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Beautiful places to find peace near Seoul

Tourists usually pick shopping as the most enjoyable part of trip to Korea, but a trip to Korea cannot be completed without visiting at least one of the many relaxing attractions to recoup your well spent energy. You can make a trip inside a trip to one of the few tranquil destinations located only one or two hours away from Seoul.

A banquet of flowers and greenery, The Garden of Morning Calm

Within 50 minutes of Seoul is The Garden of Morning Calm, located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do. It is considered the best garden in Korea, bringing in more than 1,300,000 visitors a year. The name “Morning Calm” came from Sir Tagore, a poet from India, who described Korea as “A land of the Morning Calm.”

Designed with the concept of Korean style curves and asymmetrical balance, The Garden of Morning Calm consists of 22 themed gardens, including the romantic Eden’s Garden, expansive morning square, and Korean style garden. One of the most popular spot among tourists is Seohwayeon Pond (picture on the right), a beautiful water garden where Korean drama “Love in the Moonlight (2016)” was filmed.

 ☞ Address: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (more info)

You’ll fall in love every time you visit Ilsan Lake Park

Ilsan Lake Park

Ilsan Lake Park spans over 900,000 ㎡, making it the biggest man-made lake in East Asia. The park offers visitors a chance to relax with more than 100 species of wild flowers and 200,000 diverse trees with Dalmaji Island in the center of the lake. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll around the lake along the 7.5 km walking trail or zoom past it riding a bicycle on a 4.7-km long bike path. The park hosts International Horiculture Goyang Korea annually, and with different flowers blooming throughout the year, it’s a perfect place for a walk or a picnic.


  • ☞ Address: 595, Hosu-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)


Korea’s most beautiful library, Forest of Wisdom

Forest of Wisdom Library (Credit: Forest of Wisdom)

Within Paju Book City, there is an extraordinary library called “Forest of Wisdom.” With a height of 8 m and covering a distance of 3.1 km, the library holds more than 500,000 books that were all donated. The books are grouped by donors instead of following the traditional library classification. Forest of Wisdom is considered more as a public study room rather than a regular library. Many people enjoy coming to the Forest of Wisdom to savor the atmosphere book lovers give out rather than to actually spend their time reading. Take a stroll along the magnificent rows of books for a special experience. 

  • ☞ Address: 145, Hoedong-gil, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do
  • ☞ Directions: Hapjeong Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 6), Exit 1. Take Bus No. 2200 in front of the exit and get off at Eunseokgyo Crossroad Bus Stop.
  • ☞ Operating Hours: Open all year around (Temporary closure possible due to maintenance)
  • - Forest of Wisdom 1: 10:00-17:00
  • - Forest of Wisdom 2: 10:00-20:00
  • - Forest of Wisdom 3: Open 24 hours
  • ☞ Forest of Wisdom website: www.forestofwisdom.or.kr (Korean only)

The Botanical Garden BCJ (Byeokchoji), a picture perfect setting

The Botanical Garden BCJ (Byeokchoji)

The Botanical Garden BCJ, located in Paju, is a garden perfect for walking with mostly flat path. You can find wedding couples taking photos all year round as this attraction is one of the best places to take pictures. As a film location for many Korean dramas, commercials, and movies such as “My love from the Star (2013),” “Descendants of the Sun (2016),” and “The Handmaiden (2016),” The Botanical Garden BCJ offers picturesque photo backdrops, so feel free to take photos and complete your Korea trip with an everlasting memory.


  • ☞ Address: 242, Buheung-ro, Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)

>> More Info

  • ☞ Gapyeong-gun Cultural Tourism website: http://www.gp.go.kr/eng/index.do (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • ☞ Goyang-si Cultural Tourism website: http://www.goyang.go.kr/en/ (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • ☞ Paju Cultural Tourism website: tour.paju.go.kr (Korean only)
  • ☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

* This column was last updated in May 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.