Uncheon Lake Park (Romance)
One of the most beautiful places at night in the Sangmu District is Uncheon Lake Park. Constructed in 1951 to supply agricultural water to the farmland in Maruk-dong, it was newly renovated to an urban park loved by citizens in 1995.
The specialty of this place is the “music fountain,” which looks like a dancing fountain in the evening to music. It is also popular as a date course for lovers because of the addition of a colorful laser.
The island in the lake, accessible along the deck that crosses the lake, is the viewpoint where you can see the musical fountain up close, where performances are held on weekends.
Cafes and beer bars are around the lake trail, so it's good to have a cup of tea and enjoy the night scenery of the lake park. The park, where you can find music, water, nature, and wooden decks that are hard to find in the city center, is also where Gwangju citizens come at night to walk, talk and relax with their loved ones, friends, and family.
Uncheon Lake Park is a particular park that is beautiful at night. Still, the scenery during the day is also essential because the appearance of the four seasons is as clear as a mountain.
In spring, especially, it is one of the best cherry blossom spots in Gwangju because the cherry trees in full bloom surround the lake along the trail, creating a spectacular sight. The music fountain on summer nights is popular among lovers, but the cherry blossom road in spring when the sunlight is warm is considered the best date course. In summer, the greenery makes it a cool city vacation spot. In autumn, you can enjoy the autumn leaves, and in winter, the view of a white lake covered with snow.
Mugaksa Temple (Quietness, Relaxation)
Everyone has moments when they want to organize their thoughts in a quiet mountain temple due to fatigue caused by stress. There is a place in Gwangju where you can feel the tranquility of the mountain temple in the city center. Mugaksa Temple is located in the corner of the Sangmu District. Mugaksa Temple, built in 1971, was originally a military temple located inside a military base, but it has been maintained even after Sangmudae moved to the city in 1995, becoming a temple in the huge city center the Sangmu District.
Although located in the city center, surrounded by numerous trees of various types, it is the perfect place to enjoy the greenery and relaxation that makes you feel as if you are in the mountains. The walking trail leading to the 5.18 Memorial Park is 1.5 km long, which is good to enjoy a walk without a burden in terms of time or physical strength.
Mugaksa Temple, which has a book cafe, gallery, and traditional tea house Sarangchae, is also familiar to citizens as a ‘cultural temple.’ The Culture Hall, which houses the book cafe and gallery, is on the left as you come down from the Main Hall.
In particular, the book cafe has a glass terrace with a small bamboo field in the background, allowing you to spend time in harmony with nature, books, music, and tea. Looking out the window, you may feel that time has stopped, and this place is “known only by those who know it” among Gwangju citizens. In addition, the Lotus Gallery, located on the right side of the book cafe, allows you to freely view exhibitions by rising local artists and famous artists.
Every Saturday, except in January and February, which is the hot season, and July and August, which is the coldest season, “Treasure Island,” a recycling sharing market, is held in the front yard of Mugaksa temple with the participation of citizens.
Since eating comes first, it is natural to wonder about restaurants while traveling. Especially on a leisurely evening, if you can have a light beer with your party and share the daytime stories, it will be a bonus.
In Sangmu District, the largest commercial district in Gwangju, food alleys are formed everywhere, so there are many places where you can have a bowl of rice, a cup of coffee, or a sip of alcohol. Typically, there are two food alleys, each with a different personality depending on the store.
The food alley, which mainly consists of meals, is across from the right side of Gwangju City Hall's Parliament Building. It is a favorite alley for lunchtime by city hall employees and nearby office workers, boasting a variety of menus such as Chinese food, white rice, pork belly, and squid. If you want to try a menu such as the lunch special, this is the place for you. Of course, you can even have a drink with a meal in the evening, so it is a recommended alley in the evening.
The food alley where you can enjoy drinking and singing is behind the Ramada Hotel and Sangmu Hospital. At night, this alley is visited by college students and senior office workers, and there are various things to enjoy, such as a place to have a drink and a place to enjoy music. Especially on Friday nights and Saturday nights, the streets are so crowded that there are queues everywhere.
Suppose you want to have a cup of tea. In that case, you don't have to worry about everything related to eating here, as there are a variety of franchise stores, individual cafes, dessert cafes, and tea specialty cafes around the road along the food alley.