Gwangyang was called Maro during the Baekje Period and Huiyang during the Unified Silla Period. It has maintained its current name since the Goryeo Period. Maro refers to “Leader,” while Huiyang and Gwangyang mean “warm, glittering sunlight.” In 1989, part of Gwangyang was separated into Donggwangyang; but, in 1995, Gwangyang consolidated the latter and became a city with a mixture of urban and farm areas. Currently, it is a Northeast Asian free trade city in the Maritime Era of the 21st century.
BAEGUNSAN MOUNTAIN DONGGOKGYEGOK VALLEY
Donggokgyegok Valley is one of four large valleys on Baegunsan Mountain. The valley opens up towards Gwangyang, with the waters of Dongcheon Stream flowing into Gwangyangman Bay. Donggokgyegok Valley is wide, making it convenient for transportation, and perfect for a family getaway during the holidays. Located along Hanjae Pass between the mountain summit and Ttoaribong Peak on the west side, the valley is also sometimes called Dapgoksimni. The valley stretches a distance of 10 kilometers and is especially beautiful in fall when surrounded by vibrant autumn foliage. Donggokgyegok Valley is a protected nature reserve with over 900 various species of vegetation.
Address: 154, Yaksujedan-gil, Okryong-myeon, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do
GWANGYANG MAEHWA VILLAGE
Following the Seomjingang River flowing down the outskirts of Jirisan Mountain is a village filled with plum trees. This village, Seomjin Village, is also known as the Maehwa (plum) Village for its abundant number of plum trees. Instead of crops and grains, plum trees are cultivated on farmlands, boasting white snow-like blossoms in March and bearing plentiful ripen plums in June. The annual Plum Blossom Festival takes place in the village every March when the plum blossoms are in full bloom.
Address: 1563-1, Seomjingangmaehwa-ro, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do
BAEGUNSAN EOCHIGYEGOK VALLEY
Eochigyegok Valley, located in Eochi-ri, Jinsang-myeon, is 7 kilometers long, and is a valley with clear water flowing through the lush forest with rocks in all sizes that provide a resting spot. In particular, it is home to Orodae Rock, cool enough to form dew even in the middle of the day and Gusipokpo Falls with a legend of a flying horse.
Address: 531, Baekhak-ro, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do
BAEGUNSAN RECREATIONAL FOREST
Located on Baegunsan Mountain (alt. 1,222.2 m), Baegunsan Recreational Forest is made up of a blend of natural and man-made forests, composed of mostly pine, cedar, and cypress trees. Ongnyeongsa Temple Site (Historic Site No. 407) is located near the forest, and many people visit between February and March to see the nearly 7,000 camellia flowers come into full bloom. Baegunsan Mountain is an ecological treasure, as it serves as a habitat for rare plants and animals. Every spring, visitors can try tasting painted maple sap, known for its health benefits.
Address: 337, Baekgye-ro, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do