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[Drama Tour] Bucheon Lake Botanic Park, perfect weekend getaway for families

May 25, 2024 - 16:00 By Lee Si-jin
Visitors enjoy a light stroll inside Bucheon Lake Botanic Park in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, May 16. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

BUCHEON, Gyeonggi Province -- Star director Yeon Sang-ho is cementing his legacy as the country’s leading genre content creator with a string of hits such as the zombie films “Train to Busan” (2016), “Peninsula” (2020) and the fantasy horror series “Hellbound” (2021).

As the director heavily focuses on presenting monsters causing havoc in our world, many of the filming locations in Yeon’s projects have a gloomy atmosphere, traces of destruction and seem colorless.

Bucheon Lake Botanic Park, as featured in the director’s latest Netflix series “Parasyte: The Grey,” is no different. In real life, however, this dome-shpaed greenhouse is filled with beautiful flowers and plants.

The botanic park, more widely known as “Supia,” is where the lead character Jung Soo-in (Jung So-nee) -- a female who turned into a monster after an alien species called the Parasytes invade Earth -- fought against another evil alien species that threatened human survival in the series.

Though Supia was featured as one of the major battlegrounds in “Parasyte: The Grey,” it is a go-to weekend getaway for many Bucheon families and others living nearby.

Visitors enjoy a light stroll inside Bucheon Lake Botanic Park in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, May 16. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Local kindergarten children enjoy their field trip at Bucheon Lake Botanic Park. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Fascinating displays of Mediterranean, tropical and subtropical plants and flowers are visible from the entrance, while inside, the atmosphere is tranquil.

Feel free to grab a cup of coffee (or tea) from the botanic park’s cafe and head to the two-story rest areas with a sweeping view of the indoor park.

“There are many different cafes in South Korea, ranging from a pet-themed coffee shop to flower cafes. But I think this area is where the visitors can immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere created by the greenery,” a 42-year-old Bucheon resident surnamed Ryu told The Korea Herald on May 16.

Bucheon Lake Botanic Park's cafe (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Visitors take a rest at a cafe in Bucheon Lake Botanic Park. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

“I visit this place quite often with my sons as well. It is a cool place for learning too,” the mother of two added.

While the botanic park gets adults reaching for their cameras, it sparks children’s curiosity with a real-life presentation of things that they only learned through books like the baobab tree from “The Little Prince.”

Many visitors stand next to the tree and talk about Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s well-loved story.

Travelers can also head to a mini-zoo that has beetles, lizards, turtles, hamsters, parrots and macaws.

Visitors cannot feed these creatures, but the opportunity to watch the animals in person is more than enough to draw oohs and aahs from children.

Some of the plants here may be unfamiliar to many Koreans, such as the blood banana tree, plumeria rubra and Buddha coconut tree.

Take the stairs to walk along the skywalk section, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the greenhouse.

A mother and daughter observe the plants at Bucheon Lake Botanic Park in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, May 16. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

With sunlight passing through the glass windows, the green leaves and colorful flowers shine bright, creating stunning views and a captivating moment for plant lovers as well as casual visitors.

Bucheon Lake Botanic Park shines even brighter at night.

A very different atmosphere takes over at nighttime as the glass greenhouse glows with light.

The nighttime tour is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. until October.

Different sections of the botanic park are illuminated with colorful light fixtures and lanterns.

The small-sized yellow lightbulbs make some visitors feel like they are watching fireflies flutter around the park. The orange-colored lights also create a romantic ambiance, offering a memorable experience/

Bucheon Lake Botanic Park is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday with hours extended to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is 3,000 won and 2,000 won for adults and teenagers, respectively. Tickets are 1,000 won for children.

The walking trail is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible. Pets are not allowed in the botanic garden.

In this series, The Korea Herald introduces travel destinations featured in hit drama series with the hope of inspiring readers to immerse themselves in the popular scenes and sceneries of their favorite shows. -- Ed.