The Upo Wetlands: A Worthwhile Day Trip from Busan

294
CHB

A little-known but rewarding day trip from Busan, the Upo Wetlands are situated in Changnyeong County about 150 kilometers to the northwest. The wetlands consist of four marshy expanses. Upo in the center is the largest, with Sajipo on its east, Mokpo on its north and Jjokjibeol on its west. They are clustered close together just east of the Nakdong River, to which they were originally connected when they formed 6,000 years ago. (The other theory is that they are 140 million years old.)

These wetlands are an ideal spot for nature lovers and anyone interested in ecology, because, since 1962, they have been officially designated a nature zone under some name or other, finally becoming registered in 1998 with the Ramsar Convention, which is devoted to protecting waterfowl habitats around the world.

More than anything else, Upo is a birdwatcher’s paradise: resident species include turtle doves and magpies, while the crested ibis, Eurasian spoonbill and whooping swan arrive in winter. In summer, the black-crowned night heron, great egret and grey heron migrate here; the common snipe, greenshank and green sandpiper all pass through.

In all, birds from as far away as Siberia and Australia harbor here at some time in the year. During their stay, these birds become part of the wetlands’ ecosystem by feeding on numerous species of aquatic plants, which can be seen on and around the muddy-watery surface. The wetlands are also home to an abundance of fish, snails and insects on which the birds feed. Thus, they are part of an organic whole in which all life forms from the bacteria in the silt to the birds and insects in the tree tops are interdependent.

When you are dropped off at the main entrance, you will see a tiny information booth where you can acquire a free English map and behind it is the bike rental facility. A further 50 meters behind these lies the Upo Wetland Ecological Center, consisting of a gift shop, museum and botanical garden. The first carries souvenirs and snack food, the second presents dead the flora and fauna you can see alive outdoors, and the third is very small and just contains more plants.

Since the main reason for visiting the wetlands is, of course, the wetlands themselves, you can just go past these buildings to the trailhead after getting your map. Numerous trails run along and around them; some can only be traversed on foot, but most can be enjoyed on foot or bike. The total area comprises eight-and-a-half square kilometers, of which just over two are the surface of the water. To the Ecological Center’s credit, free WiFi and a drinking fountain must be mentioned.

All in all, the Upo Wetlands are a well-maintained and easy-to-explore scenic spot where you can get out of the city for a day to commune with nature. You can bring a picnic lunch, or dine at one of the restaurants across the street from the entrance. Since Bugok Hot Springs are in the same county, you could even soak in a tub after your hiking or biking exertions. Whatever you do, you will find the vista of the wetlands, with its swaying plants and soaring birds, deeply moving, and you can take home a memory of an agreeable day.

All this wildlife exists under beneficent human stewardship, principally the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (woopo.kfem.or.kr, Changnyeong branch 055-532-7856), and Changnyeong County, which is also home to a surprising array of historical sites; its tourist information number is 055-530-2241~2. The Upo Wetland Ecology Center can be reached at 055-530-1551, and its homepage is www.upo.or.kr.


Getting there: It takes about 75 minutes from Seobu Bus Terminal at Sasang subway station. There are 19 departures for Changnyeong’s intercity bus terminal every day, and the ride passes through some nice countryside.  Once there, you can take a 10-minute taxi ride to ‘Upo-neup’, as the wetlands are called in Korean. 

If you don’t want to take a taxi, you can take the local bus to get out to the wetlands, although there are only departures five times a day, at 6:50, 9:40, 1:30, 3:00 and 6:00.  To get to Yeongsin Bus Terminal, go right as you exit the intercity terminal, walk about 100 meters, and it is on your right.  


Lead photo courtesy of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

For more info about birds in Korea check out  www.birdskorea.org


 

The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports
restaurant

Kim Young-ran Law May be Altered in March

The amount of the food allowance in the Kim Young-ran law may be altered from March in order to help domestic demand.

0 comments
Philippines Police

Korean Man Reported Kidnapped in Philippines Last Year Found Dead

A South Korean man who was reportedly kidnapped in the Philippines in 2016 was recently found dead by local authorities there.

0 comments
busan population

Busan’s Population Falls Under 3.5 Million

The population of registered resident in Busan has fallen under 3.5 million two months earlier than was originally expected.

0 comments
microphone

Monthly Ha Ha Hole Returns Friday Night

This Friday, January 20th, at HQ Bar KSU sees the return of the monthly Ha Ha Hole, Busan’s only live English comedy show.

0 comments
Image: Wikicommons

Shinhwa to Perform in February at BEXCO

Legendary K-pop boy band Shinwha is performing a concert in Busan on February 11th as part of their “Unchanging” tour.

0 comments
Image: BIFF

Busan International Film Festival Announces 2017 Dates

The Busan International Film Festival will begin a little later than usual this year because of the Chuseok holidays.

0 comments
212525

Video: Al Jazeera’s 101 East – Fleeing South Korea

Watch an episode of Al Jazeera’s 101 East which focuses on why Korea’s youth are fleeing their home country for life and work overseas.

0 comments
shop

Korea Grand Sale Underway Nationwide

The Korea Grand Sale is underway until February 28th and offer great discounts and cultural performances for visitors.

0 comments
vegetables

Where’s the Cheapest Place to Buy Food this Lunar New Year’s?

Are you wondering where the cheapest places food are to buy food for the Lunar New Year’s holidays?

0 comments
sulbing

Sulbing to Open First Location in Fukuoka

Sulbing, Busan’s famous patbingsu dessert chain, will open its first location in Fukuoka on February 3rd.

0 comments
Hard-Rock-Cafe-Korea

Hard Rock Cafe Offers “Global Day” Discount for Foreigners

Hard Rock Cafe Busan is offering a Wednesday night “Global Day” discount for foreigners.

0 comments
Image: Gorilla Beer Co.

Gorilla Brewing Hosting Special Beer Event Tonight

Gorilla Brewing Company is hosting an “all-you-can-drink” event tonight at the brewery in Millak-dong.

0 comments
Sapa Vietnam

The Traditional Cultures of Sapa Vietnam

Take a look inside the traditional cultures of the Vietnamese highlands

0 comments
incheon airport immigration

South Korea to Beef Up Security at Airports This Year

Officials said today, starting in April, South Korea will check information on inbound air passengers to sort out potential terrorists.

0 comments
market

2017 Winter Travel Season Events in Busan

Busan City is holding the “2017 Winter Travel Season Program – Morak Morak Busan Winter Story”, where tourists can enjoy eateries at traditional markets and hot springs in Busan through January 30.

0 comments
figure skating

ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 Schedule

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 is taking place February 16-19 at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

0 comments
baseball lotte

Giants Hwang Jae-gyun to Leave the KBO

Infielder for the Lotte Giants Hwang Jae-gyun has decided to leave the Korean Baseball Organization to challenge the Major Leagues.

0 comments
bobsled-team-run-olympics-38631

South Korea to Spend $780 Million on PyeongChang Preparations

The sports ministry said that South Korea plans to spend 937.2 billion won (US$779.7 million) this year in support for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games preparations.

0 comments

 

Comments

comments

HQ bar