full of mystery mingling with unique rocks and forest
Gamcheon Thuja Forest
Thuja forest, overlooking the elegantly flowing stream of river between the steeply rising cliff of Banbyeoncheon before the village of Gamcheon 1-ri of Yeongyang-eup, looks as if a folding screen with the shadow cast on the surface of water on a clear day reminiscent of a playground for Taoist hermits. On a clear day,
catfish, carp, crucian carp and mandarin fish boast their stamina leaping up above Gamcheonbo, and when the peaceful village forest sleeping in the melancholy air in the village next to the cliff, tourists visiting this village tug in their collars against the chill wind. Pine trees, maple trees and wild cherry trees hanging on cliff look especially thick and the unique rocks and forest on the stone wall of thuja trees create mysterious atmosphere.
From long time ago, thuja trees naturally grew in between the steps. These thuja trees grow in groups only in this place but could not be found anywhere else as they are biologically rare.
In the old days, thuja trees naturally growing in this mysterious place were used as the cure for all. As people in the poor farming village didn't have hospitals to go or the money to go to hospitals, hence based on the telling that boiled thuja branches and leaves are good for woman's diseases (leukorrhea), many came across the country to get thuja trees in this region. Then, young men of village who can swim and climb up the cliff well were equipped with straw rope on their waists and a sickle in their hands to swim across the waters of Banbyeoncheon up close to the end of cliff to perilously clime up the stone wall.
For the concern of suffering bad luck from worrying, the family of the sick prays that the youth safely fetches thuja tree to make useful medicinal herb. At last, when the youth cuts off a few branches of thuja tree, he then ties them around his waist again and pulls up the water with both hands with the sickle in his mouth.
After ordeal, the youth safely returns from the river breathing fast in gasp, and in the scene of this, traveller will then breath a sigh of relief. Payment is exchanged and sent off by the village youth who prays for good results, the family of the sick quickens the pace back home.