Over Spring Break I took my kids to Gwangmyeong Cave. I’m fairly certain it’s the first cave theme park that I’ve been to and it’s an interesting place. This cave is jam packed with things that you wouldn’t necessarily think would go together and keeps you guessing what you might find around each corner. The cave is totally random and fun now, but it didn’t start out that way. While winding through it’s tunnels and caverns you get to learn a bit about the history and the horrible conditions that miners were subjected to when the cave was first mined during the Japanese occupation. “After liberation, Gwangmyeong Cave became the largest mine in the capital region, producing nearly 100 tonnes of gold, silver, copper, and zinc every month.” (Gwangmyeong Cave brochure) The cave closed in 1972 when flooding made mining operations impossible, and reopened as a theme park in 2011. As I already mentioned this cave has all sorts of really cool things to see so I’m just going to show you what we saw while we were there. At the entrance of the cave there are hard hats that you can wear if you like, my boys were all about the hard hats. You start your walk through a dark tunnel and are then greeted by these cute little guys.
It wouldn’t be a proper attraction without some form of adorableness.
From there you take the path to the right and go down the rainbow tunnel.
There are a couple of led art displays in different locations throughout the cave.
There is also a small aquarium
An awesome laser show is held in the largest cavern.
There are several “gold” attractions where guests are encouraged to makes wishes.
The Golden Tunnel
The Golden Waterfall
Then you come to stairs leading further into the cave. I was hoping that we’d go down and not have to come back up, but you do have to come back up. lol
At the bottom of the steps is a really creepy exhibit. It wasn’t open while we were there, it opens in July, but I’m kind of interested in what it’s all about.
In another large cavern you find the “Lord of the Cave” (the dragon) and Gollum. See what I mean, random. According to the brochure the dragon is the largest dragon statue in Korea and was manufactured by New Zealand Weta Workshop which is famous for it’s work on Lord of the Rings. Pretty cool
As you make your way back up the steps you come to an art exhibit. It’s a great place to stop and catch your breath before you tackle the last set of steps.
You can also peer down into the underground lake.
And then you come to the Wine Cave portion of the cave! The Wine Cave has almost 100 types of Korean wine for sale. It is advertised that wine tasting is available every Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 but we went on a Friday and I was offered a couple of samples. Sadly I was driving so I didn’t get to taste any. 😦 I’m not sure if it was a special occasion that day or if there is always at least a little wine to try, but if you’re interested in wine tasting it definitely happens on Saturday and Sunday.
I loved the vibe of the Wine Cave.
For a really unique experience, by reservation only, you can dine at the Wine Restaurant called Maru de Cave. The number to make reservations is 070-4277-8908. This is a pic of a pic from the brochure, but I wanted to show you how nice the Cave Restaurant looks.
The last stretch of the cave takes you through the vegetable factory, some of the veggies grown there are served in the restaurant, and a cave botanical garden.
That pretty much wraps up our Gwanmyeong Cave day. The brochure mentions a couple of other experiences that are available, like panning for gold, but they weren’t happening when we were there and the woman I spoke with couldn’t tell me when they start. There is one last event I want to share with you that sounds like a lot of fun! Maybe a mini girls wine trip while the kiddos are at school. 😉
When I first told my kids that I was taking them to a cave I got a lot of “What? Why do we have to go to a cave?” However by the end of the day we’d had a great time and they were thanking me for bringing them. We chose to picnic that day but there are several food stalls outside of the cave as well. If you decide to check out Gwangmyeong Cave for yourself, I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!
Hours: 09:00-18:00 Closed Mondays Last tickets to enter sold at 17:00.
Entrance Fees: Adult 6,000, Serviceman 4,000, Teenager 3,500, Child 2,000.
Address: 142, Gahak-ro 85beon-gil, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do