Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 with a Garden from Heavens, Suncheon Bay
On a Big Run for Six Months from April 20 to October 20
One of the five major coastal wetlands in the world, Suncheon Bay is often called a “garden from heaven” - it is a vast mud flat thickly covered with reeds and inhabited by countless living things. Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 opened in Suncheon Bay last April 20 and will continue for six months until October 20. The event is coming into the spotlight as an experience that is both healing and beneficial for one’s health. With the number of visitors topping 1 million people just two weeks after opening, the expo is on the way to becoming one of the major tourist attractions in Korea. Let’s visit the Suncheon Bay Garden that becomes more luxuriant day by day.
Suncheon Lake Deck
Suncheon Lake Deck is the centerpiece of Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013. Charles Jencks, a garden designer with worldwide fame, designed this place. Inspired by the topography of Suncheon Bay and the Suncheon City area, it features a lake and six peaks. It’s especially impressive to observe a train of people going up in a sloping spiral.
Made with 30 containers connected to each other, Dream Bridge is the world’s first bridge art museum. It is an installation piece by artist Kang Ik-joong, who is known for designing the Korean pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010. Hangeul (Korean alphabet) letters adorn glass tiles on the outer wall of Dream Bridge. Inside the museum, one finds an exhibition of over 140,000 paintings of children from different countries expressing their hopes.
Lugworm Path is made by designer Hwang Ji-hae, who for two years in a row has been a prizewinner at the Chelsea Flower Show in the US. For Suncheon Bay Garden, the designer tri-dimensionally recreated a path that a lugworm makes in a mud flat. Several interesting places, such as a gallery, library, and mouse hole cafe, become part of this path.
Korean Traditional Garden
Korean Traditional Garden is an artwork reproducing the features of 120 traditional Korean gardens. Palace Garden (recreating the backyard of Changdeok Palace), Saint Garden (modeled after Soswaewon located in Damyang county and Seoseokji located in Yeongyang county), Wish Garden (inspired by the design of simple and friendly rural villages), and other parts of the garden catch the eyes of tourists.
Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center
This is a place where one can find out about the ecology of Suncheon Bay. You can learn different stories related to Suncheon Bay through 3D stereoscopic images in the main screen complex, visit the ecology city center, and get familiar with many different animals and plants of the bay at the ecology experience center. The Wild Zoo and Water Bird Playground located just outside of Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center are popular with children.
World Garden brings together traditional gardens from 11 countries. There’s a Dutch garden featuring the symbols of the Netherlands - tulips and a windmill. The French garden reproduces geometric ornaments of the Versailles Palace. The Chinese garden is decorated with a gazebo in a huge pond, stone ornaments, and trees. There is also an Italian garden that looks like a well-kept traditional garden of an Italian villa.
Oriental Herbs Experience Center
At Oriental Herbs Experience Center one can find out about various wild oriental herbs and receive oriental medical treatment as well as sasang physical constitution diagnosis and pulse diagnosis. What’s more, you can buy a unique souvenir such as an oriental medicine product and get interesting experiences like wire-walking and chopping medicinal herbs.
First, locate the main sightseeing places of the expo on a map…
At the entrance of the expo, stop by the information desk and get an expo guidebook and map. The expo covers an enormous area of 1,112,000㎡. If you don’t plan your visit, it is easy to miss interesting attractions.
It’s essential to wear light and comfortable shoes…
Looking around the expo takes 4~7 hours so be prepared to walk a lot and wear light, comfortable shoes.
Consider taking an electric tram…
Visitors of the expo can use six electric trams (20 person capacity) that run from 10a.m. to 6p.m. The fare is 2,000 won (about USD$1.80). The trams come at 8~10 minute intervals.
If you want to stay over…
About 50 different places - pensions (type of hotel with sparse suites), motels, etc. - can accommodate tourists at Daedae-dong located close to Suncheon Bay (a ten-minute ride by car). There is also a dormitory-type guesthouse where visitors can stay for 15,000 won (USD$13.50) per person per night.
Other attractions worth visiting and Namdo foods…
After completing a garden tour of the expo and Suncheon Bay, consider several other tourist attractions in the area that are worth visiting. Songgwangsa is one of the greatest Korean temples where monks study Buddhism. Seonamsa is the main temple of Cheontae, one of three Korean Buddhist orders. It’s also worth it to visit the Nagan castle folk village. It is a cluster of thatched-roof houses surrounded by castle walls built 500 years ago.
Nice dishes representing Namdo foods (cuisine of South Jeolla Province), such as mudskipper stew and cockle table d’hote can make your trip even more delightful.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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