Jungmun Resort’s Teddy Bear Museum is fun for all ages. Teddy bears are one of the world’s most beloved toys and as Jeju becomes, more and more of an international destination, the museum appeals to an even wider audience. The Teddy Bear Museum is a great place for adults to reminisce of their childhood days, while children frolic and play creating, what one day will be, their own memories.
The museum building is a beautiful tented glass structure that stands out in Jungmun Tourist Resort. Visitors enter the museum on the top floor and work their way down through the various displays within the building. The museum devotes a lot of its room to telling the history of the teddy bear. It is speculated that the world’s most beloved toy was named after the U.S. president Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt. Steiff, the famous German toy company, first made teddy bears in 1903 and they soon became a worldwide favorite.
Children all around the world have had teddy bears as a part of their youth. Collecting teddy bears is very popular and the museum has many unique and valuable bears on display. Examples like Winnie the Po, Paddington Bear and the classic Steiff bears with their trademark button ears are just a few of the expansive collection.
After the section devoted to the toys history, visitors get to see world history reenacted by teddy bears in clever displays. For example, the Storming of the Beach at Normandy in WWII is shown with teddy bear soldiers. There are also famous people portrayed as teddy bears, such as Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi. The displays are labeled accurately in both English and Korean.
The museum definitely has an international appeal, but there are some distinctly Korean sections; a traditional Korean wedding is the subject of one display. Little bears create the scene of an outdoor wedding with the participants in the traditional Korean Hanbok clothing. There is even an exhibit on specifically Jeju culture with the women divers, Haenyo, shown against a prop coastline. The bears are displayed wearing the traditional diver’s attire complete with black underwater masks.
The next major section of the museum is assigned to popular works of art, re-imagined with the use of teddy bears. For example, Auguste Rodin’s sculpture, The Thinker, displays a teddy bear in the iconic pose. It is a great review of art history, while at the same time laughing at and enjoying the serious works being changed into something a little more comedic.
One of the highlights of a visit to the Teddy Bear Museum has to be the gift shop. Visitors will be impressed by the range of quality products for sale including collectible bears, bags, books, mugs and even clothing. One special souvenir, the Jeju Haenyo teddy bear was made exclusively for the museum.
Photo opportunities abound outside in the Teddy Bear Garden. Wander the paths and see the large teddy bear statues with a spectacular view of the sea in the background. After a stroll in the gardens visitors can enjoy a meal or snack at the museum’s restaurant.
There is also a special exhibit that is a recreation of a European wedding celebration produced by the Steiff company. Push the button to start the music and the bears come to life for about a minute. It is beautifully executed with every bear having a unique story to tell of their part in the wedding festivities. The exhibit is located above the restaurant area.
The Teddy Bear Museum in the Jungmun resort is a chance to remember beloved childhood teddy bears and enjoy a day out in Jeju at the posh Jungmun resort. The museum has imaginative displays that entertain and even educate. Visitors can learn about the history of teddy bears, world history, famous artworks and popular celebrities as they wander the museum. The Teddy Bear Museum is a great destination with universal appeal.
The Teddy Bear museum is located in the south of Jeju Island in the Jungmun Resort Complex. Nearby attractions: Jungmun Beach, International Convention Center, Pacific Land.
For more information the museum phone number is 064-738-7600 and the website is, www.teddybearmuseum.co.kr.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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