Suncheon Bay and Garden Expo

Suncheon City is known as Korea’s eco city, and fittingly so. We caught a train to this southern city as part of one of our long weekends. It was a sort of the spur of the moment decision as the holiday weekend crept up on us and with no plans, we took the advice of one of Dean’s teachers and headed to this coastal city. We were a little apprehensive as Suncheon barely featured in my Korean tour book but it was worthwhile visit and should perhaps be given more credit. Suncheon is near Yeosu and the train ride is just over an hour from Jeonju. 

Suncheon Bay Ecological Park is Korea’s first coastal wetland and it is listed as one of the world’s 5 major wetlands. The wetland plays an important role to migratory birds and is teeming with fauna like crabs and mudskippers. 

At the top of the hill in the background is the Yongsan Observatory.

There are boardwalks that snake over the reads with look-out spots to watch for birds and look at the mud below to see the hundreds of crabs. Walking across the wetlands you get to a rather steep hill that you can walk up to reach the Yongsan Observatory and get a good view of the wetlands. The round-trip to the observatory was a good 40 minutes and thank goodness for the breeze and the drop in humidity as the walk was rather steep and tiresome. 

Some beautiful views from the top-looking over the wetlands and to the farmlands in the distance.

Another of Suncheon’s sites is Suncheon Bay Garden. This garden was host to the 2013 World Garden Expo and is still open to the public and well maintained. Another World Expo I had never heard of, but the Garden Expo was started 150 years ago in Europe and it showcases different gardens and flora from around the world.  I think there was a ticket special while we were there as we bought tickets for 2500 won that allowed us entrance into both Suncheon Bay Eco Park and Suncheon Bay Garden, so it was a great cheap visit! 

The garden is absolutely huge and you could definitely spend a good couple hours walking around. As we got there towards the end of the day, we only had about 2.5hours to explore and we didn’t come close to seeing it all. 

There are 2 sides to the garden and they are connected by the “Bridge of Dreams”. The one side is filled with themed gardens from around the world and the other is where the Korean garden, wetlands and more “wilder” gardens are. 

A view from the gardens towards Suncheon City in the background.

The Bridge of Dreams. The walls are covered with thousands of tiles of drawings done by Korean school kids and they have drawn their dreams. As a person who loves flowers and nature, Suncheon was a great visit for me and I loved all the opportunities to take photos of the beautiful flowers. I’m definitely enjoying taking photos and learning a lot with my new camera!

A trip to Suncheon is an easy day trip from Jeonju although we did opt to spend the night at a motel as we planned on doing some more things in the area the next day.