Column

A Tourist Destination in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do - Spring of Hwadam Botanic Garden

WriterAdministratorDate12/10/2019

I visited Hwadam Botanic Garden, well known for its beautiful fall foliage. I had visited Hwadam Botanic Garden three or four times before, but this was my first time visiting in springtime, so I was looking forward to it.

The spring of Hwadam Botanic Garden still has the scent of Chinese plum flowers, and its Korean rosebay path is still beautiful.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

I visited Hwadam Botanic Garden, well known for its beautiful fall foliage. I had visited Hwadam Botanic Garden three or four times before, but this was my first time visiting in springtime, so I was looking forward to it.
Hwadam Botanic Garden is an arboretum established and operated by the LG Evergreen Foundation as part of its public service activities. Since the botanical garden was built on land of 1,355,371.9㎡ (around 410,000 pyeong) in April of 2006, it has been collecting and displaying around 4,000 native and exotic species in 15 themed gardens.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

If you drive, park your car in the lot and take a shuttle. It takes 15 minutes to walk after that, and you can use a lift on the way. Although the waiting line may be long, it will be a special experience.
I had previously seen two shuttle stops, at the ticket office, one for the Resort and one for Gonjiam, but I couldn't find the shuttle stop for Gonjiam anymore when I visited this time.
I checked the website of Hwadam Botanic Garden as soon as I got home. It seems they don't operate a shuttle anymore. It just said to take a taxi from Gonjiam Station.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

No one blocked my view of a huge pine tree named Cheonnyeon Hwadamsong (the thousand-year-old pine tree of Hwadam) at the entrance. It doesn’t seem as popular as before.
The tree was standing alone on the right side like a concubine expelled to a shabby room.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Hanok Jumak behind Mandarin Duck Pond
You can enjoy a wonderful view while having a cup of tea or a snack sitting at a table of Hanok Jumak. I wanted to take a rest at Hanok Jumak before going back home, but I couldn't stay longer because I had spent too much time looking around the Hwadam Botanic Garden.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img
Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Once you pass the Monorail Platform, Moss Garden, and Bridge of Promise decorated with hearts, the Korean Rosebay Hill spreads out in front of you.
After walking for a while, I started to feel hot, so I took off my jacket and walked in a short-sleeved shirt. The Korean rosebays were still in full bloom. There seem to be some abnormal changes in the climate.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img
Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Many couples hang a padlock on the bridge as a token of eternal love. The bridge was full of padlocks between the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img
Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Another attraction of Hwadam Botanic Garden is the monorail.
The monorail is generally used by older people or families with children. It’s fun just to watch.
The cute monorail passing through the green forest kept catching my eye. It seemed to operate more often now, which makes it more convenient.


Monorail ticket prices
Platform 1 - Platform 2: KRW 4,000
Platform 1 - Platform 3: KRW 6,000
Loop line: KRW 8,000

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

After crossing the Bridge of Promise decorated with hearts, I looked down at the view. I could see a ski resort in the distance, harmonizing with the cherry blossoms in full bloom. The view was more beautiful than I had seen on my way up.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

What were these grownups doing?
Soaking our feet in the water, legally!
The water was ice cold, but it would be great for cooling off in the middle of summer.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

There were a lot of people waiting in line for something. It was two conjoined trees. There was a frame in front of the trees for visitors to take a nice picture.
Conjoined trees refers to a phenomenon where the roots of two trees grow together as one through inosculation.

I saw some rest areas here and there on my way up to the Hwadam Botanic Garden. However, you aren't allowed to eat food there.
Staff members checked visitors’ bags at the entrance to prevent any food items from being brought in. It was too bad that I couldn't drink anything except mineral water from a vending machine, not even coffee.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

I smelled Chinese plum flowers somewhere.
I visited several places to see Chinese plum flowers this spring, so I could soon recognize that there were Chinese plum flowers somewhere just by their scent on the breeze.
This is the Plum Garden where you can see Chinese plum trees. The trees still looked young. Maybe it has not been long since they were planted here. The Chinese plum flowers are gone, and Chinese plums may be ripening now in the southern part of Korea. When I visited the Hwadam Botanic Garden, the Chinese plum flowers were not yet in full bloom, but were still just budding. You may be able to smell the Chinese plum flowers for a little while more.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Deutzia uniflora Shirai

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Korean abelialeaf
Korean abelialeaf is called miseon namu (fan tree) in Korea because its fruits look like a fan. It is a Korean native plant that grows only in Korea.
At a glance, Deutzia uniflora Shirai and Korean abelialeaf looked similar, so I was confused between them at first. When I looked at them closely, I saw that they were totally different.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Pay the toll!​
A pine tree leaning to the side was blocking the trail. It seemed to have grown naturally thanks to a support.
The pine tree seemed to have grown well after undergoing hardships. Some people find courage from this pine tree.
I could cool off from the heat whenever I passed by the waterfalls here and there.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

I found a grove of birch trees whose white bark was peeled off like paper. I couldn't remember if I had seen it before. Were they newly planted? I might have just passed it because I hadn't been interested before.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Daffodils were planted under the birch trees. Each daffodil looked different.
It was great that I didn’t have to go far away to see a wide range of flowers and trees.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

This tree was also a cherry blossom tree. A sign saying “Sun” was hanging on the cherry blossom tree. Its cherry blossoms were in full bloom and showing off their beauty.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

There was a nest built by a small bird. The bird might have gone out for a while because too many visitors were around. Or maybe it moved out?
Most of the trails were boardwalks, which are more comfortable for people, but they make the sound of footsteps louder, which might be annoying to birds.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

I could see salamanders that looked like transparent sundae sausage when I looked into the water up close. They were wriggling in the water.
They looked gross and cute at the same time.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

When I made it to the observation deck at the top of the hill, I could see Konjiam Resort, Jeonggwangsan Mountain, Taehwasan Mountain, and Miyeoksan Mountain, which were at the boundary between Gwangju and Yongin.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

I left some peanuts for the tree squirrels and red squirrels. I spotted a squirrel. It might not have had its meal yet.
I prefer cute little tree squirrels to big greedy red squirrels. It must be hard for squirrels, having to avoid people :,(

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

From a distance, the pine tree looked like a dragon.
The Pine Tree Garden is Korea’s largest pine tree garden, with around 1,300 specialty trees. Pine trees boast their green colors all year round, and all of them looked unique.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

The way down from the Rock/Summer View Garden to the Botanical Garden, Hydrangea Garden, and Traditional Wall Road was very winding. It took twice as long as the way up. It will take a long time to get down, so you should use the time wisely. It would be great if there were shortcuts in places for those who didn’t have much time. I think the Hwadam Botanic Garden was trying to show more things, but the way down was a bit boring.
It took two and a half hours to go down even though I walked pretty fast. Of course I took some photos on the way down. It may take over 3 hours if you want to take your time to look around and take some photos. It may take a whole day if you are going to have a meal and some coffee.

Hwadam Botanic Garden img

Information
Entry fees (Spring - Fall):
Adults KRW 10,000; Students KRW 8,000; Children KRW 6,000
Opening hours (March - June)
Weekdays: 9am-5pm
Weekends: 8:30am-5pm
Opening hours may vary by season and weather. Check the news board before your visit!
https://www.hwadamsup.com/relay/ugid/ugid_hours_charge.do
​ Video of Hwadam Botanic Garden in Spring
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0fMi1l-7Qo