The Korea Herald


Greet fall blooms at Suncheon Bay

Suncheonman International Garden Expo open for Chuseok holidays

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : Sept. 25, 2023 - 16:34

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A photo of the Suncheonman International Garden Expo in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province (Suncheonman International Garden Expo) A photo of the Suncheonman International Garden Expo in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province (Suncheonman International Garden Expo)

The Suncheonman International Garden Expo, which kicked off on April 1, will show off its fall flowers over the Chuseok holiday.

After first launching in 2013, the Suncheonman International Garden Expo in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, has returned for the first time in 10 years. The expo organizers said while the first edition focused on preventing urban expansion, this year's expo builds on it to include landscape gardens in wetland and urban areas, stretching across 545 hectares.

The expo, which will come to a close on Oct. 31, has shown off a variety of spring, summer and fall flowers.

Among the autumnal highlights are the more than 100 million chrysanthemums that are in full bloom during the fall season. At the Sunset Garden, visitors can see yellow, pink and red varieties of the common East Asian flower planted to resemble the sunset, flanked by red and green poinsettias. For an even more stunning view, catch the chrysanthemums at golden hour, when you can watch the actual sun set as well.

At the Narsha Garden, chrysanthemums are arranged in flower beds to resemble hooded cranes, which are birds that are native to East Asia. Fall flowers in various colors, including chrysanthemums, are also planted in various patterns around Ocheon Green Square.

The expo also includes several gardens carrying landmarks from different countries around the world. The Dutch Garden has chrysanthemums and chrysanthemum sculptures that circle around a windmill. The French Garden was modeled after the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France, and the American Garden was inspired by the botanical gardens in Virginia.

Other brilliant fall blooms around the expo include sage flowers, marigolds, red buckwheat flowers and yellow cosmos flowers.

Visitors of the expo can also check out the Suncheon Bay wetlands, with reed fields that have turned golden in the autumn. The fields, with an S-shaped stream running through it, stretch across 5.4 kilometers and is home to diverse marine life such as mudskippers and ghost crabs.

Yongsan Observatory, which can be reached via a 10-minute car ride from the Suncheonman International Garden Expo site, is another popular site to watch the sunset. Different from the view at Sunset Garden, the observatory deck allows for a bird's eye view of the stunning landscape that becomes awash in hues of gold and orange under the glow of the setting sun.

Special Chuseok activities have also been planned for the expo. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, singing contests, arm wrestling contests, ttakji, the folded paper flipping game, and shoe throwing games will be held at 2 p.m. with prizes for winners to take home after. Visitors can also try out wearing hanbok and designing reusable tote bags.

From drawing 55,000 visitors on opening day, the garden expo has seen a turnout of at least 6 million and counting, according to its last tally on Aug. 27.

“The secret behind the expo’s success is its expansion, as we have expanded it further into the city than when we first hosted the expo 10 years ago,” said an official from the Suncheonman International Garden Expo’s organizing committee.

“There are more things for our visitors to see and do."