Camping, fly fishing, Korea, outdoors, thelazyfisherman

Gucheondong Camping

Spring finally brought int the warmer weather and we decided to enjoy the fresh air and outdoors with a camping trip. It was a long weekend for Buddha’s birthday (Happy birthday Buddha!) and it also happened to be my birthday too! We wanted to head up into the area surrounding Muju to a small town called Gucheondong. We had beautiful weather and great spots, but this proved to be one of our more frustrating starts to a camping trip.

The town is situated at the entrance to Deogyusan National Park. As it was a long weekend the small town was packed with people strolling up and down, parked all over and trying to get into the park. The river running through the town was quite beautiful and was the main aim of our trip. I was in search of the fabled Cherry Trout that finds it most southern distribution to be in Korea. This area is known for actually having Cherry Trout. We spent a few hours (!!!) hunting for the ideal spot along the river to set up camp and eventually settled on an abandoned camping ground on the edge of town.

This turned out to be quite a nice setting as we were up on the river bank, hidden away from the road and in between a few trees. It wasn’t long until we had set up camp, collected firewood and I was off to the river to search for some fish. I must admit Kayley did most of the setting up as I was itching to get to the water! I spent about an hour up and down the river looking for some nice pools to fish in. Conditions were great and there were a few fish rising but no Cherry Trout unfortunately. Most of what I saw were a species of chub or minnow I think. (Not too savvy on Korean fish species.) The rest of the evening was spent chilling around the fire chatting and having some drinks. For dinner we had a Korean style barbecue of samgyupsal (grilled pork belly), kimchi and mushrooms in lettuce wraps and just enjoyed being outdoors!

The next morning Kayley woke me up singing “happy birthday”. After having another quick cast into the river, I arrived back at the tent to coffee and a very special gift – an Apple watch. Isn’t my girl the best?? Although it was some kind of sick joke not being able to play with it for the next two days due to no electricity or wifi! After enjoying our breakfast of oats and yogurt we packed up (basically just chucked everything into our teeny car) and headed to Jinan for another night of camping.

0 thoughts on “Gucheondong Camping”

  1. This place looks really nice! How many minnows did you catch on the fly? Looks like you two had a great camping weekend. Was this a guerrilla spot?

  2. Absolutely guerilla, we spent the first few hours nervously looking around every time it looked like someone was approaching our spot. No minnows were caught in the making of this camping experience… They were rising and chasing the fly but most too small to actually take it and the bigger ones are quite weary. That stretch of river was actually very busy, we were lucky to find a quiet spot.

  3. Thank you, it was a great birthday! Unfortunately since we have gotten a car we have been very lazy about looking at public transport options. I would just look for the closest big town to our Google map location and then take a local bus from there. It was near an entrance to a National Park so I'm sure there would be busses going there. Sorry we can't be of more help!

  4. What an amazing place to celebrate your birthday Kayley! Happy Birthday by the way! You guys are finding some great guerilla camping spots! I wish we were around to do another camping trip with you guys!

  5. Nice way to celebrate your birthday in the outdoors, but having to stare at a non working Apple watch would've been too much to bear for me. 😉 Although I'm not fond of fishing myself, I bet the area is gorgeous enough to take pictures.

  6. That looks so utterly serene and beautiful! Now it's too cold to even think about camping, but I hope you go camping again and write another post!

  7. What a splendid way to spend a birthday, instead of the typical dinner, drinks monotony. Camping is so popular in Korea, but when its warm enough, it seems like everyone is doing it and right next to you. Your camping setup looks comfy and enjoy the new gadget, maybe it can help you find some fish next time lol.

  8. I'm surethey must have made an app for that now!! Guerilla camping is the way to go if you want to get away from the crowds. It's tough at times to find places, but once you do it's so worth it.

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