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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Mulhyanggi Arboretum, Osan, Gyeonggi Province: Arboretum inside The Concrete Forest of Apartments

The Mulhyanggi Arboretum, situated in 211 Cheonghak Avenue/Cheonghak-ro, Sucheong-dong 332-4 beonji, Osan City, Gyeonggi Province, is a peaceful area where you can come to relax, but is surprisingly located amidst high-rise apartment buildings in the city center. There are many things to see at the beautifully named 330,580 sq m arboretum. Mulhyanggi means water fragrance in archaic Korean). The interesting fact about this arboretum is the arboretum is located near to the neighboring Songtan Territory, Pyeongtaek City.

There are 16 themed centers, various auxiliary facilities, and 1,601 different species of plants. The Mulhyanggi Arboretum, is a great place for a leisurely walk, and takes around two hours to see in its entirety. It is not so sublime as the Gwangneung Arboretum (Royal Tomb of King Sejo) in Namyangju, but is charming, and offers many things to see as it features variously themed centers. 

Children will have an exciting time at the Topiary Center, which can be seen from the parking lot, and the Maze Center. Other themed centers include the Pine Tree Center, the Maple Tree Center, the Fruit Tree Center, the Tendril Plant Center, the Center of Native Plants of Central Korea, the Dwarf Tree Center, the Local Crafts Tree Center, the Wet Land Ecology Center, the Center for Plants that Live in Humid Areas, the Warm Temperature Zone and Pteridophyte Center, the Functional Plant Center, the Althea Center, and the Insect Ecology Center. 

There is also an observatory made from a tree. As indicated in its name, the waters of this arboretum are clear and clean. Tadpoles swim in the wetland and Korean squirrels scurry up and down the trees. The arboretum, only an hour away from Seoul, affords city dwellers a place to relax in peace where they can experience different forms of natural beauty according to the season.

Be advised that arboretum has no shops, restaurants, or trash bins. Visitors to the site are recommended to take waste back homes and to be considerate of the environment. You can bring a lunch box and enjoy your meal at the ‘Rest Area inside the Forest’, which is a designated site for eating. The arboretum is accessible by using KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 1 to Station P159: Osan University Station/오산대역/烏山大驛.