Saturday, January 23, 2016

Illuminated Winter Wonderland at Garden of the Morning Calm

After spending the afternoon at Nami Island, I was excited to head on over to the Garden of the Morning Calm. I had seen photos of this place located around 80 minutes (without traffic) northeast of Seoul, but I wasn't able to make the meetup times. Yes, it was going to be cold, but the colorful illuminated scene beckoned me. The oldest private garden in South Korea, the Garden of the Morning Calm has 20 different themed sections. Although not comprising the entire 30,000 sq meter site, the illuminated area was quite vast and had plenty to see/photograph for the few hours we had. 
Particularly in the Morning Plaza and Sunken Garden sections, there were viewing platforms set up, enabling visitors to get a wider view of the spectacular sight in front of them. Thousands of bushes and wide variety of trees transformed the inky night into a wonderland worthy of Candyland, with the well-manicured bushes reminding me of gumdrops.  

The light snowfall reflected colors from the various types of lights.

The colored balls kept drawing my attention.

Set amidst a sea of blue lights, the illuminated horse and carriage added to the fairyland feel. Even the crowds of people were reduced to mere silhouettes. When we left around 7:15pm, more people will still arriving (closing time on Saturdays is at 11pm). On weekdays and Sundays, hours are from 11am-9pm; Saturday 11am-11pm.

I'd love to return to the Garden of the Morning Calm once spring rolls around. I am especially interested to see the Pond and Korean Garden sections, as these were not part of the winter feature. If a meetup group doesn't go there, I'll try the subway/shuttle bus option.
The Garden of the Morning Calm is an excellent example of the changing beauty of Korea in the seasons. Until next time...

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