As someone who is interested in megaliths, I have wanted to go visit the ones in Korea for quite some time, and finally I have got the chance to visit them last year. It is amazing that places across the world far away from each other got such similar structures.
“The prehistoric cemeteries at Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa contain many hundreds of examples of dolmens – tombs from the 1st millennium BC constructed of large stone slabs. They form part of the Megalithic culture, found in many parts of the world, but nowhere in such a concentrated form.
The Gochang Dolmen Site features the largest and most diversified group, and is centered in the village of Maesan, along the southern foot of a group of hills running east/west. Over 440 dolmens of various types have been recorded in this location.” (Source: UNESCO World Heritage Website)
Some of you might have heard about these UNESCO heritage dolmens, but one more interesting sights around this area which is less famous is the Ungok Wetland which is also part of the Gochang UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
In this trip of mine, I have only got half day for this place as I have booked Seonunsa Temple Stay starting from the afternoon on the same day, I did not have enough time to explore the area. There are 6 courses to explore around here (I just did course 2 & 3), if there is time, one can walk to Ungok Dolmen (This is the biggest dolmen in the area, and I read on some sources on the web, return trip is about 3 hours), and Ungok Wetlands are also close by. These are all worth visiting places around here.
This is what the museum looks like, inside there are some exhibits about dolmens and life of prehistoric Koreans, for me the best thing is this museum is that we can go to the rooftop to view the dolmens on the opposite river bank.
If you don’t want to walk, you can buy a ticket for the little train, it will take you around the major courses, but you won’t be able to take pictures of the dolmens alone, as many tourists will get off together with you for the photo stop.
Official Site in English
If you want to walk to Ungok Wetlands, you can check out this Korean blog on what you can see along the way, the path starts right here in between the dolmens, there are signs with English and Korean. I read on Korean blog that after you see Ungok Academy （운곡서원）, you will be able to see the Ungok Dolmen.
This is the bus timetable (taken in 2017) in Gochang bus terminal for your reference. When I was waiting for the next bus there, those drivers asked where I want to go, and then they told me to get on another bus and dropped my friend and I close by the museum. I think this bus timetable is most important for estimating when the next bus may pass by the bus stop. I took bus here where I got off directly to Seonunsa Temple. The bus timetable for Seonunsa Temple is the 7th column (0640, 0725… that column)
There is no bus stop sign on one side of the road, the bus just stops right opposite to the bus stop on the other side.
我的高敞四天三夜行程 My itinerary for your reference
Day 1：首爾-高敞 Seoul- Gochang
Day 2：支石墓博物館 Dolmen Museum- 禪雲寺 Seounusa Temple Stay
Day 3：禪雲寺 Seounusa Temple Stay- 高敞邑城 Gochang Fortress
Day 4：高敞郡大麥王國學園農場 Gochang Borinara Hagwon Farm