pops World Dajagu Halmine, told The Korea Herald on Feb. 20.

“It is exciting to watch some 20 children and parents wholeheartedly enjoying the game. Parents can take a short break while the young visitors make new friends after playing. Many teenagers and holidaymakers in their 20s come here to take Instagrammable pictures as well,” Kim added.

In addition to the AR-themed programs, Pops World Dajagu Halmine entertains with different facilities, including a painting room, ball pool and galleries.

“Many family travelers enjoyed the media facade presented at the walls of Granny’s House last year. We are preparing other outdoor programs which the visitors can enjoy when the weather gets warmer,” Kim explained.

Pops World Dajagu Halmine is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. From April to October, it will close at 11 p.m.

The admission fees range from 10,000 won ($7.5) to 20,000 won ($15), depending on age and time of the visit.

Meanwhile, those who wish to go on a real adventure should head to Gosu Cave, a two- to three-minute car ride from Pops World Dajagu Halmine.

Gosu Cave (Gosu Cave)

Gosu Cave, a roughly 1,395-meter-long limestone cave, features stalactites, stalagmites, an underground lake and rocks with unique features.

A treasure trove of nature and a valuable resource for researchers, Gosu Cave has also been a go-to destination for many travelers since its opening in 1976, attracting more than 22 million visitors as of 2023.

Visitors can tour the 2 million-year-old Gosu Cave’s 940-meter course, while its total length is almost 1.4 kilometers.

Visitors walk around Gosu Cave in Danyang, North Chungcheong Province, on Feb. 20. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
The forest of stalactite at Gosu Cave. (Gosu Cave)

The walking path, which is covered with iron bridges and steps, is a mix of one-way and two lane routes, allowing visitors to enjoy even the smallest details of the cave.

The bright artificial lighting inside the cave ensures that visitors can explore the cave without headlamps. Make sure to wear the gloves provided by Gosu Cave officials at the entrance for safety.

With stunning patterns and formations of rocks, Gosu Cave's geological wonders will mesmerize the visitors.

“The temperature inside the cave naturally remains at 14 to 15 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal place to visit in both summer and winter to escape the blistering heat and extreme cold, respectively,” the official added.

It is not difficult to spot fellow travelers standing in awe, watching the flowing water next to the iron stairs.

“The cave tour certainly sparks children’s curiosity, allowing them to have a chance to imagine how this area would have been thousands of years ago,” Park, a Cheongju-based mother of two children who wished to be identified by her surname, said, sharing her satisfaction with the family trip taken before the children's winter vacation ends.

“They (her children) asked me many questions, like why the people are not making the inside area bright to prevent accidents. And I think such questions can make them remember about a place for a long time," Park said.

Gosu Cave is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket fees vary by age.