[personal profile] niori_1709
To start off, I just have to say that Seoul Grand Park is gorgeous. It's a huge park with trees, open spaces and is extremely beautiful. In the winter, under a blanket of snow, it's quiet, still and stunning. In the spring and summer, some of the loveliest flowers are in bloom, painting the entire park in a dozen different colours. In the fall, the leaves turn, and the colours are the most brilliant I have ever seen. No matter what the season, Seoul Grand Park is beautiful. The park also has a number of things to do other than wandering through nature.
The Gwacheon National Science Museum and the National Museum of Contemporary Art are both in Seoul Grand Park. The amusement park Seoul Land is also there, along with a botanical garden and green house. What matters for this particular review, is the Seoul Grand Park Zoo.
The Seoul Zoo is huge. I was there a good four-five hours, and I still didn't get to see everything. The zoo is divided into sections, large ones, such as Africa Adventure and Australian Pavilion, with smaller sections, like Poultry Pavilion and Ape Pavilion, within. It's a bit confusing walking around (even with the helpful English map), but there are four paths you can take: The Tiger Path, Dolphin Path, Deer Path and Horned Owl Path. There are over 3, 400 animals, with 360 species. The species are from all over the world, and every type of animal imaginable. From birds to large predators to small herbivores. There's aquatic and land animals, as well as those that fly. Those animals come from all over the world, and are generally grouped together based on geographical location of their natural habitats.

There are your staple African animals, like elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes and zebras, that can be found in any large zoo. When it comes to large cats (a particular favourite of mine), there were lions, snow leopards, tigers, pumas and leopards. There was a large assortment of birds, from birds of prey to water fowl to tropical birds. There were reptiles of all sizes, big (crocodiles) and small (turtles). There was also marine animals like seals, sea lions and even dolphins.

There were also a lot of interactive activities, like feedings, presentations, shows and the opportunity to touch some of the animals. They happen at specific times through the day. I was only able to catch one, and that was the dolphin show.

That is the zoo as a whole, but I still have to let you know the highlights of my trip.
First up, that dolphin show I just told you about. Dolphins are my favourite animals, have been since as long as I can remember. So going to the dolphin show was a no brainer. I literally just made the show in time. It started with some funny antics from a couple of seals, and then went on to the main event: the dolphin performance. I'll admit that it wasn't as exciting as some performances I've seen (there were less tricks), and it would have been better had I been able to understand what the presenters were saying (it was, understandably, in Korean), but it was still the highlight of my day at the zoo.

The second highlight was the fact that I'm pretty sure a number of animals were legitimately showing off. Seriously, they saw a camera and they did something awesome that captivated tourists (including me). There are a few instances that stand out in my mind. First, a seal. Sadly, my memory is incapable of recalling which species of seal, but it was a big one. It was huge. As in size of a medium sized pony huge (I had no idea that seals even came in that size). I was looking at the enclosure, only half paying attention (there were a lot of seals, and I was getting tired). This seal was having none of that, because before I realized what was happening, it dove into the water, swam to the edge of the enclosure and leaned against the glass. It made me jump and either delighted or terrified any of the kids in the area. The seal stayed there for another few seconds (I'd say about ten-fifteen seconds over all), staring us all down, before it slunk back into the water. It was really cool.
Secondly, the wolves and the coyotes. Unlike the seal, this was a group effort made to show off. It was simple enough: one wolf threw back its head and howled, which prompted not only the other wolves, but the coyotes too, to join in. Wolf howls are a pretty haunting yet fairly beautiful sound, especially when there was a group of fifteen or so doing it.

Lastly, one of the bears. There were quite a few of them, but there was one who was particularly interested in the crowd outside the enclosure. It paced along the edge for awhile, before standing up on its hind legs. It waved its arms around (in a 'give me food because I'm awesome' gesture, or so I assume). It stood for a few minutes before it went back to all four legs and walked away (presumably because no one fed him for his efforts).
There was one last highlight to my trip. That last highlight was the nursery. In that nursery, there were baby animals...cute baby animals. There was a chimp, a lion and a few others, and they were all adorable. I was basically left as a little pile of sweetened goo on the floor by the time I could get out of there.

Seoul Grand Park is a lovely place to spend the day, and the zoo itself even more so. It's extremely family friendly (there are a ton of things geared towards kids, from playgrounds to photo op areas) and interesting on top of that.



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