A little gem of a resort town, Danyang (http://english.dy21.net) is cosied right up to the mountains of Sobaeksan National Park, at a bend in the river Namhan-gang. This is small-town Korea at its most charming: you can stay at a riverfront motel and explore limestone caves, hiking trails and a one-of-a-kind Buddhist temple, basking in mountain views wherever you go.
Woraksan National Park
Spread across two serene valleys, this park offers fine hiking through picturesque forests, with pretty waterfalls, ancient Buddhist structures and, if you climb high enough, views all the way to Chungju-ho. Worak-san (Moon Crags Mountain) is also home to the endangered long-tailed goral.
Chungju (www.cj100.net/english) might be the town where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon grew up, but there are really only three reasons to come to here: to get the bus to the Chungju Lake ferries or Woraksan National Park, to attend the World Martial Arts Festival or because you really, really like apples (there’s an Apple Festival every October).
This tiny town, known for its hot springs, has jjimjilbang, restaurants and motels clustered snugly across several streets. The town looks as if it’s seen better days, but makes a handy base for exploring Woraksan National Park. The modest Eagle Valley Ski Resort, about 2km from town, has seven slopes and offers night skiing.