October 03, 2014 08:16
Fall has come, and the leaves have already started to turn a beautiful red and yellow. The change to the autumn foliage on the Korean Peninsula started on Mt. Kumgang in North Korea last week and is expected to reach its peak in October and early November.
Gyeongnam Arboretum in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, is a good destination to view the autumn colors. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful colors without climbing a mountain while learning about natural ecosystems.
It is recommended to grab a map before entering the arboretum. It provides information about main attractions and various courses that take between one and four hours to complete.
The arboretum opened on April 5, 1993 under the name Banseong Arboretum to serve as an education center to study plants and animals. In February 2000, it was renamed Gyeongnam Arboretum, taking up an area of 580,000 sq.m and housing 2,700 species of plants.
The first sight after passing through an arched entrance made from pinewood is a forest museum. On the first floor, 12 wooden animal statues represent the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Provincial trees that have died but are worth being preserved are also displayed.
The second and third floors consist of four natural exhibition halls, showing trees, stuffed birds and insects, rocks and fossils. Visitors can learn about forest ecosystems just by walking around the museum.
There are also various botanical gardens such as a tropical plant garden, cactus garden, medicinal plant garden, potted plant greenhouse and rose and azalea gardens.
In addition to visiting these gardens, walking along a bamboo or metasequoia-lined trail is just refreshing, and the colorful foliage is so stunning this time of the year.
If visiting the arboretum with children, the zoo is not to be missed. Although there are not big animals such as tigers, lions or elephants, it does have ostriches, monkeys, donkeys, deer and rabbits.
For more information, visit http://tree.gndo.kr or call 055-254-3811.
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