Semiwon Botanical Garden(세미원) , Heavenly views in Yangpyeong, South Korea

The most beautiful blooming time of Lotus in a day is in the morning rather than in the afternoon, as I heard. So I started my home early morning with my family. Usually it starts blooming in late June, matures in July and lasts till around mid-August. I always wonder how it blooms flower and seed at a same time, to be surprised.
This famous lotus garden ‘Semiwon’ (세미원) in Yangpyeong(양평) is located right next to east side of Seoul, surrounded by the Hangang river. So it is so easily accessible from Seoul or the neighboring metropolitan cities of the capital by car, bus and subway. Yangpyeong is also famous for the first officially certified organic cultivation zone in the country. It started as a small lotus garden in May 2004, became larger and larger as times go by and now leads up to 56000 square meters in the size. The government funding aiming for the natural purification properties enabled its’ scale up in wide range of areas. With these steady,elaborate and careful efforts, this now became to end up an tourist attractions where over 400,000 people has visited annually and has increased day by day. 
It consists of various kinds of lotus gardens, fountains, environment learning center, trial cultivation complex, observation pavilion and greenhouse etc. At the entrance wall, it was written ‘the garden of water and flower’ and eye-catching beautiful lotus relief represents the oriental image. Through this beautiful wall, we stopped by the lotus museum on the right side at first  with curiosity. On the 2nd floor, simple but elegant lotus-themed items were shown.
Semiwon(세미원); the garden of water and flowers

Lotus flower pattern on the Korean traditional roof tile in the lotus museum
As a fact, lotus is very familiar aquatic flower with the Korean by religious reasons related with Buddhism as well as household items in daily lives by the images of cleanliness and nobility since ancient time. People also eat all parts of it-flower, leaf and root. They make a tea with the dried petals of white lotus and dried leaves. Large leaves are used as a wrap for food especially when make boiled rice cuisine. Rhizomes (roots) are very popular cooking material in Korea. In those reasons, this has been very profitably and inextricably linked with Koreans lives and loved through so long time. The cozy stream, water fountains, dazzling lotus flowers, water lilies, upper bridge across this garden which gave us shelter from the strong sunlight.

Each single one enough evoked my admiration to this lovely heaven spots and blew off my awkward thought that why it blooms so this hot day that it will be somewhat hard to see the flowers under strong sunshine. What’s more, thanks to low wooden benches to sit on,benches and pavilion scattered here and there, we avoided early summer heat, drank water prepared ( tip; please carry enough water for your thirst) and took brief break on the low wooden bench.

Have you ever seen the lotus flower? I  was surprised at the big size of flower almost as big as your face and giant leaf as big as enough to be able to sit on it. I did not boring at all because my heart was stolen by the flowers while I didn’t recognize.
fountains being motivated from Korea traditional storage crocks
Cool fountain awaited for us composed of these traditional storage crocks which  have been used for preserving sauces or other condiments. Old times in Korean custom, people put the bowl with clean water on this crock and prayed for their wishes at the night, now recently no more. 

Path for your heart cleaning ,covered by the shape of Korea traditional washboards
Old pine tree in front of Sehanjeong pavilion(세한정)
Painting Sehando in the Sehanjeong pavilion
Newly founded Sehanjeong pavilion(
세한정), situated almost last point of this garden, got the copy of painting ‘Sehando’, standing portrait of Chusa (추사 pen name of Jeounghui Kim, 1786-1856) and wish paper to write peoples’ wishes on. Sehando is the most celebrated masterpiece painting of Chusa. His lonely, difficult, sad situation of his exile in Jeju Island was well expressed through the old pine tree and humble house. He was a famous calligraphy, epigraphist and scholar of late Joseon Dynasty of last kingdom of Korea. He got several exiles due to his position of long distance relationship of royal family (He lived under the times four kings) during his life. It was good chance to see his famous painting for me in this unexpected place. However, for all the considering that there was no relation between him and this area through his whole life, it was some strange and totally irrelevant.
Boat bridge connecting between lotus garden and Dumulmeori
People can across this bridge only when  lotus garden opens 
Those traditional flags, standing on the boat bridge, streaming in the air by the winds of river and special reproductive bridge which was connected with 62 ships and floored by the wooden panels, floating bridge of 250 meters in length and 4 meters in width, lead us into Dumulmeori(두물머리), the one of the most romantic place. Thanks to this new bridge, we could reach easily to this famous shooting spot.( possible only during being opening time of this garden. If not, you have to go another way.)

 How to get there;  
1.     Take Gyeongui Jungang subway(경의중앙선)..bound for Yongmun st.(용문역), not bound for Deokso.  >> took off at Yangsu st.(양수역), exit1 >> go straight ahead **Check subway service interval for your return because it operates a half-hourly service in general *** best choice
2.     Take bus no.167 from Cheongnyanggni(청량리역 subway line1) >> off at Yangseo cultural sport park(양서 문화체육공원) in Yangsuri(양수리
3.     Take bus 2000-1 at Gangbyeon st( 강변역subway line2) >> off same of above 2nd point.

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