Seoul Forest & its Wonders
First things first, I would like to capitalize on how important the first few lines of a blog is and highlight how rare it is for there to be a literal forest smack down in the middle of a city as big as Seoul. I'll be mentioning all the attractions (?) points of interests within the Seoul forest, but please be aware that I have only seen about 80% of it.
Apple Tree Path
I usually get into Seoul Forest through entrance 16, which means I am met by the Apple Tree Path and have to walk right through it!
Right now isn't exactly the season for apples, so i'm sure I haven't seen the place in its full glory. Even so, I assure you that it's wonderful; a path, uninterrupted, symmetrically filled with leafless apple trees and many fallen leaves.
Although relatively small and humble (I think it is a great initiative towards increasing local biodiversity and housing bees), the place is met with a beautiful field in which I have spotted couples taking engagement or wedding pictures on multiple occasions. If that doesn't stand for how beautiful the place is, then I don't know what would.
I've been here twice now, and based off of my experience, this is pretty seasonal as well. I say this because the first time I went was in late August, and the second was around the start of November; what I saw was starkly different.
The place was filled with various kinds of butterflies, with swarms of people chiming in and out of the little greenhouse in the mild August heat (be careful not to touch the fragile butterflies!) There's a cute stepping-stone like structure to help you cross the tiny stream of water. I would otherwise refrain from visiting in the last two months of the year as it essentially was an deserted greenhouse that only stood to remind me of the emptiness all the butterflies once filled.
Note: There's also an insect garden (separated from the butterfly garden) I would recommend visiting if that's what you're into!
This gallery had a specific name as well, but alas, I have forgotten it! It's very hard to miss and sits opposite to the butterfly and insect gardens. There's a rather regal-looking CU in the proximity as well.
To really get there, you have to take a set of stairs down, where you will be met with the greenest ivies beautifully lining every wall that surrounds you. This is also a popular picture sport (for fairies)!
As per its name, the place takes up one corner of the entire forest and houses two or so herds of deer. There's nets that separate you from them so forget about touching or petting the creatures (that's very invasive).
That is not to say that you can't get close to them though. These deer in particular seem to be rather comfortable and if anything, yearn for attention. They can get really close to the nets and will sometimes let out hilarious screams (like the attention-seeker I saw last time).
Bridge to the Han River
I'm leaving the best for last: the bridge that you can easily get on from the deer park by taking the stairs up. This part of the forest had the most beautiful and scenic views, especially because of the height that you're at. I was unable to explore any of the actual Han River parts, but walking on the bridge itself has been my favorite thing to do in Seoul Forest. It's very long and boasts different sceneries of the various parks and ponds within the forest itself.
Today I want to speak on the Topik Test--(the only official) Korean language proficiency exam administered by the Korean government. Taking the Topik exam is a great way to gain a formal gauge of one’s Korean language abilities since it is standardized, although the score is only valid for two years after taking the exam.
Today I will be recounting a little trip to Damyang Bamboo Forest in South Korea! For one weekend in early December, a couple friends and I took a short trip to Gwangju City--leaving Seoul for the last time before the weather got too cold!