TALK WITH THE ANIMALS: Seoul Zoo has you covered for fun
Nature and animal enthusiasts wanting to get away from the city and Osan Air Base can find more than a day’s excursion at the Seoul Zoo.
The zoo, nestled inside the heart of Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, is the home to more than 3,400 animals belonging to about 360 species.
Visitors at the zoo are able to view numerous favorites such as lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras and various apes and monkeys. Animals indigenous to South Korea, such as Eurasian river otters, sika deer and gray wolves, are also available for viewing.
A live dolphin and sea lion show will thrill your children as they watch the aquatic mammals swim, splash and jump in the air. The show plays three times a day seven days a week.
Not content with just watching animals? Patrons can visit an open peacock and gold pheasant aviary. Male peacocks strut their stuff with their tail feathers fully open to zoogoers. Peahens regularly walk across the paths within a few feet of visitors, showing little fear.
An artificial feeding center for baby animals and birds will delight guests as young, wild creatures receive regular feeding and care. The types of animals vary depending on what animal or bird is born at the zoo.
If you tire of walking the zoo grounds, you can take the free zoo shuttle bus, which stops at several locations around the zoo. The wait time at each stop should be no more than 15 minutes.
Several dining spots are located on the zoo grounds, but Korean cuisine is normally served. Visitors can bring their own meals and snacks to eat at the many picnic tables or under a tree.
The zoo is open year-round, rain or shine, to the general public, with special late-night hours during the summer.
Visitors to Seoul Zoo might want to set aside more than a day to be able to see and enjoy all the animals and exhibits.
DIRECTIONS: Address: 102, Daegongwongwangjang-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do. By Seoul subway, take Line 4, stopping at Seoul Grand Part Station, and take exit Number 2. Road map: http://grandpark.seoul.go.kr/Eng/html/seoul/0107_road.jsp
TIMES: Summer (March to October): 9 a.m.-7 p.m., winter (November to February): 9 a.m.-6 p.m., (July 17 to Aug. 31): 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
COSTS: Adults: 3,000 won (about $3), ages 13-18: 2,000 won (about $2), 6-12: 1,000 won (about$1). Children under 6 are free.
INFORMATION: Website: http://grandpark.seoul.go.kr/Eng/html/main/main.jsp