A Botanical Garden Island in Southern Korea
The same boat from Jangseungpo Port that takes travelers around Haegeumgang, the Sea Diamond of Korea, goes even further to Oedo (외도 보타니아) to allow visitors to disembark and meander around the thousands of plants that have been cultivated there before returning back to port. Tickets for this garden allow visitors to meander for about an hour and a half before they should depart. Times are kept in order to provide everyone with the most idyllic atmosphere available to enjoy and peruse the numerous flora and fauna.
Oedo is the first island in Korea to be owned and developed privately and is a marine botanical garden that is a part of the Hallyeo Maritime National Park.
It all began back in 1963 with Changho Lee and Hosook Choi, a couple that tried unsuccessfully to grow orchards of tangerines and then breed pigs on the island before deciding to grow rare plants there in 1976. With a little luck and perspiration their endeavor paid off and they opened the island to tourists for a small fee in order to maintain the land. The land has been maintained spectacularly and I’d say the fees are going towards doing that job successfully.
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A path from the dock winds visitors through the 3,000 different species of plants, some from Korea, and some from more subtropical climates. The path not only provides views of beautiful flowers but there also statues scattered throughout, a pavilion that looks Greek and a small school house that doesn’t cater to students anymore. Places of interest include the Cactus Garden, the Venus Garden, the Flower Garden, and the Stairway to Heaven. There is a cafe at the top for visitors to take a rest in and enjoy panoramic views before heading back down to the port for the 20 minute ride back to the mainland. The whole walk takes about an hour and a half. This island has been popular for some time with Korean locals, but started to gain in popularity with international visitors after being showcased in the Korean drama Winter Sonata. The lovers, Min Hyeong and Yu Jin, in the drama are reunited in the final scene in front of the house on the paradise-like island.
The son of the couple that cultivated the land told us that there’s an island just a stones throw away that they are currently trying to prepare to connect to Oedo via bridge for even more beautiful scenery in the park. It probably won’t be soon, but when it’s finished, it’d be worth a second trip for those tourists that have already been. To walk on an island that is entirely a botanical garden, a botanical garden unto itself, is really something special. It has been kept in a beautiful paradise state of being and taking the boat to get there adds to the adventure of it all.
If you’ll be headed to Geoje for a weekend away, check out the Samsung Hotel or the Daemyung Resort for a comfortable stay on the island. This was definitely a great trip out to see from Geoje Island. Combined with Haegeumgang, the Sea Diamond of Korea, the adventure out to see from the southern coast was gorgeous and fun.
경상남도 거제시 일운면 와현리 산109
109 Wahyeon-ri Irun-myeon Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea
Children (13-18): W6,000*
Children (3-12): W4,000*
Children under 2: FREE
*Geoje Island residents may receive a discount
Winter Season: 8:30am ~ 5:00pm
Summer Season: 8:00am ~ 7:00pm
Closed Seollal and the day before Seollal*
No strollers available for rent and no pets allowed.*
Directions: From Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Geoje via Jangseungpo.
Get off at Jangseungpo Terminal.
Take a taxi or a local bus to the ferry dock.
* Ferry Dock Information
Jangseungpo: + 82-55-681-6565