One of the top things to do in Taebaek is to check out Yongyeon cave. Yongyeon cave is a small and claustrophobic cave. With a trail route that’s less than a mile (~130 meters) it can take about 40 to 50 minutes to walk.
First after arriving you are given a helmet with straps under your chin and a knob on the back of the helmet to make sure it’s secure. Do not take this off. The trail is narrow. It’s only big enough to walk single file through the cave on a raised platform with handrails. The trail leads through sections of the cave that have a low ceiling. This felt a bit like playing “Human Tetris”, having to walk and bend so that I wouldn’t hit the cave. It wouldn’t have been as stressful if I could have taken my time but because it was single file with people behind me I didn’t feel like I could slow down.
The cave is a bit humid and rather wet, which makes the railings, steps and path slippery so make sure you wear good shoes when heading to Yongyeon cave, especially since there are lots of stairs. If you get cold easily take a jacket with you. With all the stairs, bending to avoid low bits of the cave, and the quick pace to keep people off my heels I was quite exhausted and had a bit of a workout which made me glad I didn’t have a jacket, but it was quite chilly when I first entered the cave.