The Garden of Morning Calm is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gardens near Seoul. Read on to discover everything it has to offer across all four seasons.
History of the Garden
The Garden of Morning Calm was founded by Dr. Han Sang-kyung (한상경) in 1996 as a private garden. Han was an honorary professor of Horticulture, and his passion for flora and fauna shows in this magnificent space. The garden’s name originates from the Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, who called Korea ‘the land of the morning calm’. The design and layout of the garden promote this further through softly curved paths, asymmetrical gardens, and the display of uniquely Korean plants.
I’ve lived in Korea for the past four years and have traveled extensively here since 2015, but have yet to come across such a beautiful garden. I fall in love more with every trip, discovering new areas of the garden, incredible workshop experiences, and beautiful new plant life that stays with me long after I’m gone. It’s no wonder that this is a hot spot for Korean dramas. Romance, peace, and tranquility are around every corner. Although it isn’t the easiest trip to make from Seoul, saving a day just for these gardens is certainly recommended. Plant and flower lovers need to have The Garden of Morning Calm at the top of their bucket list. Be sure to save around 3 hours in the garden. Allow yourself to wander, lounge on the grass, and enjoy the food and cafe options. I promise you won’t regret a moment.
The Four Seasons
The Garden of Morning Calm is available for visits in all four seasons. As one may expect, the plants vary depending on the time of the year. Spring boasts beautiful yellow adonis, Korean winter hazel, and blossoming buds. Considering that spring offers the most mild temperatures of the year, this makes it our top season for visiting. During the spring you can attend the garden’s Wild Flower Exhibition or Spring Festival (mid-April to late-May).
The second best season to visit is undoubtedly autumn. The garden’s neighboring Chuk-ryeong Mountain offers a beautiful canvas of yellow, red, green, and orange trees. The smell of chrysanthemums guides you under the beautiful blue skies. During the autumn season, visitors can attend one of three events: Wild Chrysanthemum Exhibition (mid-September to mid-October), Chrysanthemum Exhibition, and the Maple Festival (from October).
Taking third place on our list is summer, which many of you already know offers somewhat unbearable humidity. Despite the heat, summer offers visitors a chance to enjoy the lush greenery. This is when the most colorful flowers are in bloom, creating the perfect backdrop for photo memories. Roses, hydrangea, peony roots, horsemint, and lilies are just a few of the impressive plants visitors can meet this time of the year. During the summer, you can stop by for the Iris Festival (June), Hydrangea Exhibition (July), and the Rose of Sharon Festival.
Last, but never least, is the winter season. The garden is certainly beautiful when covered with white snow, but the real dazzlers are the rainbow Christmas lights that guide guests at night. The winter season’s silence and serenity, complemented by lounging winter birds, offers a unique opportunity for a red-nose stroll. The Lighting Festival takes place from early December until the middle of March.
There is much more to see in the gardens apart from the plants and flowers. Of course, the first thing to settle is that rumbling stomach. The garden offers a small Cottage Cafe beside the Morning Plaza offering bread and sweet drinks. For a fuller meal, be sure to check out the Korean Food Garden. Here, you can enjoy healthy Korean cuisine while enjoying the view of the Bonsai Garden (10:30am-6pm, Closed Tuesdays). For a more authentic cafe experience, head to Good Morning Coffee to enjoy tea and snacks in a traditional hanok building (10am-6pm).
Love a gift store as much as I do? The Garden of Morning Calm offers stores for all ages. Be sure to stop by the Herb Shop to buy healing, aromatic and organic products (9am-6pm). If you’re able to carry a plant back home, make a visit to the Plant Shop (9am-5pm). Lastly, a convenience store and food stalls near the entrance offer visitors a quick bite and some fun toys for children on their way out (10am-6pm). Towards the very back of the park, you’ll find the Green Store, which offers beautifully potted plants for sale as well as more delectable cafe options (10am-5:30pm).
Bus: Depart from Dong Seoul (East Seoul) Terminal or the Cheongryangri Transfer Center No. 1 – Depart at Cheongpyeong Terminal.
Subway: Gyeongchun Line to Cheongpyeong Station
ITX-Cheongchun: Depart from Yongsan Station or Cheongryangri Station and depart at Cheongpyeong Station. You can reserve train tickets in advance here or on the Kakao Taxi app.
Taxi: From the town of Cheongpyeong, a taxi to the garden will take 20 minutes and will cost around 15,000 won. You can hail a cab with the Kakao Taxi application or by calling 031-584-1183.
Bus: Take the Intra-City Bus outside of Cheongpyeong Station or Cheongpyeong Terminal. For bus times, see the map below. You can also check the real-time of the bus by downloading the Kakao or Naver maps application.
Opening Hours: 8:30AM – 7PM
Address: 432 Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do | 경기도 가평군 상면 숨오권로 432
Website: Click Here
Entrance Fees: Adults (11,000), Middle-High School Students (8,500), Kids (7,500), Discounted Adults 65+ and those with disabilities (9,000), Discounted Children (6,500)
Group Fees (>30): Adult Weekdays (10,000), Middle-High School Students Weekdays (7,500), Kids Weekdays (6,500), Discounted Adults 65+ and those with disabilities Weekdays (8,000), Discounted Children Weekdays (6,000) – For a group of 30+, please contact the garden in advance.
Notices: No smoking or alcohol. Collecting plants from the garden is illegal. Snakes and bees are living in the area, so remain on the pathways. Admission is non-refundable in case of weather. Re-entry is not possible. The loss of tickets is not covered by the garden. No pets apart from guide dogs are permitted. Tents and outdoor toys (bikes, jump rope, balls, etc.) are not permitted. Cooking, speeches, musical instruments, recording for commercial purposes, drones, helicams, and taking photos inside the flower bed are prohibited.
Accessibility: Paved pathways, guide dogs permitted.