Korean Islands - Oedo
Updated: Aug 24
Wooree Tea Visits Oedo Botania Island.
After unsuccessfully trying to grow tangerines on this rocky island, a Korean couple, Lee Chang-Ho and Choi Ho-Suk, decided in the early 1970s to transform this place with rare plants. The couple spent 30 years shaping a garden, tirelessly.
The mild temperatures and the abundance of water gradually helped transform Oedo Island into an paradise garden. The 740 varieties of plants are reminiscent of Mediterranean vegetation. Open to the public, it very quickly won the hearts of Koreans.
To get to Oedo you need to take a boat. Ferries starts from various places in Geoje. If using public transport from Busan, get to Hadan Station and take an express bus (2000) to Geoje. Transfer to a local bus to take you to Jangseungoo Ferry Terminal. The bus stop is very close to the terminal. You will have 90 minutes on the island, and they will tell you the departure time - don't miss the return ferry. There are many departures every day. There will be less people on weekdays and outside holiday periods. I found a weekend during Chuseok very busy and not my style. I would also suggest you take your lunch and something to drink - as there are limited eating options on the island.
What to do:
When arrive on the Island, follow the signs all the way uphill and start your visit. Quickly, you’ll realize that Oedo Botania is a plants paradise. Along the 1.3 km long hiking trail, you’ll see rare plant species arranged according to different themes in the garden.
My first impression was of the French Riviera, walking around Nice or Cannes. The weather was beautiful, the park full of flowers.
Venus Garden, which looks like a miniature of Versailles, houses twelve sculptures as well as western-style gardens. From the observatory you have a breathtaking view of the bright blue sea and Haegeumgang Island, which you can enjoy with a relaxing cup of coffee or tea. In addition to a café, there is also a snack bar with many different delicacies.
On the way to Oedo Botania, your boat will normally stop at Haegeumgan. Make sure to book a trip which includes Haegeumgang as it is one of the most impressive natural beauties of Geoje.
Haegeumgang consists of majestic cliffs of strange shapes and natural cave. The only way to visit this island is by boat. This is considered the second most famous landmark in Geoje and has been protected since 1971.
The boat will take you very close to the cliffs to admire the rocks. Haegeumgang is also referred to by the Korea as “diamond of the sea”. It faces the Windy Hill and Oedo Island on the other side.
Check the weather, it can sometimes be a little rough and if you suffer from sea sickness take some medication before leaving.
The Oedo is not easy to get to, but are a "must visit" for those who love gardens, one that you will always remember.