The Garden of Morning Calm: More Than Just a K-Drama Filming Location

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Just over two hours away from Seoul is a massive, private estate called The Garden of Morning Calm. I found out about this place as I was looking for K-drama filming locations within or nearby Seoul. And since it was my third time in the South Korean capital, I thought of finding a place my family and I haven’t been before.

pond, garden, hanok style roof gazebo

It is called as a garden, but in reality, it’s an enormous hidden arboretum full of 5,000 kinds of plants, flowers, trees, and other elements that are very Korea. Every year, about 600,000 tourists visit this place, with the busiest months happening from March to November.

The 30,000 sqm garden was envisioned by Professor Han Sang-kyung, an honorary professor at the Horticulture Department of Sahmyook University, while he was working as an exchange professor in the United States. His idea was to create a world-renowned garden that will showcase the beauty of Korea. After years of planning and cultivation, the Garden of Morning Calm finally opened in May 11, 1996.


We went there at the beginning of the summer and the weather was perfect. It was sunny, but we still felt the spring breeze enveloping the enormous garden. We made the right decision of going here in the morning when there were still a few people roaming around the place.

Map from www.morningcalm.co.kr
There are two ways where you can begin your journey from the main entrance. We picked the one on the left side (passing by Eden and Korean theme gardens) as it’s the path closest to the Pond Garden. Saying that the place was breathtaking is an understatement. Deriving from its name, any person who walks in here will feel calm and at ease when you’re surrounded by nature.

stone structures in a garden
water wheel fountain
traditional korean house and roof
traditional korean house and roof

I also liked that visitors were very disciplined around the area. Whether they’re taking photos of flowers or having their photos taken by their companion, tourists respected one another as they enjoy going through paths and smaller gardens within the estate. I particularly liked seeing different varieties of flowers and Hanok style rooftops.

pink and lilac flowers
white, red, pink, lilac and purple flowers
pink flowers and sunshine
red flowers
purple and white flower
pink flowers

Of course, we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to have our photos taken at the famous Pond Garden where some memorable scenes of Love in the Moonlight (also known as Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, starring Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung) took place.

From Episode 3 of Love in the Moonlight. Image from www.koreandramaland.com.
pond and gazebo
pond and gazebo
three women tourists at garden
pond surrounded by trees

"Are there frogs in the pond garden?", you may ask. And my answer is yes.

If you love a good hike, you’ll be delighted to step into the Morning Calm Walk where you can see an overview of the Sunken Garden and the Plaza. We didn’t dare climb up the hilly path as we weren’t properly dressed for it.

Another part of the estate which I enjoyed the most are the little flower fields called the Road to Heaven and Moonlight Garden. Upon reaching the latter, you will find a small chapel at the top of the hill.

flower bed path
three ladies and red flowers
couple and red flowers
flowerbed path and chapel
white chapel in garden

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I love seeing those wooden benches stationed in random places. I feel like the empty benches looked lonely, but they always had a story to tell.

It was very green at the arboretum, but you can still find maple trees with red leaves. I love to go back here during autumn when the fall foliage is at its peak. I’ve never been to Korea during fall season, so that’s one thing I’d like to add in my bucket list.

senior lady on a bench
senior lady at a garden
wooden bench at the end of the wooden bridge in a garden
three ladies in a garden

The last area we visited before heading out to the main entrance is the Cloud Bridge. It’s a little difficult to take photos here because other visitors want to have their photos taken, too. And because the bridge is a hanging one, some people took their time crossing the bridge as it became wobbly.

massive garden estate in korea

We weren’t able to roam around the entire garden as we are headed to Nami Island after. This is a place in Gapyeong where I suggest you stay at least four hours. If you like a remembrance from the place, Garden of Morning Calm in Korea has plant, herb, and gift shops near the parking lot. I wish I’ve gotten the body spray which smelled so good. I forgot the name, but it’s housed in a silver spray bottle with light blue sticker.

Oh, and before I forget, if you love Park Seo Joon (like I do haha), his K-drama series She Was Pretty was filmed in the garden, too.

poster of kdrama series
kdrama hallyu star
Park Seo Joon my love. Thanks to hubby for taking my photo haha!

Will I be back? I hope so. I’ve only seen half of the estate and I’m pretty sure there’s still so much to do back there.


How to Reach The Garden of Morning Calm

By public transport, there are four ways to visit the garden: bus, subway, ITX-Cheongchun (Intercity Train Express Cheongchun) and taxi. You can find the transport information here at Morning Calm website. Ticket fees are KRW 9,500 (Adult), KRW 7,000 (Youth), and KRW 6,000 (Kid).
transport options
Image from www.morningcalm.co.kr.
Otherwise, you can opt to join Garden of Morning Calm and Nami Island Tour, which we did as we wanted to enjoy our trip without having to worry about transportation. We were picked up and dropped off at Myeongdong subway station, which was only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. It was convenient inside the bus as we got to rest in between trips. Plus, I was able to snack on my favorite kimbap on the way.


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The contents of this entry are purely my opinion and 100% honest based on my travel experience. Should you prefer to take the same tour, I included direct links to Klook for your convenience.

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