Bear Tree Park: Jeondong-myeon, South Korea

The kids and I visited Bear Tree Park this week. I would have visited this park sooner, for I’d heard about the beauty of the place, but I’d also heard about the main feature of this attraction, the black bears, locked behind concrete walls. Entertaining my children over the long summer break finally got the best of me, and so we made the 40 minute trek down to see what all the fuss was about.

I must admit, we had a great time enjoying the beauty of the numerous greenhouses, lily ponds, bear sculptures, wildflower forests, roaming peacocks, forests of tree sculptures, nature paths, and yes, even feeding the pent-up bears. Make no mistake, Korea’s “zoo-type” exhibits are no San Diego Zoo, but the bears were well fed and seemed to be in good health. The one thing I wish we all could have unseen was the “pet exhibit,” which featured, of all things, beagles. Those sad puppy eyes were all my kids could handle, and they begged me to buy every one of them so that they could take them home.

I won’t go again, but I would recommend this place to families who haven’t been yet, especially during the long summer break.

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