Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 3 - Where Do The Children Play?

For a Sunday in Seoul, we decided to check out the Seoul Children's Grand Park (Oerini Dae Gung Won). We entered the park through a traditional Korean gate to beautiful colours of flowers and natural scenery. There were huge Ginkos, fountains, ponds and gentle music echoing from the distance.

First we visited the "Roots Garden" and investigated fungi and root ecosystems and then through the "Korean Myths" area which was a surprisingly selva park area. We all commented repeatedly on how much more organic and peaceful this park was compared to Lotte World. This park is entirely free to the public. Eventually we found ourselves at the children's outdoor water play area, which was refreshingly created to exemplify a natural outdoor stream. Instead of bright colours, padded platforms and plastic contraptions, there were large boulders for climbing on and creating swirling, rushing water and granite stone tiles under the stream. Next was the outdoor jungle gym with slides and rope climbers and rock walls. Rohanna was on non-stop, full-speed. After lunch we strolled through the zoo area and Rohanna and Bonnie went for a very exciting wobbly camel ride. Rohanna then rode solo on a white miniature pony. We saw some stunning wild cats at the "Ferocious Animal" section of the park before Rohanna crashed out for her afternoon nap. At this point we decided to head out of the park and upon figuring out the nearest exit, we realized that we had seen approximately one fifth of what there was to do! On the way out we passed amusement rides and huge stages, a performing arts center and more and more indoor recreational buildings. What a fantastic place and all of this is FREE!

The park was once the largest amusement park in all of Asia. Previously a golf course, it was transformed into the Grand Children's Park in 1973 by the Korean government as a symbol of Korea's belief in the importance of children. It truly is a beautifully rich place to spend a day (especially if you're not rich!).

It was a long 1 hour taxi ride back to the hotel to gather our belongings and then continue on to the bus terminal where we boarded a bus to JinJu. Just over four hours later we arrived at home and Christine cooked us a great dinner. We were tuckered, but had enjoyed a spectacular and free day of fun in Seoul.

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