Doekjin Park

A few weeks ago, my friends and I made our way to a place called Doekjin Park. There are small parks all over Korea; I have one almost across the street from my apartment. But Doekjin Park is much bigger than the average Korean park and known to be quite beautiful in late spring/early summer when the lily pads are in bloom. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. There was quite a lot to see and do there, and it was absolutely beautiful. Of course we had our customary traveling debacle, and only a moment after we arrived. Joe and I assumed (foolishly – you KNOW what happens when you assume) that there would be a multitude of places to eat near such a popular destination. WRONG! We ended grabbing some random snacks from a convenient store because there was zilch in the vicinity of the park. We joined our other friends who were smart enough to pack a lunch and had a picnic of sorts. Then we wandered around the park taking in the sights. First up was a walk across a small suspension bridge that took us to an island in the middle of the giant pond. Em’s not a fan of bridges, so she didn’t care for that quite as much. On the island, we discovered a tucked away picnic area hiding in a thicket of trees. We also discovered a restaurant, at which point we face palmed ourselves. The pond itself was full of the largest lily pads I have ever seen. It was really quite cool. Then we made our way over to the area where you can rent dragon and swan pedal boats and pedal them around the lake. The four of us got in a swan boat where I foolishly volunteered to sit in a pedaling seat. As we pedaled our way around the lake, we had many Koreans pointing at us and talking about us. Then we had a few trying to ram us. It was mostly instigated by children, but occasionally the parents were encouraging them. Trying to out pedal those devious children is probably the greatest workout I’ve ever had in my life. Once we’d made our way to safety, we stopped to enjoy the scenery and noticed some fellow waygooks taking a stroll in the park. We were staring at them, trying to figure out if we knew them and they, in turn, were doing the same.  After several minutes of this, I started laughing because I thought the whole situation was utterly ridiculous. And that’s when one of the unidentified waygooks said, “Oh, it’s Megan!”  Apparently I can be identified from 50 yards away by my laugh. Which then made our entire group start laughing. The waygooks on land, however, remain unidentified. I kind of expected someone to Facebook me about it or say something one night while I was out, but it has never happened. It remains a mystery for the ages. After our epic swan boat ride, we continued our exploration of the park discovering the random workout equipment that all Korean parks seems to have, the saddest little waterfall known to man , and several random, mostly depressing pieces of art spread throughout the park. We also found a super awesome, over sized swing. I REALLY wanted to ride it, but felt too guilty about potentially kicking some kids off of it to get a chance. Some of my other friends were not at all bothered by that prospect and took at turn. It looked like a lot of fun. Maybe next time… All in all, we had a really great day and I took a lot of great photos. I am looking forward to going back again because I hear there is a really awesome water and light show at night.  And that swing is calling my name…

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  1. Pingback: Jeonju Style « Going Left

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