Eva’s Recommendation – “Gonjiam Hwadamsup Healing Campus, Gwangju”
“Is there a place where you can view the entirety of Korea’s beautiful nature? You may ask. Of course there is! A novel arboretum where nearly all the plants you can see in Korea are planted elaborately according to different kinds of themes — I’m talking about “Gonjiam Hwadamsup”! Designed so naturally to look as if it is not artificially created, this “paradise of flowers and trees” lets you ride the monorail car and take slow walks while enjoying leisure and peace to the full!”
Address: 278, Docheogwit-ro, Docheok-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
Website: http://www.hwadamsup.com/ (Korean language support)
Fee: Adult KRW 9,000 (Group KRW 8,000) / Youth, Elderly KRW 7,000 (Group KRW 6,000) / Children KRW 6,000 (Group KRW 5,000)
Closed on: None / Closed in December-February
Business hours: Spring (March-May) 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. / Summer (June-August) 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. / Fall (September-November) 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
*KRW 500 discount for online reservations
*VISA·MASTER card payment available
Subway (Myeongdong Station -> Gonjiam Hwadamsup │Total of 2 hours 20 minutes)
Walk toward Toegye-ro 3-ga, Hanok Village Korea House Bus Stop (02151) (Approx. 7 minutes | Approx. 494m)
Take Bus 140, get off at Sinbundang Line Gangnam Station Bus Stop (22009) (Approx. 24 minutes | 5 stops)
Take bus 500-2, get off at Gonjiam 1-ri, Someori Gukbap Bus Stop (54091) (Approx. 1 hour 35 minutes | 46 stops)
Take a taxi, get off at Hwadamsup (Approx. 14 minutes | Taxi fare approx. KRW 6,900)
*Fare: One-way KRW 9,800
Experience Point 1. A slow walk, feeling the nature of Korea (3 hours)
The most effective way to enjoy the nature of Gonjiam Hwadamsup is — though it takes a little effort — to take a walk in the woods. Make a turn at the Moss Garden where moss plants grow naturally, cross the Bridge of Promises, pass the Birch Forest along the lane through the woods — it’s a slow walk that gives you a sense of physical and mental peace, and it comes naturally. In the Pine Tree Garden, you’ll be able to observe various forms of pine tree, a prominent tree in Korea; below that, you’ll pass the Potted Plant Garden, Rock Garden, Arbor Garden, Waterlily Garden, and Hydrangea Garden. You’ll find yourself immersed in the elaborate or modest beauty of the trees. In spring, there’s a festival of brightly blooming flowers, in summer, a meeting with fireflies sparkling in the summer night, and in fall, a banquet of autumn foliage that colors the woods…. At small waterfalls and charming rest areas set up here and there, you can create beautiful memories by taking souvenir photos, clasping vow locks, or piling wishing stone towers.
Experience Point 2. Appreciate nature as you ride the monorail car (10 minutes)
At Gonjiam Hwadamsup, there is a 415m long monorail that stretches from the entrance of the Moss Garden to the west to the summit, installed for the use of the elderly or the physically disabled. As you ride on it, you can appreciate the scenes of nature unfolding before you, which change with the season or altitude; thus, it has become a popular course sought by many. In spring in particular, you’ll be treated to quite a spectacle of azaleas and royal azalea blossoms underfoot, while overhead a panorama of fir or silver birch trees induces a new kind of awe.
Experience Point 3. Drinking makgeolli (rice wine) with seafood and green onion pancakes in a traditional Korean tavern (1 hour)
If you’ve walked along the path in the forest and gone to all the theme centers here and there, you’d probably be feeling hungry and your legs are most likely starting to ache quite a bit. For these people, a traditional Korean tavern and tea house awaits them in front of Wonang (“mandarin duck”) Pond near the exit of Gonjiam Hwadamsup. In this place, which embodies the antique styles of traditional Korean houses, you can enjoy green tea, burdock tea, lotus leaf tea, mulberry leaf tea, and more. If you are feeling slightly hungry, stop by the pub. Some mung bean pancake or seafood and green onion pancake, tofu with stir-fried kimchi, or acorn jelly salad, along with a glass of makgeolli (rice wine), will add some fun to the trip. If you go out to Wonang Pond for a bit and feed the fish, the mandarin ducks will approach in no time at all to show off their decorative feathers.
June Firefly Festival
June Firefly Festival
A festival where you can observe approximately 1,000 fireflies (Every June, 9:00 -11:00 p.m.)
*Time may vary due to firefly growth conditions and climate; inquire before visiting.
Viewing points that are easily overlooked – Eco Experience Center
Freshwater Fish Ecology Hall, Insect Ecology Hall, Hedgehog Observing Hall, etc.
Gonjiam Ceramic Park
You can experience the history and tradition of ceramics that go all way back to the Stone Age and continue until today; there are also various experience programs available.
– Address: 727, Gyeongchung-daero, Gonjiam-eup, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do
– Inquiries: +82-31-799-1500
– Website: http://www.ggcm.or.kr (Korean language support)
– Business hours: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
– Fee: Regular KRW 3,000 (Group of 20 or more KRW 2,000) / Children, Youth KRW 2,000 (Group KRW 1,000)
* Biennale fee applied during the Biennale period
Duration and Transportation
Gonjiam Hwadamsup (4 hours)-[On foot 33 minutes, by bus 22 minutes]-Gonjiam Ceramic Park (2 hours)
① Bus: Walk toward Doung-ri Village Hall Bus Stop (Approx. 28 minutes) – At Doung-ri Village Hall Bus Stop (38882), take Bus 37-3 – Get off at Gonjiam Terminal Bus Stop (Approx. 11 minutes) – At Gonjiam Terminal Bus Stop (38425), take Bus 300 – Get off at Ceramic Museum, Eco-Friendly Agricultural Products Processing Center Bus Stop (38413) (Approx. 7 minutes) – Walk toward Gonjiam Ceramic Park (Approx. 9 minutes)
* Fare: One-way KRW 1,250
① Taxi: Gonjiam Hwadamsup -> Gonjiam Ceramic Park (Approx. 16 minutes)
* Fare: Approx. KRW 8,100