Summer Parklife in Korea

by Naomi Blenkinsop
Groove Korea (groovekorea.com)

Summer is typically the time for much needed vacations and day trips with family and friends. Before booking an expensive trip abroad, however, check out what South Korea has to offer.  Between waterparks, resorts, theme parks and national parks spread throughout the peninsula, there’s plenty of fun ways to enjoy all that South Korea summer sun. With numerous outdoor summer festivals taking place this season, there’s now an extra incentive to take a day or weekend trip out of Seoul.  Below is just a sample of what South Korea has to offer outdoors, so whatever your plans, there’s no need to book an expensive trip with so much adventure available on your doorstep. Wherever you choose to visit in South Korea, just be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring lots of water to keep that summer heat at bay.

Bucheon Botanical Gardens

The Bucheon Botanical Gardens are a natural paradise and makes for a very educational and entertaining summer day trip or afternoon out for families and friends alike. Located conveniently at Kkachiul Station on Line 7, the Botanical Gardens display a total of 310 species and 9,975 plants in its central garden. Paying homage to its host city, the greenhouse was built in the shape of a peach flower, which is the symbol of Bucheon. Visitors have ample ground to cover with five different thematic gardens on offer, including the aquatic plant garden and the tropical plant garden. Continuing its theme of nature and natural products, the Botanical Gardens also offer soap-making classes and nature-based arts and crafts classes periodically throughout the year for adults and children at very reasonable prices. The Botanical Gardens make a great day trip especially for those with children as the Children’s Zoo and Natural Ecological Museum are nearby.

Sangnok Resort Sangnok Aquapia

Sangnok Aquapia, also known as “Water World” or “Water Paradise”, is located roughly one hour outside of Seoul in Cheonan, Chungcheonnam Province. Sangnok Aquapia is actually just one part of Sangnok Resort, which also consists of a hotel and Leisure Town. Sangnok Resort has been growing in popularity and is an ideal weekend getaway for Seoulites with one of the largest recreational complexes in Central Korea.  Aquapia also boasts one of Korea’s largest indoor waterparks with waterslides, wave pools, and hot tubs. Some of its more popular features include a 12-meter high slide, a flow rider for those who enjoy surfing and a flowing stream pool which is sure to provide plenty of excitement with its fast current and waterfall-like effects. When you’re done cooling off at Aquapia, make your way over to Sangnok Resort’s amusement park, golf course or one of their many restaurants for a change of scene.

Seogwipo Marine Park

Established in 2007, Seogwipo Provincial Marine Park on Jeju Island captures the stunning natural beauty of the island with breathtaking views of the nearby sea cliffs, other islands and blue seas. The Marine Park has quickly become a top tourist destination on Jeju Island and is recognized by UNESCO as part of the Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve. If that were not enough to entice visitors, the Marine Park is also the first national site to offer a first-hand experiential trip with whales and dolphins. Visitors can marvel at the many unique and novel marine animals and plants on the second floor of the aquarium. Or take your marine park experience to the next level and enjoy some one-on-one time with the dolphins. The dolphin trainer experience involves snorkeling and swimming with dolphins and even dolphin-diving for an unforgettable experience. Prices for the park vary depending on the activity you choose and visitors must make advance reservations for all activities with the dolphins.

Taejungdae Resort Park – Busan

Taejeongdae Resort Park is located in Busan and is considered one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Named after the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom, Taejongdae is especially famous for its rock beach.  Taejungdae should definitely be on your Busan bucket list as it offers the perfect day trip with its spectacular views of the ocean and cliffs. Visitors can also find a temple, a gun range, walking trails, hot springs, boat cruises, museums and restaurants serving the fresh fish Busan is so famous for. Although it is possible to walk or hike through the park, there are transportation options available for those who wish to take it easy. The Danubi Train Course comes highly recommended and stops at 5 different points in the park. You can get off the train at any of these stops to explore but be warned: you may have to wait up to 30 minutes to catch another train.

This is just a small sample of what South Korea has on offer during the festive summer months. It may get very hot during July and August, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of all South Korea has to offer during the season. From festivals, concerts and a wide array of parks to choose from, South Korea has your summer fun taken care of.

Bucheon Botanical Gardens

Address: 660, Gilju-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Directions: Kkachiul Station (Seoul Subway Line 7, Exit 1). Bucheon Botanical Garden is located 320m ahead on the right.

Phone number: 032-625-2811-13

Website:  www.bucheon.go.kr

Admission: Adults KRW 1,500 / Children KRW 700

Sangnok Resort Sangnok Aquapia

Address: 576, Susin-ro, Susin-myeon, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do

Directions: From Cheonan Terminal, go out from Auli Shopping Mall’s front entrance, and take either the 402 or 501 bus to Aquapia. (Estimated 50 min. ride.)  From Cheonan Station, go through the GS 25 Mart’s underground passageway located towards the right of Dongbu Plaza. When you are outside, take either the 402 or 501 bus in front of the Marathon Pharmacy and get off Aquapia. (Estimated 50 min. ride.)

Phone number: 82-41-560-9114

Website: www.sangnokresort.co.kr

Admission: Adults & Youths KRW 35,000 won / Children 29,000 won
 
Seogwipo Marine Park

Address: 132, Hwasunjungang-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Directions: Andeok Nonghyup: Jeju Intercity 700, 750, 900  Walk toward Hwasun Four-way Intersection and turn right. Continue straight for 700 m. Marine Park will be on the right.

Phone number: 064-792-7776

Website: www.marinepark.co.kr

Admission: Adults KRW 9,000 / Youths KRW 8,000 / Children (24 months and more) KRW 7,000 won (separate pricing for dolphin experience)
 
Taejungdae Resort Park – Busan

Address: 24, Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan

Directions: From Busan Station, take Bus 88 or 101 and get off at Taejongdae Cliff Bus Stop. Other buses bound for Taejongdae: No. 8, 13, 30, 88, or 101.

Phone number: 82-51-405-2004

Homepage: etour.busan.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Admission: Free of charge
 
groovekorea.com

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