Have you ever had one of those days that fill you with immense joy? My trip to Suncheon Bay Gardens 순천만국가정원 was just that. A combination of beautiful weather in a strikingly stunning place with the best company I could hope for made the day joyful. To quote The Perks of Being a Wallflower, days like this make me feel “infinite.”
I woke up early to grab coffee after late-night bussing over to Suncheon and a couple of drinks with old and new friends; after coffee, we grabbed a cab and went to the Suncheon Bay Gardens ($8,000 KRW/$6.83 USDA entry fee). Entering the gardens, you see these two mounds set in a pond with a walking bridge in-between that leads you to the spiraling pathways to the pinnacle of them.
Wandering through these manicured gardens representing different countries from around the world is a magnificent backdrop to discussing work, dreams, life, and everything on our minds.
From the manicured gardens, we wonder and grab ice cream, then make our way towards the monorail that takes you to the wetlands of the bay.
Wandering in and around the mud, water, and grasses on a built-up boardwalk, you can see the mudskipper and crabs fighting beneath you while birds hunt for their next meal. The wetlands juxtaposed against the meticulously manicured gardens make you question whether nature’s ruggedness left to run its own course or the tamed, delicate artistic vision of what nature is under human care is more beautiful. For me, s the raw beauty of the bay and its mud left the most lasting impression.
Tired and unable to finish the last quarter of the gardens that focuses on the natural beauty of Korea, we made our way to samgyeopsal 삼겹살 (Korean Barbeque, specifically pork belly) and drinks.
With bellies full, we proceeded to fill them further with delicious bingsu 빙수. Bingsu 빙수 is a shaved iced or condensed milk ice cream of sorts topped with fruit or dessert imaginable with condensed milk and Europe pored over the top. Bingsu 빙수 is one of the best summer treats imaginable.
We then hung around a man-made lake park that, despite covid, was alive and thriving with families, the young and old enjoying a cool summers breeze and being alive during covid times.
I will have to go back and explore the rest of the Suncheon Bay Gardens, but some days, some moments are hard to top, and this is one of them.
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