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Scenic Beauty Gwangmyeong Cave (Natural Mining Cave) – Nature/Ecology

Writer신철희Date11/15/2019

People always think of caves as a dark, cold and boring hole filled with rocks, water, and fissures but the cave in Gwangmyeong has been revamped and rebranded

Not just a mining cave


People always think of caves as a dark, cold and boring hole filled with rocks, water, and fissures but the cave in Gwangmyeong has been revamped and rebranded as an up-and-coming theme park with various themed experiences such as an Aqua World, Wine Wave, Horror Experience, Basement World and more. Not only do you get to learn about the history of Gwangmyeong Cave, there are also multiple exciting activities in and around the cave for the whole family.


Gwangmyeong Cave - Fun Activities & A Learning Experience

Gwangmyeong Cave - Fun Activities & A Learning Experience img Gwangmyeong Cave - Fun Activities & A Learning Experience img
Gwangmyeong Cave - Fun Activities & A Learning Experience img Gwangmyeong Cave - Fun Activities & A Learning Experience img
Theme Park with a History

Developed in 1912, Gwangmyeong Cave was a gold mine where gold, silver, and bronze were mined. It's located in the far southwestern outskirts of Seoul and was used when Korea was under the Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945. Though it holds a very painful history, it has now been turned into a theme park after being used as a salted shrimp preservation containment upon abandonment in 1972.


In 2011, Gwangmyeong city bought the premises and transformed it into a theme park with various attractions and performances. Since 2015, Gwangmyeong Cave has been operating as a paid attraction and more experiences have been added since. There is even a cafe and a restaurant within the cave that has become very well-known with Koreans.


Lights, Shows & Exhibitions
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img

There are various sections within the cave and there is a walking course that you should follow. The first section is about light space which features many tunnels of the caves lit up with LED lights. There is also a light show called Media Facade* that is shown every 10, 30, and 50 minutes at the Cave Arts Center. You will definitely pass it along the way so worry not.


*Media Facade is from 09:10 ~ 17:10 daily.

Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img

Thereafter, you'll pass through an aquarium and an area decorated with gold as well. Once you've gone through the entire round, you'll arrive at a very steep stairway to the Underground World. Here, you'll find various attractions such as a Zombie Castle and a Wine Experience Center.


In the Zombie Castle*, you enter a short course where you can hear screams, have zombies jump out and frighten you and much more. If you're in for an adrenaline rush or you enjoy horror scares, this is the thing for you. Do take note that children under 10 years old, people with heart disorders and fear of enclosed spaces are not allowed to enter. There were many children who came out crying so it is more than just your regular haunted house.


*Zombie Castle costs 3,000won per person and operates from 09:20 ~ 18:00 and the last time you can purchase tickets is at 17:20.

Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img
Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img Lights, Shows & Exhibitions img

In the Wine Experience Center, you can purchase wine and then have it stored there for a number of years at a certain price. Apparently, having it stored in the cave where the temperature is cool and constant throughout the year has certain effects on wine that makes it sweet.


The last stop for the cave is the restaurant and cafe. The restaurant, called Maru de Cave, requires reservations made 3 days in advance and a minimum of 10 people. The cafe, situated inside the cave, has a very unique interior design. It's very classy and the atmosphere is very quiet and calm. You may purchase a glass of wine (8,000won) fermented in the cave at the wine cafe together with bread shaped like a gold bar (2,000won) that goes very well with the sweet wine. (Or at least, that was what was recommended to me).


There are a lot of things to see and a lot of things to read about along the way where you can learn about the history of the cave as well. Look at the tools used by miners in the past and drink cave water that was drunk by miners to quench their thirst while they were mining. All in all a very interesting experience out of a cave that I would have thought otherwise about.

VR Experience img VR Experience img
VR Experience img VR Experience img
VR Experience

The VR Experience Center is located separately from the cave and is towards the left of the entrance of the cave. It opened in March 2019 and has a 4 different VR experiences that are related to Gwangmyeong Cave. There are stipulated timings for the experiences and when you buy your tickets you will be asked to pick a time. There are a total of 4 experiences, and you can purchase tickets based on the amount of experiences you want to do.


1 Experience: 5,000/Adult, 4,000/Teenager, 3,000/Child
2 Experiences: 8,000/Adult, 7,000/Teenager, 6,000/Child
3 Experiences: 11,000/Adult, 10,000/Teenager, 9,000/Child
4 Experiences: 13,000/Adult, 12,000/Teenager, 11,000/Child


*If you're planning to go for both the VR Experience as well as the Cave, then you should purchase the Package which consists of both the VR Experience ticket as well as the Cave entrance ticket.


Cave Entry + 1 Experience: 9,500/Adult, 6,500/Teenager, 4,500/Child
Cave Entry + 2 Experiences: 12,000/Adult, 9,000/Teenager, 7,000/Child
Cave Entry + 3 Experiences: 14,000/Adult, 11,000/Teenager, 9,500/Child
Cave Entry + 4 Experiences: 15,500/Adult, 12,500/Teenager, 11,500/Child

VR Experience img VR Experience img
VR Experience img VR Experience img

If you do not take all 4 experiences, you can choose between a rollercoaster ride, mining, rock climbing or a hang-gliding virtual reality experience. The VR gear that they use here are state-of-the-art and engages with your senses of sight, hearing and touch. It's an immersive experience and you feel all the little jerks, rumbles and vibrations. Very fun and worth the money!

Gwangmyeong Donggul (Cave)

Address : 142 Gahak-ro 85beon-gil, Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do
Number: +82-70-4277-8902
Website: http://www.gm.go.kr/cv/en/index.do
Operating Hours: Daily 09:00 ~ 18:00 (Closed every Monday)
Directions (90 minutes) : From Seoul Station, take Bus 505 for 41 stops and alight at Duitgol station, walk into the smaller street after the 7-11 and board bus 17 bound for Gwangmyeongdonggul. Alight and walk up the stairs to the ticketing booth.
Best Time to Visit : Anytime would be fine to visit since it's an indoor .
People to go with : A great place to go with friends, family or your partner.