Gamcheon Culture Village, Haedong Temple and Haeundae Beach are among the most visited places in Busan. Actually, they are so popular that have become must visit spots. People usually spend time in Busan long enough just to see the main spots. But if you have some spare time and would like to go off the beaten track, I would recommend you to visit the Hwamyeong Arboretum.
ABOUT THE ARBORETUM
Hwamyeong arboretum is the largest urban arboretum located in Busan. It lies in the valleys of Geumjeong mountain occupying over 100 000 m2 of land. Opened in 2013, Hwamyeong is the first arboretum opened for the public in the marine city.
Just before entering the botanical garden a big map of the whole place is available for the visitors. If you are wondering where to begin your walk, three recommended courses of the arboretum are already prepared at the bottom of the map. It takes between 1 hour and 1h 30 min to explore everything.
The arboretum is divided into sub-gardens. It has broadleaf trees garden (활엽수), one with flowering plants (초화원), herb garden (약초원), one with needle leaf trees (침엽수원), silicified wood (규화목원), garden with only oak trees (참나무) and fruit trees garden (유실수원). The whole place hosts around 190 000 trees of 1 052 different species. It, also, has a labyrinth garden, greenhouse, ecological park, observation deck and rest area.
The arboretum is entirely encircled by a river, which is crossed by two big bridges and few small ones.
ACTIVITIES IN THE ARBORETUM
Sitting on the outskirts of Geumjeong mountain, Hwayeong arboretum is an ideal place for people to take some time off the busy life in the city and reduce the stress. You can take a leisure walk, have a picnic with your favourite ones, relax under the trees or read a book.
Along the paths numerous benches are placed for people to stop, relax and admire nature.
Near almost every tree or plant you can find a small nameplate with information about it. So, in case you are curious about the tree’s type you can check it.
The Observation deck is located at the very end of the arboretum. It offers a view of the Nakdong river and the surrounding area.
Two binoculars are placed for visitors to enjoy a further and clearer view.
Along the arboretum there are numerous places available for relaxing. So before going to the arboretum make sure to take a picnic mat with yourself.
If you are the type of person that likes to read a book while in nature, I would advise you to take one too. But in case you forget to do so, there are few small forest libraries. The books are available for all visitors, so you can always take one to enjoy. I haven’t checked, but probably all of the books are in Korean. So, if you cannot read a book in Korean it’s better to prepare one.
I was surprised to find that there is a school in this arboretum. It’s a unique way to motivate students to study, isn’t it?
I was short of time and didn’t get a chance to explore the labyrinth garden and greenhouse but they are definitely a must for my next visit to this place.
Also, various experience programs such as woodcraft class, family-oriented nature experience program are available for free at the arboretum.
Sittting on the outskirts of Geumjeong Mountain and offering a wide variety of plants both indoors and outdoors, Hwamyeong arboretum is a perfect place for you to spent a day off the stressful life in the city. So, if you are coming to Busan I highly recommend you to check out this gorgeous place.
The arboretum works from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between March and October. And from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the months between November and February. You can enter it not later than 1 hour before closing. It is closed for January 1, New Year’s Day, Chuseok and every Monday. Admission & Parking are free.
HOW TO GET TO THE ARBORETUM
The nearest subway station is Hwamyeong Station line 2. From there you can take the town bus (금정 1, it’s green) and get off at the 9th stop Hwamyeong arboretum (화명수목원). It takes around 10 minutes. If the subway is not the most convenient option for you, you can get to Hwamyeong station by bus too. Buses 59, 126, 15, 111, 111-1, 121, 1009 go there.
For people traveling from Geumjeong-gu, they can take City Bus No. 203 to Sansung Village (around 18minutes) and from there take the Village bus No. 1 (around 10 minutes). Get off at Hwamyeong arboretum (화명수목원).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information, please contact the Hwamyeong Arboretum Management Office at (051)362-0261. You can find more information about the different plant at the following links: www.busan.go.kr