The Jungmun Resort is full of touristy attractions, such as the Teddy Bear Museum, the Museum of Africa, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, among others. I had less than two weeks to stay on Jeju Island, I didn’t want to pay a 6,000 won fee at each place, and I figured my appetite for touristy productions was limited. So I decided to visit only one of Jungmun Resort’s touristy constructions, and the one I picked was the Yeomiji Botanical Garden.
I first toured the outer grounds which, include among other things, a traditional Korean garden, a traditional Japanese garden, a garden modelled on a famous Italian renaissance garden, among others.
After having visited plenty of famous Japanese gardens in Japan, and having visited Italy long ago, I was not particularly impressed. I did, however, like the French maze garden.
I also liked the garden modelling the alpine wetlands of Hallasan (in the center of Jeju Island) because I have a thing for alpine gardens.
And then there is the *indoor* part of the botanical garden, which is supposedly the largest greenhouse in all of Asia.
There are lush ferns to greet you at the entrance.
There are different rooms mimicking different climates – desert, tropical forest, etc.
I was a bit disappointed because it was all too manicured. There weren’t enough plants – by which I mean, there wasn’t enough diversity of plants – to feel right to me, and they were all separated from each other too much, rather than all growing together as they actually do in a wild environment.
I realize this is supposed to be a showcase but … for some reason, it didn’t seem that satisfying to me. I guess I prefer less controlled gardens. I also felt like I wasn’t learning much from these displays.
Above is a papyrus plant, the kind which the ancient Egyptians used to make paper.
There is also an elevator to the top of the building, with a nice view.
Yeomiji Botanical Gardens is very impressive for what it is. I guess I was a bit unsatisfied because it wasn’t quite enough to make me ooh and aah with wonder, nor did it offer me any particular insight into botany or ecology.