Exploring Sejong: Beartree Park (베어트리파크)

20160403_142937When I first moved to Korea, everyone I met told me that spring was truly the best time here. Cherry blossoms bloom and the sun finally starts to shine again. Turns out… they were right! This weekend we picnicked in the spring sun and explored another part of Sejong: Beartree Park.

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We’d been eyeing up this park/arboretum for awhile, but it’s not exactly close to our home. While the website lists it as a Sejong City attraction, we’ve learned it’s more in the region of Sejong… and that region is pretty big.

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Beartree Park is about a 27 km drive away from our apartment in Sejong City
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Colorful koi

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In total, it took us about 1 to 1.5 hours to get there via two buses and a taxi. It was a long journey, and we were initially shocked at how expensive it was to enter (13,000/adult on the weekends), but we soon realized that it was worth it.

This park is HUGE. There are indoor and outdoor botanical gardens, hundreds of beautifully cultivated trees, wildflower gardens, a pet zoo, a koi pond, lots of wildlife, and several cafes to relax in.

It’s still early in the spring here so the flora hasn’t truly bloomed yet, but we were impressed by the obvious care that’s gone into each of the gardens. According to the park’s brochure, the park has 82 acres of land with over 1,000 different kinds of trees and over 400,000 types of flowers. This was definitely my favorite part.

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The other main attraction in the park are the bears (hence the name). The park is home to dozens of Asiatic black bears. It was pretty incredible to be so close to these animals until you consider the enclosures they’re housed in.

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Asiatic black bears are the main attraction at this park. However, their enclosures are grossly bare and the animals are trained to beg for treats.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an animal expert, and the bears seemed healthy enough. But the enclosures were crowded, concrete and seemed to have little enrichment for the animals. We watched the bears for awhile, but felt uncomfortable about it and walked on to other parts of the park. This was my least favorite part. 😦

All in all, this was a very cool place to visit in our fair city (or region), and worth the trip. You can check out my full gallery of pics by clicking here.

Getting there from Sejong City:

We took the 601 bus to the Jochiwon bus “station” (across the street from the train station.)

From there we hopped on the 801 bus. This bus runs 56 times a day. We got off at the end of the route (or near it), and took a very short cab ride (about 2,800 won) to the park.

On the way home, we skipped the cab ride and found a much better bus to take, the 960. This bus is faster than the 801, but it only runs four times a day. The bus stop is right outside the park. This 960 takes you right back to Jochiwon bus terminal.

 

 

 

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