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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Bijarim Forest, Jeju City, Jeju Province: Here stand the oldest and largest nutmeg trees in Korea.

Bijarim Forest (Hanja: As seen on the picture) is located 5.5km south of Pyeongdae Elementary School (평대초등학교/Pyeongdae Chodeunghakgyo) in 62 Bija Forest Street/Bijasup-gil, Pyeongdae-ri 3164-1 beonji, Gujwa-eup, Jeju City, Jeju Province. There are more than 2,800 nutmeg trees which are 500~800 years old, the largest such forest in the world. There are two routes to enjoy the forest, a short course taking about 40 minutes and a 90-minute course. Strollers and wheelchairs are available for the short course.

Designated as the Korean Republic Natural Monument No. 374, ‘Bijarim Forest’ has a group of about 2,800 nutmeg trees between 500 and 800 years old. They are 7-14m in height and 50-110cm in diameter. This is the largest nutmeg tree forest in the world. In the middle of the forest is an 800-year-old, called ‘Ancestor tree of the Bija trees’. The tree is the oldest tree on Jeju-do Island with height of 25 meters and girth of whopping 6 meters. 

The evergreen trees emit a lot of Phytoncide, which is said to strengthen immune system and natural healing ability of human body. Actually, nutmeg tree blossoms and the oil are said to be used as insecticides in the past. There are also rare orchids and plants growing in the forest and walkway in the forest renovated for visitors to enjoy forest walks through the wonderful forest.