Inje County is a county in Gangwon Province, and it has the lowest population density of any South Korean county, so it’s definitely not a tourism hot spot, but I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been to before, so the past weekend I went camping in Inje. Inje’s call to fame is probably its mountains. Although most people think of Seokcho City 석초시 when they think of the famous Seorak Mountains 설악산, the Inner Seorak Mountain Range 내설악 is located in Inje. That means there are lots of great hiking trails and deep creeks to swim in, making Inje a great summer or fall destination.
TRAVEL COURSE: DAY ONE
1. Set up camp at 구만동 Camping Site
2. Swimming at Baekdam Creek 백담계곡
3. Baekdamsa Temple 백담사
TRAVEL COURSE: DAY TWO
1. Zip Track
2. More Swimming at Baekdam Creek 백담계곡
TRAVEL COURSE: DAY THREE
1. Birch Tree Forest 자작나무숲
I arrived in Inje on a Saturday morning. The campsite I went to was pretty spectacular, but I forgot to take photos of my tent. The site was located right in front of a stream북천, and there were little streams going all throughout the camp site, so you could put your drinks or fruits in and use it as a cooler.
Once I set up my tent, I went swimming at Baekdam Valley 백담계곡. The water was so deep that there were multiple places where people could dive from. You can’t really tell from the photos just how deep the water is, but one of the locals told me that someone drowns year every year. 😦 If you go there, I highly recommend bringing a life vest or at least a tube.
Baekdam Creek Admission Fee: none
Parking Fee: 5,000 won per day
Operating Hours: –
Average Viewing Time: 2-3 hours
After swimming for a couple hours, I took a bus to the nearby Baekdamsa Temple 백담사. It’s possible to walk there, but the road is pretty narrow, and there isn’t a separate lane for pedestrians, so I don’t recommend it.
The temple itself wasn’t that special, but the view there of Seorak Mountain was pretty nice.
Baekdamsa Temple Admission Fee: none
Bus Ride Fee: 2,300 per adult, one-way ticket
Operating Hours: last bus 6 pm
Average Viewing Time: 20-40 minutes
There were some hiking trails that led deeper into the mountains here.
The next day, I headed off to try some ziplining. There is a large river called Naerin River 내린천 which is were many of the recreational activities in Inje are based around. Rafting and kayaking are pretty popular here. There is also bungee jumping and ziplining, which aren’t technically water related, but the ones here go across or above that river which makes it more interesting.
The place I went to let you do a few quick rides across land to get you adjusted, then you went on two long rides across Nerin River 내린천.
This was a bungee jumping site. There were several places along that river.
I went for a drive and saw the Maebawi Falls 매바위 폭포 which was an artificial waterfall.
After that, I went back to Baekdam Valley for another day of swimming.
My last day in Inje, I went to check out the Birch Forest 자작나무숲. The birch forest is on the top of a mountain that you have to hike up. The hike took an hour and a half each way, so we had to get here early. Most of the path looked like a typical Korean forest with lots of pine trees. There were a few birch trees a long the way though.
This was the entrance. It was still looked like a typical Korean forest.
Then suddenly, everything changed!
There were birch trees as far as I could see. I felt like I was on another planet. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the color contrast from the brown and dark green forest just a few feet below to the white and yellowish-green forest was just so unexpected. I thought there would be a bunch of birch trees, but I was not expecting the birch forest to be this large and vast. It was almost unbelievable how this sort of thing could exist on the top of an ordinary mountain.
And that was it for Inje this weekend. Time to head back to Seoul~