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Wetlands print

Eco-Tourism in Korean Wetlands

Referred to as the Olympics of Environment, the 10th Ramsar Convention was held in Changwon in Gyeongsangnam-do Province from October 28, 2008 to November 4, 2008. The conference contributed to raising public awareness of wetlands in Korea. Since the end of the conference, numerous tourists have visited and continue to visit wetlands to enjoy the beautiful nature and observe the wide range of flora and fauna.
In particular, Uponeup Wetland in Changnyeong (Gyeongsangnam-do Province), Junam Wetlands Park in Changwon (Gyeongsangnam-do Province), and Suncheonman Bay (Jeollanamdo-Province) are major eco-tour destinations in Korea. During the Ramsar Convention, they were closely observed by environmental specialists. Come and visit Korean wetlands and experience the mystery of nature.

Tip) About the Ramsar Convention

Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsThe Ramsar Convention was established by means of multinational cooperation in order to protect important wetlands serving as a habitat for birds. The Convention was first adopted in December 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, thus its name, the Ramsar Convention. The Conference of Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention convenes to make decisions on the most important items on the agenda. It assembles delegates from all member countries and is held every three years. The first Conference of the Contracting Parties, organized for the utilization of wetlands and preservation of its ecology, was held in Italy in 1980 and Korea hosted the recent 10th Conference.

Click for Ramsar Convention 2008 (English, Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish)
Uponeup Wetland – A Natural Wetland 140 million years old
Eco-Tourism in Korean Wetlands

Stradling across four towns in Changnyeong, Gyeongsangnamdo-Province (Yueo-myeon, Ibang-myeon, Daeham-myeon, and Daeji-myeon), Uponeup is the largest natural wetland in Korea. It consists of four swamps: Uponeup (1.28km²), Mokpo (0.53km²), Sajipo (0.36km²), and Jjokjibeol (0.14km²) and spans on a total area of 8.54km². The wetland area (2. 31km²), which harbors water from floods or summer monsoon, is 210 times the size of a football field. It is also known as the oldest wetland: traces of dinosaur fossil 140 million old are still preserved in the wetland.

What to See in Uponeup Wetland  
① Flora and Fauna
Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsUponeup is a valuable habitat for such endangered species as spoonbill, wildcat, and thorn lotus. It is also home to 344 plant species like bulrush and bladderwort as well as 76 species of birds such as swan and spot-billed duck. Consequently, it was put on the Ramsar List in March 1998.  

② Uponeup Wetland Eco-Observatory  
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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsLocated at the entrance to Uponeup Wetland, the Eco-Observatory exhibits various wetland wild flora and fauna with 3D models and films of the wetland.
Housed in a two-story building, the observatory is an excellent place to learn about Uponeup Wetland and its ecology. After viewing the exhibit, visitors can enjoy a leisurely inspection of the wetland.

Nearby Tourist Attractions  
<Bugok Hot Spring Tourist Resort >

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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsChangnyeong, where Uponeup Wetland is located, is also home to Bugok Hot Springs. Since ancient times, the hot spring water has been renowned for its beneficial quality and health efficacy. Every year, about 4 million tourists visit the hot spring. In particular, the sulfurous spring is known to benefit people with skin or respiratory troubles. There is also Bugok Hawaii with a wave pool and amusement park, accommodation facilities, golf courses, and other convenience facilities.

Visitor Information 

Location :Gyeongsangnam-do, Changnyeong-gun, Yueo-myeon, Sejin-ri 232
Tel :Uponeup +82-55-530-2690~2 (Korean) / Korea Travel Phone +82-55-1330 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
Website : Click here (English, Japanese, Chinese)
Transportation : Click here
Accommodation : Click here

Junam Wetlands Park – Haven for Migratory Birds
Eco-Tourism in Korean Wetlands

Junam Wetlands Park is the nation’s largest migratory bird habitat. It is located in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do Province with about 10,000 to 20,000 migratory birds flying to the park. Although it is not an actual swampy topography, it has been officially visited by Ramsar Conference participants. The Ramsar Culture Center, where visitors can learn about the Ramsar Convention and its mission, is also located in Junam. 
Since it is only an hour by car from Uponeup Wetland, many visitors come here after visiting Uponeup wetland to see white-napped cranes and Baikal teals.


What to See in Junam Wetlands Park
①Migratory Birds

Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsThe biggest attraction of Junam Wetlands Park is the migratory birds. As the nation’s largest migratory bird habitat, a migratory bird festival is held here every November. The park is also called a live natural museum or a haven for migratory birds because of the wide variety of birds that stop here to partake in its abundant food supply and great location along their migration course. Approximately 20,000 birds including the rare endangered spoonbill and kite, as well as white heron, wild goose, and teal stop here.

Tip) Things to pay attention to when watching migratory birds

- Listen for bird sounds to locate them and watch them through binoculars.
- Keep your voice down! Walk carefully!
- Not to alarm the birds, wear such neutral colors like green or brown.

②Junam Ecological Center
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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsStanding next to the Ramsar Culture Center, the Junam Ecological Center offers a variety of models and videos to better understand the park’s ecology. Visitors can view the changing landscape of Junam in its four seasons as well as stuffed wild birds and other animals.

③Ramsar Culture Center
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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsHoused in a two-story building, the Ramsar Culture Center was opened on October 28, 2008 to commemorate the hosting of the 10th Ramsar Convention in Changwon. It consists of a wetland culture gallery, wetland experience gallery, theater, and observatory, offering a variety of information and PR materials.

Visitor Information 

Location :Gyeongsangnam-do, Changwon-si, Dong-eup, Daesan-myeon
Tel: Junam Wetlands Park +82-55-212-4950 (Korean) / Korea Travel Phone +82-55-1330 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
Website : Click here (English)
Transportation : Click here
Accommodation : Click here

Junam Reservoir

Suncheonman Bay – First coastal wetland in Korea placed on the Ramsar List

Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsSuncheonman Bay is a coastal wetland comprising extensive fields of reeds and endless wetlands. It was the first coastal estuary in Korea to be put on the Ramsar list in January 2006 and recognized for its preservation utility worldwide. The bay is famous for golden fields of reeds that offer shelter for hooded cranes, a natural monument, and other migratory birds like the black faced spoonbill and swan. The S-shaped waterway provides stunning sunsets and is frequently visited by professional photographers.      

What to See  
①Fields of Reeds & Mt. Yongsan Observatory

Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsAs the venue for the annual reed festival held in October and November, the 1.2 kilometer-long field of reeds provides a perfect setting for a leisurely walk among reeds. During sunset, in particular, the reeds flutter in the wind to create a background of golden waves. Fascinated visitors love to take pictures with the reed field providing a dramatic background. To enjoy a panoramic view of the sunset landscape in Suncheonman Bay, climb up to Mt. Yongsan Observatory. You will be delighted by the harmony presented by the S-shaped waterway and the breathtaking sunset.   

②Suncheonman Bay Eco-Observatory
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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsThe observatory has CCTVs for observing migratory birds and a variety of exhibits and videos to learn about the ecology of Suncheonman Bay. It also offers various models showing the creation process of the bay, as well as a variety of plant samples and stuffed animals. 
Nearby Tourist Attractions  
① Songgwangsa Temple

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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsThe 800-year old Songgwangsa Temple is counted among the three major temples of Korea along Tongdosa in Yangsan and Haeinsa in Hapcheon. Visitors are fascinated not only by its mesmerizing natural landscape but also by the wooden cultural assets. The   Uhwagak Pavilion at the entrance is a popular photo spot for its harmony with the pond.

②Suncheon Drama Film Set
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Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsThe film set, which shows the different eras of Korea from the 1960s through the 1980s, is where the dramas Love and Ambition and East of Eden were filmed. Visitors can get a glimpse into the Korea of the past through a variety of residential houses and commercial buildings.  

Tip) Recommended Food! Namdo Hanjeongsik & Sanchaejeongsik

Eco-Tourism in Korean WetlandsJeollanam-do Province is famous for making the most delicious food in Korea. Visitors can enjoy kkomak muchim (cooked and seasoned ark shell) and a variety of jeotgal (salted seafoods) in the Beolgyo region of Suncheon or the more traditional Korean hanjeongsik consisting of rice, soup, and a wide variety of side dishes. At the entrance to Songgwangsa Temple, there is a line of restaurants offering wild greens and grilled fish that please both the eyes and mouth.
Visitor Information

Location :Jeollanam-do, Suncheon-si, Daedae-dong 162-2
Tel: Suncheonman Bay +82-61-749-3006 (Korean) / Korea Travel Phone +82-61-1330 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
Website : Click here (English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Russian)
Transportation : Click here(Korean)
Accommodation : Click here (Korean)

Suncheonman Bay Field of Reeds

Eco-Tourism in Korean Wetlands Eco-Tourism in Korean Wetlands

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