Seoul Grand Park is huge and it has so many attractions within its boundaries. The most popular are perhaps the Zoo, the amusement park (Seoul Land) and the Theme Gardens, however it also houses a Children’s Zoo, an annex of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and a small botanic garden within the zoo. It also has a camping area and forest walks into the surrounding mountains. To add to the choices of things to do the National Science Museum is just across the street from the park.
Seoul Grand Park is a great place to visit to have a relaxing day out of the city. It is located about an hour south of Seoul itself and subway line 4 takes you right to it. We first visited in the spring of 2015 and spent almost the whole day in the zoo. We revisited this past fall (2017) and divided our time up between the zoo and the theme gardens.
We usually take the sky ride up to the first stop, and then when we’re done for the day, walk back down. There is an elephant trolley/train thing that you can also use if you don’t want to walk.
Here you can just see the amusement park in the distance. Seoul Land is not as big as Everland, but is popular nonetheless.
The Theme Garden obviously changes during the seasons and we visited just at the end of summer, beginning of fall. (The roses are said to be at their best May/June time frame.)
While the rose gardens are the main attraction we strolled around the outer edges first where there are more natural gardens, and hidden gems like this greenhouse full of herbs.
There’s also a fruit tree garden, which I guess is just another name for a fancy orchard, but it had a large selection of different fruiting trees some of which were different and intriguing.
One edge of the gardens is bordered by the lake which was quite pretty in the sunlight.
The rose gardens were beautiful with 67 different types of roses. Although at the time we visited some were past their best, others were blooming in all their glory.
The rose garden was a lovely place to stroll around, or to sit on one of the many benches to unwind and take in their beauty. A few scented varieties made their presence known and enhanced the relaxed atmosphere. We really did ‘slow down and smell the roses’.
Since we were already in the Theme Garden area we decided to visit the Children’s Zoo. Oddly this is included with the small fee for the Theme Garden and not the Zoo proper. We followed the signs which led us down and under a lakeside bridge and then back up the other side.
They have the most amazing playscape…..for goats. Unfortunately none were playing on it while we were there. The goats seemed more interested in begging for food,
as did the sheep.
Since most Korean live in urban environments they don’t really have many opportunities to encounter any animals. The idea of having animals as pets, including dog and cats, is a fairly recent thing. In the past all animals had to serve a purpose, either as working animals or food. Even so it was quite surprising to find dogs included in a zoo setting.
These were the dog cages.
The monkey area was much more hospitable. As were the areas for rabbits and other small petting zoo type animals. The children’s zoo runs classes and offers a pleasant area for Korean youngsters to become familiar with a variety of animals. But for those from pet loving countries the dog area seems unnecessarily intense, even if they are ‘working’ dogs. They were people shy and barked at anyone who came too near the bars. A supervised petting area with a couple of friendly Labradors would be much more conducive to teaching both adults and children about dogs.
Fortunately we could stop by the Meerkats on our way out to cheer ourselves back up a little. Meerkats are always fun and these had a large and interesting space full of things to climb through on onto.
Have a great day everyone.
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Photo credits to Elizabeth and Debora Marzec.
Map of Seoul Grand Park to http://grandpark.seoul.go.kr/eng_grand/grand/info/info01.jsp