Rediscovering the Park in Downtown Busan

Writing and Photography by Traveling Writer So-min Lee

Rediscovering the Park in Downtown Busan
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We have entered the month of June, which is abundant with the freshness of green. Early this year, the heat has struck the country, and the scorching sun is exhausting us even more as COVID-19 continues to plague our daily lives. At a time like this, people choose to visit the mountains and oceans where it is less likely to come into contact with others. Perhaps everyone is thinking the same way. Hence, the more you travel away from the city, the bigger crowd you encounter. What if we go to a park in the city instead, where social distancing in daily life is practicable? Let us take this opportunity to rediscover the leading parks in the city of Busan with the lens of a traveling writer.
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Democracy Park with a Full View of Busan

There is a park in Busan that I, a native of Seoul, write down as “the place to visit in Spring.” I’m talking about the Democracy Park in Yeongju-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, known as a famous Prunus donarium cherry blossom destination. The park attracts visitors in April as a hidden gem for taking pictures at the cherry blossom hill that is large for the size of the park. I wonder what the Democracy Park looks like in early summer.

On a sunny day in June, the Democracy Park was quiet. Green trees created large shades, and flowers and plants that grew in various locations were satisfying to the eyes. You could feel the cool breeze while walking. This might be because the park is situated on a high hill that looks down on the city of Busan from above.
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Democracy Park refers to the grass-covered Jangseung (guardian post) Yard that houses the Democratic Movement Memorial Center at the center. The park also features an exhibition hall, a theater, and an observatory. There is also a trail that surrounds the Democratic Movement Memorial Center. Democratic Struggle Memorial Building
We have reached the Democratic Struggle Memorial Building at the center of the park in no time. Unfortunately, the day I visited was a closing day, but just by looking at the size and facilities of the memorial building, we were able to understand the noble value of the place.
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If you walk over to the trail at the back of Democracy Park, you will run into a small Metasequoia Tree Road. Walking between the seemingly small but large trees, you will feel as if being at a vast forest no smaller than the Saryeoni Forest in Jeju Island. Sit by the thoughtfully built bench to take in the fresh energy of the forest.

Address

Search for Democracy Park or Democratic Struggle Memorial Building on the map.

Tip

The Jungang Park public parking lot, which can be accessed before entering Democracy Park, costs KRW 200 for every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, free parking is available for 2 hours in the parking lot inside Democracy Park.
You may picnic on the grass if you use a mat, but cooking is strictly prohibited. Restroom is available.


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Daesin Park That Features a Hinoki Cypress Forest and Reservoir

Daesin Park is located near the Democracy Park. The official name of this park is also Jungang Park, but the residents still refer to the neighborhood park as Daesin park. With its fragrant hinoki cypress scent that welcomes visitors at the entrance, the Hinoki Cypress Forest of Daesin Park received an award from the National Beautiful Forest Contest. The park used to be a controlled space to protect the catchment area, but it is open to all to come and enjoy a therapeutic walk in the forest.
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Strolling along Daesin Park, you will spot a glistening reservoir, which will make you wonder if you are in some other country. There are two reservoirs inside Daesin Park. Reservoir 1, which is close to the entrance, has many spots where you can take a rest. You’ll notice as you sit on the bench and gaze at the water that reflects the sunlight that your troubled mind is being sorted out. If you are lucky, you may catch a fountain. So leisurely take a walk, and take advantage of the whole park.

Address

Search for Daesin Park on the map

Tip

The public parking lot outside the entrance of the park is KRW 200 for 10 minutes. You may eat a simple snack on the benches or pavilions, but make sure to clean up after yourself.
Drinking water, restroom, and snack stand available.


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Hwamyeong Arboretum from a Fairytale

Hwamyeong Arboretum is the first public arboretum in Busan. It operates a diverse range of forest experience programs and owns a diverse range of plant resources as an ecosystem education venue with plant exhibitions. I parked my car at the lot and stepped into the entrance, letting out a gasp of joy. It was like walking into a scene from a fairytale! The bridge at the entrance was colorful as if crossing it would lead me to a mysterious world. I glanced at the inside and marveled at the large size.

Hwamyeong Arboretum consists of a forest exhibition room consisting of six topics including an invitation to the forest, the vitality of the awakening forest, forest in danger, and living and breathing future environment, a glass greenhouse, a needleleaf tree garden, a broadleaf tree garden, a botanic garden, and an aquatic ecosystem garden. The glass greenhouse, which is a scenic place great for taking pictures, was off limits because of COVID-19. Enjoying the wildflowers that bloomed in the great weather was more than enough to console my disappointment.
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The pristine Daecheoncheon Stream flew behind Godangbong Peak of Geumjeongsan Mountain. The water was clear, and the sound of water filled up my ears. I did not know that June was the season of blooming for so many flowers. It was as if all the wildflowers in the world had gathered here. To pay respect to the wildflowers, I pulled out my camera and took some selfies like the other visitors against the wildflower.
As the arboretum was located in the middle of the mountain, the sun set fast. If you want to take pictures with the flowers, make sure to visit early.

Address

Search for Hwamyeong Arboretum on the map

Tip

Free parking
Restroom and drink vending machine available.

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