Nikhat Parveen, (New Delhi), Suparna Mitra (Kolkata, West Bengal), Aanchal Tekriwal (Mahagama, Jharkhand), Shrishti Kalwar (Mumbai, Maharastra), Deepika Gill (Gurgaon, Haryana)
Nature can help anyone relieve stress by fresh air, looking at green leaves, at the blue skies, and white clouds above. South Korea is known for its beautiful nature and landscapes and it has been making several efforts toward green and sustainable living thanks to its abundant natural resources the country is endowed with. As said by Poetess Jeong Yeok-bok:
숲의 말없는 이야기를 , 온가슴으로 듣고 느껴보자
The silent story of the forest, listen and feel with all your heart
South Korea is a resource-abundant country. If we take a brief look at the Korean peninsula, it’s surrounded by seas and mountains. There are many sea beaches, waterfalls and forests all over the country. Let’s look at some of these:
There are many beautiful waterfalls in South Korea such as Jeongbang (정방 폭포), Cheonjeyeon waterfall (천제연 폭포), Piano Waterfall, Yongso Waterfall (용소 폭포), Jungwon Waterfall (중원 폭포), Cheondang Waterfall (천당 폭포), and Dutayeon Waterfall (두타연 폭포). In Asia, Jeongbang Waterfall is known to be the only waterfall that pours directly into the ocean. Cheonjeyeon Waterfall the name interprets ‘The pond of God.’ There are many beautiful waterfalls out there but what makes it different from others is that it is a three-tier waterfall. Dutayeon Waterfall has been habitat for South Korea’s largest lenok; a species of freshwater fish.
Some famous beaches in South Korea are Jungmun Saekdal Beach (중물 색달 해변), Jeongdongjin Beach ( 정동진 해변), Hyeopjae Beach (협재 해변), Songjeong Beach (송정 해수욕장) and Jinha Beach (진하 해수욕장). Jeongdongjin Beach is located in Gangneung, South Korea. It’s a beautiful white sand beach which offers spectacular sunrise views. Hyeopjae Beach is a black volcanic beach with a long coastline. Jinha beach, in Ulsan, the deep scent of the surrounding pine trees mixed with the sea breeze gives the beach an intimate atmosphere.
Three of the main forests in South Korea are Wondaeri Birch forest (인제 원대리 자작나무 숲), Hwadamsup (화담숲) and Bijarim Forest (비자림). Wondaeri birch forest is in Gangwon-do. The forest is covered with 700,000 birch trees. Bijarim forest in Jeju city, is home for 2,800 nutmeg yew trees which are around 500-800 years old. Hwadam Forest has over 13,000 square meters of pine tree garden in South Korea. In its Moss Garden, it is housing 30 kinds of moss located on an over 9,400 square meter area established at the foot of the mountain nearby. Other than forests, there are Botanical gardens and sanctuaries to preserve the plants, insects, and butterflies.
Some famous botanical gardens are Seoul Botanic park (서울 식물원), Asan world flower Botanical Garden (세계꽃 식물원), Ansan Botanical Garden (안산 식물원), Bear Tree Park (베어트리 파크), Namsan Botanical garden (남산 식물원), and Yeomiji botanical garden (여미지 식물원). Seoul Botanic Park is a space where a forest garden lake and marsh co-exist. Namsan Botanical garden features a large number of medicinal plants and herbs, presenting 230 species of plants. Hantaek Botanical garden features the nation’s largest botanical garden which houses a total of 9,700 plant species.
There are many arboretums which are very much popular in South Korea such as Chollipo Arboretum Foundation (천리포수목원), Daegu Arboretum, Gwangneung Forest (국립수목원), and National Arboretum of Korea. It has a history dating back since the Joseon Dynasty. The planting of large forests started during the reign of Sejo of Joseon Dynasty; and were expanded with the Korea Expressway Corporation Arboretum, Byeokchoji Culture Arboretum, Halla Arboretum, lush arboretum with over 1,100 kinds of local & subtropical plants, plus scenic walking trails; Siheung Lotus Flower Theme Park and many more tree sanctuaries beside the ocean with native and global species including magnolias and colourful maples.
Jeju is a volcanic island in South Korea, formed approximately two million years ago. It embraces four major ecosystems of biogeographic regions; alpine coniferous forest, temperate broadleaf forest, warm temperate evergreen lucidophyll forest, and temperate grassland. The core area that is protected as a national park is located in the center of Jeju Island. Like most of South Korea, Jeju-do is a safe place to visit. Locals are friendly and helpful; and theft, vandalism, and violence are virtually non-existent. In the summer, you can swim and take boat rides here. Iho Tewoo is close enough to Jeju that visitors have a choice of buses to ride: expect the journey to take around an hour.
Talking about the flora and fauna, a total of 103 species inhabit Jeju Island. These include the leopard cat, damselfish and the Jeju horse; a horse breed native to Jeju Island. Now moving onto palm trees, the Jeju Provincial Department of Forest and Environment stated that there are 3,209 of them lining the streets of Jeju. Now, what makes Jeju so special for nature lovers? Well, Jeju has a spectacular volcanic cone, the longest lava tunnel in the world, and an immense extinct volcano, Mount Halla, at the very center of the island.
We hope this article will help you plan your itinerary so you can have a wonderful and memorable trip to South Korea. Tell us where would you like to visit and spend some time with these gifts of nature?