Gungnamji: the first man-made pond in Korea

This afternoon, my co-worker asked if I could recommend places that she could visit this fall. I immediately thought of four that I’d like to go to again: Buyeo, Buan, Mungyeong and Suncheon. I’ve been to all four places and during the past nine months, we’ve visited Buyeo three times. The quiet city is in Chungcheongbuk-do. It’s about a two hour drive from Seoul.

Most memorable on our visits to Buyeo is Gungnamji (“gung” means palace; “nam” is south and “ji” is pond). It is an artificial pond created during the reign of King Mu in the Baekje dynasty (18 BCE-660 CE). It is located in Seoodong Park.

Seodong Park (Gungnamji Pond)
Seodong Park (Gungnamji Pond)
Gungnamji is surrounded by lotus ponds
Gungnamji is surrounded by lotus ponds

The first thing that I loved about Gungnamji is that it is surrounded by smaller ponds. In the summer, these ponds are filled with lotus blossoms. Too bad that when we were there last July, it was raining heavily.

In the summer, these ponds would be filled with lotus blossoms.
In the summer, these ponds would be filled with lotus blossoms.

In one of the lotus ponds is a traditional Korean water wheel.

A traditional Korean water wheel
A traditional Korean water wheel

Here’s what will greet you from the parking lot. Sandy promenade, trees, flowering plants and a pavilion.

Gungnamji, as seen from the entrance
Gungnamji, as seen from the entrance

The pavilion is located in the middle of the pond, connected by a wooden footbridge.

The pavilion in the middle of the pond
The pavilion in the middle of the pond

Willow trees are planted along the bank of the pond. On one side, there is a traditional Korean boat.

Blue skies, willow trees, and a boat

Gungnamji is not only a beautiful pond. In the summer, a lotus festival is held here when the ponds are filled with the delicate blossoms. It is also the first artificial pond in Korea, built hundreds of years ago. Of course, the love story of Seodong and Princess Seonhwa adds to its charm.

The love story of Seodong and Princess Seonhwa
The love story of Seodong and Princess Seonhwa

There is no admission fee to Gungnamji. To visit the place, take the bus to Buyeo at Dong Seoul terminal (subway line 2 – Gangbyeon station). It’s only a 10-minute walk from the Buyeo bus terminal (or take a taxi!)

7 thoughts on “Gungnamji: the first man-made pond in Korea

  • September 3, 2011 at 1:19 am
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    This park is beautiful! Was this the shoot location for the drama “Hwang Jini” where Ha Ji Won and Jang Keun-Suk meet each other?

    Reply
    • September 3, 2011 at 7:29 am
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      Hi Teray! I haven’t seen Hwang Jini, but I think that drama was mainly shot at the Korean Folk Village in Yong-in.

      Reply
  • September 3, 2011 at 5:02 am
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    wow. very nice place… 🙂

    Reply
    • September 3, 2011 at 7:35 am
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      it is… punta ka rito

      Reply
  • September 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm
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    What a lovely place!!

    Reply
  • September 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm
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    a serene place..indeed.. 🙂

    Reply
  • September 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm
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    really beautiful!! =)

    Reply

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