We have been slowly hitting all the parks in Seoul and have been wanting to visit Seoul Forest because we heard that the park is very expansive, and also that you get to have some close encounters with deer! And by now you all know how much I love to get up close and personal with animals! This weekend we finally made our way over to check it out!
There are a couple of ways to get to Seoul Forest: by subway, take the Bundang line to Seoul Forest Station. Use exit 3 or 4 to get into the park.
If you are traveling by car, we used this address:
643 Seongsu 1(il)-ga 1(il)-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 성동구 성수동1가 643) which took us right to the parking lot. Parking fees are 150 won for each 5 minutes (so 1,800 won per hour), which is not bad at all.
Here is a map of the park, it’s really quite large and is right on the edge of the Han, which is a nice bonus. Scott and I are interested in riding our bikes out there next time.
Here’s a little warning I saw while in the park, so don’t forget your bug spray and keep your eyes open for snakes (we didn’t see any, so I wouldn’t worry too much).
And especially right now in summer, make sure you stay hydrated. If you forget your water, there is a CU right near the Butterfly Garden and then there is convenience store near the deer corral.
Our first stop was the Butterfly Garden that was opened in 2009, they are open from May 1st to October 31st and their hours are:
Daily from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (closed Mondays)
It’s a pretty good size garden and there were plenty of pretty butterflies just flying about including Alpine Black Swallowtails, Longtail Spangle, Yellow Swallowtail, Indian Fritillary, Cabbage White, Veined White, Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow, Grass Yellow, and Plain Tiger Butterflies. We also saw some dragonflies and little caterpillars on their way to be a beautiful butterfly.
There is also an Insect Garden, but we skipped that as I am not a fan of insects….
As we continued our trek to the deer corral, we found an bunny pen! There were a lot of bunnies and it looked like there were possible visiting hours for them, but we weren’t really sure when that was, we did “hop” in to wave hello to them all.
The park is very nice and has some great shady areas, also there are some nice waterfalls, etc for you to enjoy.
After quite a bit of walking, we made it to the deer corral! The first thing you see is a telephone booth/deer feed vending machine.
The feed for the deer is only 1,000 won (you insert you bill, push the button and then a cup drops down with feed in it). We ended up going through 7 cups of food, don’t judge me…
When we first arrived, the corral area was locked up, so we walked along the fence and only saw a few deer here and there.
But then we got to the far back, we realized that everyone hanging out in the back because of the shade. I mean you got to do what you have to do to beat the heat right?! There are a lot of deer in the corral, and they are just so pretty!
Here’s Scott with another very very hungry little deer.
The hours for going inside the corral are:
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM and 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Inside you can just get a little more up close and personal. The deer are, for the most part, very friendly. A few are a little aggressive over food and will nip the other deer to make them back away. I would just move away from any deer who was being too aggressive with the others. We also left with all of our fingers in tact and didn’t have any close calls. Deers do of course have teeth, but as long as you keep your hand flat you will be okay.
After we visited with the deer, we walked down to the Han River to enjoy the breeze coming from the water, summer is so hot here in Korea. The path down to the river leads to the Han River bike path so you can ride you bike to and through Seoul Forrest.
After the lake was the Cultural and Arts Park, which is basically a large open field. They had this manual water “pump” and digger. We had too much fun playing with them.
Continuing on, we ended up at the Sculpture Park. It’s always fun to check out the different artwork that South Korea has to offer.
And the last stop for the day was the splash park. Seoul Forest is a fun place for kids and adults alike.
During the summer, the splash fountain is open Splash 4 times a day at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM for one hour at a time.
The fountain is closed on Thursdays and during the winter (November to March) and on rainy days.
I would highly recommend a visit to this very nice park in Seoul and bring the family dog and the kids too! The park is pet friendly (as long as they are on a leash) and also offers tents to rent for those who are interested in roughing it outdoors. For the rest of us who are just day trippers, bring a mat or blanket and some food and drinks and just hang out for the day and enjoy all that Seoul Forest has to offer.