If you ever ask Jeju children for the island’s modes of transport you might be surprised to hear train among the answers.
This is thanks entirely to Eco Land, a theme park for kids built in prime gotjawal forest on the slopes of Mt. Hallasan. Its main attraction is its 18th century Baldwin steam train, specially manufactured in the UK.
The park is situated amid the stunning scenery of Jeju’s volcanic forest, in Gyorae-ri, Jocheon-eup. Around 45 minutes from the city, the air is fresher and the mood lighter.
There are plenty of forests around to enjoy, but the attraction of Eco Land is that kids can jump abroad a train which ‘choo choos’ through the forest allowing passengers to enjoy a variety of plants, animals and insects as it dissects the woodlands.
Kids really have no shortage of things to keep them occupied so leave an absolute minimum of an an hour for the whole circuit, and much more if you want to enjoy your time.
The train departs from Main Station every 8 minutes or so and alights at four stops: Eco Bridge Station, Lake Side Station, Picnic Garden Station and Lavendar, Green Tea and Rose Garden Station.
The highlights at Lake Side include the huge Dutch-style windmill which is likely to be overshadowed (for the kids) by the “bumper boats” (bumper-car-like mini hovercraft). For an additional fee of 7,000 to 9,000 won kids can battle it out while parents relax on the nearby Cafe-over-Water.
▲ Photo courtesy Eco Land
Picnic Garden sounds like it might be a chance to wind down, but the Eco Trail with 2km of walking paths includes topiary-making (additional charge), barefoot scoria walks, gotjawal forest walk and healing (reservation required), eco-theraphy and Shetland ponies.
As if there wasn’t enough for them to do already, over the tracks from the Eco Trail is Kids Town with a Grass Plaza and New Kids Town with more play areas and playhouses.
Eco Land is great for kids, but there are also picnic spots and cafes for the adults to unwind in while the kids are frolicking in the woods, or learning about the local environment.
1278-169, Beonyeong-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
064-802-8000 / ecolandjeju.co.kr
Adults 12,000 won / Teens (ages 13-18) 10,000 won / Children (ages 3-12) 8,000 won
*Group discounts available.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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