Donghae is one of the most popular coastal cities in South Korea. It is located in the southeastern part of Gangwon province, known for its beautiful sceneries and delicious food. Donghae is not an exception. It is popular among both, locals and tourists and is mostly known for its beautiful beaches and camping sites, therefore, our last visit was not even close to that.
People usually think that the only reason one would visit Donghae is the beaches. And even though it is partially true, this time I will introduce you to something different. Cheongok Cave (천곡천연동굴) also known as the Golden bat cave is a limestone cave that extends horizontally for over 1,400 meters and is the longest of its kind in the country.
It was accidentally discovered during construction work back in 1991 and immediately became the point of interest to many researchers, who highly recognized it not only for its size but also geological value and rare rocks that now are the main point of interest to everyone, who visit the cave.
To visit the Cheongok Cave will cost you 3000 Korean Won (around 3$) and the time of your visit is unlimited. Therefore, I’d say 20 to 30 minutes is completely enough to fully look around the cave. Regardless of the season, it gets quite chilly inside, so if you are sensitive to temperature, make sure to grab something long-sleeved before going inside, even though the weather might look super hot. Since the cave is located underground and is covered by rocks, the summer heat does not reach its facilities.
Upon entering, you will be requested to wear a protective helmet, since in many areas of the cave go quite low and you definitely will hit your head against the rocks. It does not matter if you are short or tall – some passages go only a little bit higher than one meter, so you will need to bend your back. I am 160 centimeters tall and I hit my head quite a few times.
Also, for your safety, you are not allowed to wear high heels in the cave, as you might slip and fall. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes on the day you are planning your visit. Sandals are ok, as I wore them too.
In conclusion, even though Cheongok Cave is comparatively small and is located a little bit out of the way, I feel like it is a nice place to visit, even if you are not that interested into geology, but just want to take a rest from the heat and see something more unusual. I totally enjoyed my visit and I hope you would do too!
Address: 50, Donggul-ro, Donghae-si, Gangwon-do
Operating hours: 08:00-18:00
Open until 20:00 during summer peak season.
Admission: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers 1,500 won / Children 1,000 won