The Garden of the Morning Calm has been on my list of places to see for a long time, but I’ve never had a chance to get there because it’s pretty out of the way. Having a car in Korea can be really liberating so when we had a three day weekend we decided to make the most of it and explore some of the northern parts of Korea that we hadn’t previously visited.
Because we packed so much into one trip, we only barely made it to the Garden of the Morning Calm before closing time. The man at the ticket booth informed us that we had about 30 minutes before we needed to be out of the park. Since we had driven all that way we went ahead and got our tickets and proceeded to rush through the grounds.
I had first read about the Garden in an article by CNN Travel that named it one of the 50 most beautiful places in Korea. I base a lot of our travels off of the same article and have found myself disappointed by many of them. It’s not that I don’t think Korea is beautiful, but it seems like the article was based off of 50 beautiful photos and doesn’t necessarily represent the places I would consider Korea’s most beautiful spots. Based on that and some mixed reviews on the Garden of the Morning Calm, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wanted to find out for myself.
I am so glad we made the trek there because I absolutely fell in love with the place! It’s nestled up in the mountains and the setting is majestic. The entire area is surrounded by mountains and pine trees and carpeted with lush, green grass and flowers of every color.
There’s also a small creek running through the park with hundreds of piles of stacked rocks.
And a beautiful Korean garden with a pond and a pavilion.
To say that the Garden of the Morning Calm is the most beautiful place I’ve seen in Korea is a bold statement, but it’s one I’ll stand behind. It’s so different from your usual cultural heritage destination in Korea. I can’t speak for what it looks like during the rest of the year, but it’s certainly a great place to visit in summer and I can’t wait to check it out in all four seasons!
Hours of Operation
The Garden of the Morning Calm is open year round from 8:30am until sunset. The park is quite large (30,000㎡) so give yourself at least 1.5 – 2 hours to walk around (30 minutes does not do it justice!).
The flowers bloom from March to November and they hold many different festivals during this time: Spring Garden Festival (spring), Festival of Roses, Hydrangea and Roses of Sharon (summer), and Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints (autumn).
The park is also open until 9pm in winter for a Lighting Festival.
Free: Children under 3
5,000 – 5,500 won: Children 3-12
6,000 – 6,500 won: Students (Middle School & High School)
8,000 – 9,000 won: Adults
(Prices are higher on weekends and holidays)
255, Henghyung-ri (or 432, Sumogwon-ro), Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기 가평군 상면 수목원로 432