Garden of the Morning Calm was conceptualized by Professor Han Sang-kyung (Gardening Department, Sahmyook University) while he was serving as an exchange professor in America. His vision was to create a garden that would become world-famous and spread the concept of Korean beauty throughout the world. The inspiration for the garden stemmed from a poem written by Sir Tagore, a great Indian poet, who described Korea during the Joseon Dynasty as "The Land of the Morning Calm."
The garden is the oldest private garden in Korea. Scenic walkways, beautifully manicured grass, and flower beds connect the garden's 20 different themed sections. The Sukgeun Garden is shaped like the Korean Peninsula and is carpeted with beautiful flowers on both sides representing the desire for South and North Korea to be reunited. The garden houses about 5,000 kinds of plants, including 300 varieties native to Baekdusan Mountain, known as a spiritual mountain to the Korean people. Flowers are in bloom from March to November. In addition to the beautiful foliage of the garden, there are a variety of festivals and displays held throughout the year.
Information from: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264212
1. Getting There
1. Starting from Cheongpyeong Station
If you have access to subway and can make your way to ChyeongPyeong Station, we recommend that you take the Gapyeong Circle Bus, and if possible, cover Garden of the morning calm (2-3 hours ) with Petite France (2 hours).
For example, you bus from Cheongpyeong station, you can board the first bus at 935am and expect to arrive at 10am.
Then perhaps you may wish to plan for the journey from Morning Calm starts at 1pm ( or 2pm, presuming you take your lunch at the morning calm), and you can expect to arrive at Petite France at 1 40pm ( or 240pm respectively). Expect an hourly interval between the buses, so you need to plan your schedule.
From the Cheongpyeong Station, there is only one exit which leads you to a bus stop. You can see the bus stop before you exit from the station.
Note that there is only one bus stop serving the routes in both directions, so it is best to ask the driver if it brings you to the destination. Most drivers can understand "Morning Calm" spoken in English. If not, get the Hangul version of your destination and show it to the driver.
2. Starting from ChunCheon
I was in a trip from Sokcho, hence I landed up in Chuncheon as my base to explore the Morning Calm and Petite France.
The Chuncheon station serves the ITX and is considered a mid-size station. But perhaps for this reason, the station is not exactly accessible. I was fooled when I read that I can walk 15 to 20min to the station from the town area near Dalgabi street. I have forgotten that 15-20 min by Korean standard is double the time by my standard. Maybe I have short legs.
Anyway taxi rides are relatively cheap in Chuncheon, so 3000won should save you some walking and lots of time. You definitely can save your legs for walking at the Morning Calm and Petite France. It will take you a whole day
From Chuncheon station, it is about 8 stops to Chyeongpyeong. This line, called the Jungang line is actually part of the Seoul subway map. The picture below is a snippet of the seoul subway map.
3. Starting from Seoul
I am presuming you could be stationed anywhere in Seoul. You need to proceed to stations which serves the Jungang line, which is anyone of the 7 stations highlighted in red. If you wish to get a seat, perhaps you can consider boarding at Yongsan station. The journey will take more than an hour so you wouldn't want to get caught standing the whole time. Try to minimize the number of line changing- the wait and transfer walking time will zap up your time and energy. It was the mistake I made in my previous trip and I can tell you it gives you a bad start to your days' itinerary.
2. Area Information
Admission Fees: 9000 Won
Official Website: http://morningcalm.co.kr/_ENG/html/main.php
3. Moving Around
I have been to many other parks and gardens and I must say that they have done a really good job. I was dazed by the variety of flowers and how well it compliments the landscape. If you look at the map, you may think that the garden consists of clusters of distinct themes. The transition of the gardens was so well put together, it didn't feel separate. You are aware the species of flowers are different, but yet you know it is part of a whole garden theme. Kudos to that! because while I would not say this is the best garden among my trips (Tatton Park in Chester, UK is at another scale), it has done exceptionally well in creating distinct identities without compromising on a whole garden concept.
The place is not really that large, but if you love flowers or photo-taking, it will take you 3 hours. Here are some areas which I love. Pictures are taken in May. It was unfortunately a rainy day, so taking pictures was tricky. I hope the pictures here does justice to the beauty if the garden.
4. Meal Options
There is a cafe selling coffee ONLY. The only bakery was closed. But there is a small shop selling tit bits such as biscuits and drinks, and a restaurant which serves Korean meals. We opted for the tit bits.
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