* This post is written by Ana Park, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers 2013.
The city of Suncheon is located in the province of South Jeolla. When I visited the Yeousu World Expo last year, I stayed at a hotel in Suncheon. That was how I learned about the Garden Expo.
The Suncheon International Garden Expo is located near the Suncheonman Bay, Korea’s second largest wetland and home to migratory birds. The Expo opened on April 20 and will run until October 20. It opens daily from 9-5.
It rained on the eve of our visit to the Expo, but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm to see beautiful flowers and landscapes from around the world. The exhibit is huge as the area is divided into two sides. The west side is where the Korean Garden and the wetlands are. On the east side are the different gardens of the world. One day is not enough to explore every corner and that is why visitors can opt to purchase the 2-day ticket.
The Korean Garden features a replica of Changdokgung’s Secret Garden. An octagonal Korean gazebo is also located on a hilltop and on its side is a man-made fountain. Surrounding the Korean garden are forests (that we failed to visit). There is also the wetlands area which looked like a miniature Suncheonman. Along the sidewalk are colorful flowers, a lot of which I haven’t seen before.
To get to the east side, we crossed the “Bridge of Dreams” with walls decorated with thousands of drawings on tiles by elementary Korean students.
On the other side of the Expo are the World Gardens. There is a large statue of the “Butterfly Lovers” in the middle of the Chinese Garden. The French garden has a white building and a gazebo at its far opposite. One of my favorites is the Dutch garden. The colorful tulips and the windmill made me feel like I was really in the Netherlands.
Aside from the world gardens, corporate sponsors also have their own spaces to showcase the beauty of nature.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t see everything that the Expo has to offer as we needed to go back to Seoul. I would recommend a whole day starting from the time the Expo opens until it closes at 7 o’clock. There are so many things to see for adults and kids alike. There is even a mini amusement and playground for the kiddos.
One of my favorite places at the Expo is the Bonghwa Hill, where the people walking kind of remind me of a Beatles video.
If you’re planning to visit Suncheon’s other attractions, remember to visit the Suncheon International Garden Expo first. This will save you on entrance tickets to some of Suncheon’s other tourist spots.