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A Trip to the Suburbs of Seoul - Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden

WriterAdministratorDate12/10/2019

I thought that once I quit my job, I wouldn’t have to worry about the end of every month or every year.

I thought that once I quit my job, I wouldn’t have to worry about the end of every month or every year.
When I worked at a company, I always worked overtime at the end of every month due to the characteristics of my job. I was even busier at the end of every year, so I sometimes saw the sunrise of New Year’s Day on my way back home from work. I don’t know why I’m even busier now. I’m busy meeting the deadline at the end of every month, and I have too many places to visit at the end of every year.
Writers joke that the draft deadline is one of the 3D job types.
When I saw a scene of a scriptwriter racking his brain to meet the deadline, I couldn’t understand it. He could have written it in advance.
I was thinking, what's wrong with him? But now I’m writing for a living, and can understand it.
Anyway, I spent a busy end of the month. My friends and I promised to do something together with our families on the 1st of every month, like sharing a meal or going hiking. This time we decided to go on a 2-day trip. We have a little more time to spare at the beginning of every month.
Everyone generally shows reluctance when someone suggests a trip on the 1st since all of us are exhausted at the end of the month.
This time, we agreed to all meet by the evening regardless of whether someone slept late or some of us met earlier.
We decided to meet at Lake Geneva near Duchang Reservoir, Yongin where we had had a great time together last time.
In the morning on the first day, one family told us that something had come up and that they would arrive late at night.
It was great that we made a reservation for lodgings near Seoul so we could arrive whenever we could make it.

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Spring Flower Festival of Hantaek Botanical Garden
Four families were gathering from Yongin, Suwon, and Uijeongbu. Where should we go?
My friend living in Uijeongbu said that she had visited Everland and Folk Village in Yongin but had never been to Hantaek Botanical Garden where the Spring Flower Festival was held.
So naturally we decided to go to the Hantaek Botanical Garden. This time we could enjoy the Spring Flower Festival.
A long time ago there was a retreat with Gyeonggi citizens and Jeju citizens in Sanchae, Anseong. We saw the stars, enjoyed a barbecue, and talked all night. The next morning, we went to the Hantaek Botanical Garden. All of us were fascinated by the spring flowers.
I have never seen anything like the wonderful view that we saw that day, even until now. Timing is everything.
I hoped that our timing would be perfect this time.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

Spring Flower Festival of Hantaek Botanical Garden
April 27, 2019 (Sat.) - May 26, 2019 (Sun.)
Entry: Adults KRW 9,000 / 36 months - High school students KRW 6,000
Opening hours: 9am-sunset (Last entry at 6pm; opening hours may vary by season)
Open year-round
Contact: +82-31-333-3558

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

May is the most refreshing month.
Green always gives you a pleasant smile.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

Hantaek Botanical Garden consists of 36 themed gardens, and is Korea’s largest botanical garden. It has around 10 million plants totaling 9,700 species including 2,400 species of native plants and 9,700 species of exotic plants in the .66 ㎢ of land.
Hantaek Botanical Garden is designated by the Ministry of Environment as a conservation organization except for rare and endangered plant habitats.
I would have liked to know the names of some of the plants, but maybe because there were so many some didn’t have a name tag and some had the wrong tag.
For example, hydrangea had the name tag of royal azalea. I know these flowers, so I could recognize that the name tag was wrong.
The leaflet said that we should see the main 55 plants in the Hantaek Botanical Garden. We decided that names were not important, and just looked around at the flowers.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

After entering the botanical garden, my friends almost walked past the Herb & Carnivorous Plants Garden while admiring the flowers in the Four Season Garden.
When they were about to pass the Herb & Carnivorous Plants Garden, I shouted that we should go in. They almost missed the garden even though they had looked around at all the other gardens.
That Winter, the Wind Blows starring Jo in-sung and Song Hye-kyo was filmed in the Herb & Carnivorous Plants Garden. You can see a variety of herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and mint here.
I had dropped by the Herb & Carnivorous Plants Garden when I went to the Hantaek Botanical Garden last time to see pheasant's eye. At the time, I had been able to see camellias in full bloom. This time, roses greeted us.
Yesterday-today-tomorrow, of the solanaceae family, is originally from Brazil. It has white and purple flowers that bloom on one tree. Yesterday-today-tomorrow is in the greenhouse because it continues to blooming at temperatures over 15°C.
You shouldn’t eat it because it is a deadly poisonous plant. I’m not sure whether it was okay to smell it.

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This lilac tree is over 100 years old.
Do Sang-bong (1902-1977), one of the first-generation Western-style painters, loved to draw this lilac tree. His descendants saved the dying tree and donated it to Hantaek Botanical Garden.
He liked to draw lilacs whose flowers were small and densely arranged, so he was also called the lilac painter.
I searched for him on the Internet and found that one of his most popular paintings is of white lilac flowers filling a white porcelain piece, painted in 1972.

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Bees were flying around the sweet smelling flowers. This is Korean spice viburnum, which means shyness, timidity, and coward in the language of flowers.
It looks like a hive from a distance. I think that’s why the flowers had more bees around them than other flowers.

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The sunlight shined through the green leaves.
My eyes were dazzled, but I couldn’t hate it because it lit up the surroundings and brought creatures to life.
You can see flowers and green trees in the Hantaek Botanical Garden near Seoul. I love the liveliness here.

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Hantaek Botanical Garden is well known for columbines and bleeding hearts. Bleeding hearts were everywhere.
Flowers dangling from the stem looked like girls with their hair in a bunch.
Bleeding hearts, which are originally from China and Korea, mean “I will follow you” in the language of flowers. Bleeding heart is also called Asian bleeding heart and Lamprocapnos spectabilis.

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Korea’s first children's garden, built in 2006, was remodeled in 2012 with support from KT. It officially reopened its doors with a variety of hands-on facilities such as the Kids Village, Sand Playground, Energy World, and Adventure Playground.
Hantaek Botanical Garden has 5 spots for stamps. The photo above is for Stamp 5 where you can stamp Kkulbeori, the mascot of the Children's Garden.
Each stamp has its own character: The Flower Fairy who likes to play in the Border Garden for Stamp 1, the Forest Witch living in the Rest Area of the Mountain Stream Garden for Stamp 2, the Baobab with the Little Prince for Stamp 3, the Thorny Cactus in the Glass Greenhouse filled with desert and tropical plants for Stamp 4, and the Kkulbeori in the Children's Garden for Stamp 5.
If you stamp all of the characters on the mission sheet, you will get a free souvenir. I didn't get a mission sheet, so I stamped them on my leaflet.
When I was little, I was really happy whenever I got a "good job" stamp. It’s the same even now. I was happy to be able to collect all of the stamps.
If I visit the botanical garden next time, I will be sure to get the mission sheet and get all five stamps.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

I could see tulips in full bloom in the Iris Collection Garden and Hemerocallis Collection Garden.
Different colors of tulips including green, purple, red, orange, and pink were showing off their beautiful flowers, holding their heads high.
Yes. You are so beautiful!

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Korean forest poppies
Korean forest poppies means spring butterflies in the language of flowers. Its flower looks like a butterfly sitting on the stem.
Korean forest poppies have the same flower language as forest poppies, and are similar in flower shape. Forest poppies have hairy sepals and flower stalks, and a flower and leaves hang on the flower axis together at the front pit.
Korean forest poppies have non-hairy sepals and flower stalks, and only a flower hangs on the flower axis coming from the root.

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Lilac daphne is similar to lilac, which is of the genus Syringa. Lilac daphne’s fruits look like red beans.
I had thought that the purple flowers in the walls of the elementary school near my place were Korean paulownia. I guess they must be lilac daphne.
I heard that Korean paulownia has 5 sepals and lilac daphne has 4 sepals. I'll have to check later.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

This looks pretty weird.
It is fritillaria imperialis, also called crown imperial or imperial fritillary.
Crown imperial, originally from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, has very unique flowers. A cluster of flowers blooms downward under the leaves of the flower axis.
I've visited the Hantaek Botanical Garden several times, and have been to numerous botanical gardens and seen a lot of unique flowers. But this was my first time seeing imperial fritillary.
It was so unique that I could never forget it.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

I recommend that you visit the Paeonia Garden, Iris Collection Garden, Observatory, and Shrub Garden during the Spring Flower Festival, especially from May 1 to 15. You can see 400 species of peonies in the Paeonia Garden and diverse varieties of iris in the Iris Collection Garden. You can also enjoy the harmony of green trees and colorful flowers from the Observatory and look around at trees with nice smells in the Shrub Garden.
Visit the Rock Garden, Alpine Garden, Secret Garden, Climbers Garden, Perennials Garden, and Water Plants Garden from May 15 to 31. You can see small, colorful Alpine plants in the Rock Garden and Alpine Garden, and splendid perennial colonies in the Perennials Garden. I was particularly fascinated by the water irises and water lilies a few years ago, and went to the Water Plants Garden to see them.

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Columbine, diamond bluebell, Korean forest poppy, and beautiful corydalis were everywhere in the Hantaek Botanical Garden.
I looked at the columbine carefully. Its genus name is Aquilegia because of its shape, which is said to resemble an eagle’s claw. I was not really sure if the flower looked like an eagle’s claw. I realized that it was the flower petals, not the whole flowers, that looked like an eagle’s hooked claw.
In a movie I saw a long time ago, a character said that the native Americans named things by their appearance. I think that they did the same for flowers.

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You can see beautiful native flowers in the Eco-Garden and look around the Perennials Garden, Shadow Garden, Rare Plants Garden, and Water Plants Garden. The Australian Plants Greenhouse, South African Plants Greenhouse, and Middle & South American Plants Greenhouse give an exotic display and develop your fairytale imagination. In addition, the Children's Garden, Floor Fountain, and Australian Plants Greenhouse provide a variety of eco learning programs for children.

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You can see baobabs in the Australian Plants Greenhouse where the TV series Princess Hours was filmed.
You won't want to miss the Australian Plants Greenhouse, which is the main garden of the Hantaek Botanical Garden.
Native plants of Australia and New Zealand are on display in this 890-㎡ greenhouse. Australia is well known for koalas. You can also see eucalyptuses here, which are the staple food of koalas. The baobab looks mysterious.
A baobab without leaves looks like it's growing upside down.
A baobab appears in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was amazing that I could see baobabs in Korea.
I could see baobab thanks to the soap opera.
I hope to someday have the chance to travel to Madagascar and see baobabs as much as I like.

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In the past, people didn't plant flowering quince in their houses because it was said that women would have an affair if they saw the flowers.
It was also called a girl’s flower in Korea because the flower looked like a young lady.
I sometimes confuse flowering quince with red plum blossom at a distance, even though I can distinguish them from up close.

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Siebold's crab
Siebold's crab is called ageubae in Korean because its flower looks like an apple and its fruit looks like a pear. Siebold's crab means gentleness in the language of flowers.

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Korean pasque flower is called the grandmother flower in Korean because its fruit covered with white hair looks like a grandmother’s white hair.
Korean pasque flower means a sad memory in the language of flowers. According to a fairytale, an old lady ended up dying in front of her granddaughter’s house on her way to meet her granddaughter. A flower bloomed over her grave, and the old lady’s soul came back as the grandmother flower on the mountain.
A visitor saw the Korean pasque flower’s fruit, which looked like disheveled hair, and said that she had never seen grandmother flowers before. She and her friends took a lot of pictures of the grandmother flowers and their fruits with their smart phones.

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A forest commentator gives a tour in the Hantaek Botanical Garden every weekend.
Tour schedule: 10am-2:30pm (every 30 minutes; Lunch break 12pm-1pm)

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The photo above is of Enkianthus perulatus, also called white enkianthus.
Its gamopetalous flowers droop down and its oval fruits ripen facing up.
White enkianthus from Japan used to be planted for gardening. It was found that white enkianthus is actually a native species, since it was found in a valley of the broadleaf forest of Jirisan Mountain.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

The flower shown in the photo above is called midget crabapple, or Kaido crabapple. Several flowers hang on the end of a branch. The color was so beautiful!
I’m sure I've seen these flowers every spring, but they seemed new to me. I found out its correct name for the first time this year.

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Korean azalea has lighter colors than royal azalea. Royal azalea that grows at the water’s edge in the mountains is called Korean azalea.
In Korea, Korean rosebay, also called yeongdallae in a Gyeongsang-do dialect, is named the true flower because it is edible. Royal azalea is called the empty flower because it is not edible.
Baemsagol Valley and Dalgung Valley of Jirisan Mountain, Uisin Valley of Hadong in Gyeongnam, and Wolseong Valley of Geochang in Gyeongnam are well known for Korean azalea. Myeongji Valley is also popular for Korean azalea in Gyeonggi-do.
Royal azalea are now in full bloom on Hwangmaesan Mountain in Hapcheon and Illimsan Mountain in Boseong. The Royal Azalea Festival of Baraebong Peak at Jirisan Mountain and the Royal Azalea Festival of Sobaeksan Mountain in Danyang are held after mid May.

Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img
Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden img

Someone asked me whether I had seen the yellow flowers at the entrance of the botanical garden. He said that the flowers were rare and that I should see them.
I went back to the entrance and saw the flowers. The rare flower is Echinosophora koreensis Nakai, which is a native species of Korea in the Fabaceae family and summergreen shrub. It has also been found to grow in some regions of Gangwon-do.
The Yanggu Natural Habitat of Echinosophora koreensis Nakai, which is the southern boundary line for the habitats of this rare species, is designated as Natural Monument of South Korea No. 372.
You can see rare flowers as well as columbine and bleeding heart as much as you like in the Yongin Hantaek Botanical Garden. It is a great tourist destination just outside of Seoul.


Hantaek Botanical Garden
Address (land lot No.): 365, Oksan-ri, Baegam-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
+82-31-333-3558
Opening hours: 9am-sunset
Last entry: 6pm / winter 5pm (November through March)
Open year-round
Entry: Adults KRW 9,000 / Children & Teenagers KRW 6,000
Parking: Free
Public transportation: Yongin Intercity Bus Terminal, Baekam Bus Terminal → Take bus number 10-4 → Get off at Hantaek Botanical Garden
Suwon Intercity Bus Terminal → Juksan Intercity Bus Terminal → Taxi
Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal/Dong Seoul Terminal, Daejeon, Chungbuk, and other regions → Get off at Juksan Intercity Bus Terminal → Taxi
Nearby tourist destinations: Yongin Farm Park, Waujeongsa Temple, Beomnyunsa Temple, Yongin Dae Jang Geum Park, Anseong Seoil Farm, Jukjusanseong Fortress, Chiljangsa Temple