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November 15th 2015
Published: December 9th 2015
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Our lovely pension owner gave us a lift to the bus station and we bought tickets to go to Suncheon. I think the ticket cost around six or seven thousand won. We almost ended up on the wrong bus, but the staff at the station were lovely and told us which spot our bus would pull up into. My friend remarked about how country this place felt. It is a real contrast to the city. The bus journey took about an hour and we were on one of those luxury VIP style buses with big padded reclining seats. And there were only three of us on the bus. We arrived in Suncheon at about 9:30 am. My friend was happy as there was a Dunkin' Donuts in the bus station. Apparently, they don't have them in Japan, so we headed there for breakfast. We had a very healthy breakfast of bacon and egg waffle and triple chocolate doughnut, washed down with coffee.

We needed to take the public bus to Suncheon Bay ecological park. The bus stop is really close to the bus station, cross the road, go left and then turn right at the end of the street, the bus stop is just down the street. We had just missed a bus, so we had to wait about 20 minutes for the next one. We took bus number 67 and it took about twenty minutes to reach Suncheon Bay. The bus was pretty busy and the bus driver told everyone where to get off. We crossed the road and headed to the ecological park. The weather today was gorgeous, really bright and sunny, a complete contrast to yesterday. The park was really busy, I was surprised after how quiet the tea fields had been yesterday. We bought the combination ticket for the ecological bay and the gardens for 8,000 won. This ticket is great value as the individual tickets for the ecological park and the gardens are 7,000 won and 4,000 won respectively.

We walked into the park, it was really big, a lot bigger than I had imagined. We walked over to the walkway, which leads you along a lovely path through the reeds. You could also take a boat through the reeds from here. The reeds grow taller than us humans and this is the biggest colony of reeds in Korea. The weather was really beautiful and sunny, totally different to yesterday. I think we were really lucky as yesterday the bad weather made the tea plantation look really good, but I don't think it would have had the same effect on the reeds. The walkway stretches for 1.2 kilometres. It was really nice to photograph the reeds in the sun. We reached the end of the walkway. Here we had a choice to head back or to do a little walk up the mountain. We decided to go up the mountain to get a good view of the reeds from above.

We had to cross a little bridge to get to the base of the mountain. It was one of those swaying bridges (the correct, technical name escapes me) and loads of people were jumping up and down on it, as they went across it. The path up the mountain was divided into two parts, a harder, steeper, shorter course, and a longer, more gentle slope. We took the easier route. There are a couple of different vantage points along the way to take photos of the bay. The reed s look really pretty and there are some sections, which have them grouped into circles. The cynic in me wonders if this is a natural occurrence or if it is cultivated somewhat. Guess I'll never know. It was pretty busy at the top of the monutain, so we didn't stay there for too long, just grabbed some photos.

From the ecological park, we took the bus to Suncheon Bay Gardens. The bus, number 66, doesn't come too frequently, but luckily we didn't have to wait too long. The bus stop is a little confusing, as it is in the middle of the road and it has the bus information on both sides. We almost missed it as we were standing on the wrong side. You need to be on the side facing the ecological park. The bus journey was pretty quick, it only took about 15 minutes. From the bus stop it is a five minute walk through the carp park to the entrance to the gardens. We entered via the East Gate, I would need to remember that so that we would get the right entrance for leaving later.

The gardens are huge! I think they were built for the expo a few years ago. I wish I could have visited the garden expo, but I bet it was beautiful and manic. We took a little look around the gardens, but we were starving, so we headed to the food court to fill up, and then we would enjoy the gardens better. There were quite a few options at the food court. We decided on a couple of kimbap rolls, one spicy and one regular, and bulgogi. The food was tasty and filled us up a treat. We also stopped off at one of the convenience stores to buy some ice cream for dessert.

The first part of the gardens that we explored was the theme garden. There were gardens designed to look like typical gardens in other countries. They were pretty, and we found our respective countries' gardens. I also liked the mini Busan garden. There was a big windmill so we headed to that to take some photos. There was a couple taking some photos of what looked like a proposal, but they were using a minions doll. We continued to walk around the park, we walked along by the river. There was some kind of station on the other side and there were these very futuristic pods zooming along the rails. I don't know where they were going, but if we'd had more time, I would have liked to have a ride in one.

The garden is divided into two parts by the river. We walked across the bridge to the other side. The bridge was cute, it was covered with small tiles that had pictures on them drawn by children, so sweet! There were also lots of Hangeul characters written on the bridge. Set in the bridge, there was an old school TV and on its screen was a gorgeous view of the river, such a good idea. There was a wildfowl area, I think, which had some ducks swimming about in it. It was quite small, but we took a walk along the walkway around part of it. We, then, ventured up to the Korean garden. That was really pretty. There are three parts to the garden, a Palace Garden, a Nobleman's Garden and the Garden of Hope also known as the garden of the common man. I really loved the architecture in the garden. There was also a path that would have lead us higher, I think to a lookout, but after all the walking we had done the past couple of days we were too tired to venture up it.

Instead we headed to the cafe and bought a coffee, to take us as we walked back around to the entrance. Even though the gardens are massive, it didn't take us too long to walk back to the other side. I managed to get some decent photos of the grass turrety thing in the middle of the gardens. It looked really cool from a distance. We didn't have time to walk up it. That is something I regret, but does give me a reason to return to the gardens.

We headed to the bus stop where we had got on the bus as the route continues on to the train station and the bus station. The bus stop was really busy, but when the bus came it was already packed! I pushed us to near the front, so that we could get on. I didn't know how frequently the buses ran and we didn't want to spend ages waiting for another one that could be equally as packed. The bus journey was a bit scary as it was so full, I felt that we might topple over as we went around corners. Luckily, most people got off at the train station, which wasn't too far away, the bus station is a few more stops after. We picked up our bags from the locker and headed back to the train station. We bought loads of food and snacks at Paris Baguette and the convenience store for our train journey. We took the S-train from Suncheon. It was very fancy, it is painted both outside and in. It took us almost four hours to get back to Suwon.

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