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Sunday, 4 January 2015

National Parks in Korea, Part IV: Dadohae-Haesang National Marine Park

Dadohae-Haesang National Marine Park (Hanja: 多島海海上國立公園) was designated in December 23rd 1981 as the largest national park in South Korea, encompasses Southern Sector of Southern Jeolla Province - Sinan County, Jindo County, Wando County, Goheung County, and Yeosu City. The total area is 2,321.5 sq km (896.3 sq mi) with 1,986.6 sq km (767.0 sq mi) being marine area and 334.8 sq km (129.3 sq mi) being land area.

The warm oceanic climate supports the existence of evergreen forests with high ecological value. The magnificent islands and fantastic rock formations created from past volcanic activities offer unique beauty. 

It is also well known as a naval base and battleground for famous past admirals. Admiral Jang Bogo (?~841) of the Silla Dynasty built his sea kingdom here and Admiral Chungmugong Yi Sunshin (1545~1598) of the Joseon Dynasty had his historic battles with the Japanese navy here at Dadohae-Haesang (Cheonghaejin in Wando and Jeolla Provincial Eastern Naval HQ in Yeosu). Dadohae-Haesang attracts about 560,000 visitors annually.

Many broad-leaved evergreens such as the Camellia tree grow here due to the mild and humid climate. A total of 1,541 plant species are distributed in this area. As for animals, there are 11 mammal species, 147 bird species, 885 insect species, 13amphibious reptile species, 154 ocean water fish species, and 11 freshwater fish species. Endangered species include orchids, Otters, Snakes, and Sea corals.