I have come to 밀양 Miryang, a small city in 경상남도 Gyeongsangnam-do, to investigate the mysterious Ice Valley (어름골 Eoreumgol). First, though, I wander around the city center. Of great interest is 영남루 Yeongnamnu. Yeongnamnu is a pavilion atop a hill along Miryang River. It was built during the 19th century, but is supposed to have a history back to the time of 신라 Silla.
Looking over Miryang River from 영남루 Yeongnamnu.
어름골 Eoreumgol, "Ice Valley", is outside the city center in the mountains near 울산 Ulsan. I had to catch a bus from the bus terminal. The bus was crowded, full of middle and high school students going to various villages across rural Miryang. Unsure of which bus I should take, I made sure to ask the bus driver if it would go to Eoreumgol and he waved me onto the bus.
I was not sure where to get off the bus. I keep my eyes open to look for signs or hope it's a big stop. The bus did stop at one small intersection that had a sign, but I thought it might be best to wait to get off at the next stop. The bus driver, though, remembered me asking about Eoreumgol and soon stopped to remind me to get off. We were now going up a mountain about to go through a tunnel into 울산 Ulsan. If he hadn't stopped for me, I would never have gotten to see Eoreumgol!
The main attraction of Eoreumgol is a waterfall that remains frozen through summer (thus its name "Ice Valley") and releases steam in winter. It was too early in the season for the steam, but it was cool to see the tall, frozen waterfall, though it would have been more impressive in the summer.
After hiking around the short loop in the Ice Valley, I was back on the empty road. The only real option to get back to 밀양 Miryang was to flag down a passing intercity bus and buy a ride. (It works for the school children and senior citizens who live in the rural areas of Korea.) The first bus I stopped was going the wrong direction, no big deal. The second bus told me to head back to the parking lot at the park entrance to Eoreumgol where he would take a short break and then pick me up. Most interesting, though, is that this was the same bus driver who brought me to Eoreumgol!