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Oedo Paradise Island
A True Paradise
Nestled in Hallyeo Maritime National Park is the European-like island of Oedo. The gardens on Oedo are the fruits of labor of one couple with a dream. With a land area stretching over 132 square kilometers, there are approximately 3,000 kinds of plants and numerous quaint houses which look as if they have been taken right out of a fairytale. No other gardens in Korea can match the splendor of the ones found here.

Lee Chang-ho and his wife Choi Ho-suk have been creating this subtropical paradise since 1969 and finally unveiled their masterpiece to the public in 1995. It has taken almost 30 years to cultivate and develop what is appropriately called Oedo Paradise Island.


The well-manicured landscape has been the backdrop for many movies, TV miniseries and commercials. The demand of tourists to see the spots where their favorite shows and movies were filmed led to the opening of the southern part of the island for tourism. The popularity of the 2001-2002 TV miniseries Gyeoul Yeonga (Winter Sonata) has brought many fans to visit the spot where part of the final episode was filmed. This has increased domestic tourism in the region and is attracting more and more foreign tourists as the TV miniseries begins airing throughout Asia. Many visitors call the island “Oedo” (pronounced: Way-doe) just as the locals refer to it.


Once arriving at the island via ferry, visitors can easily follow the well-made, but at times steep paths and view the entire island. Before exiting the ferry, the crew will announce whether you have one and a half hours or two hours to tour the island. Due to the time constraints it is a good idea to set a pace, avoid spending too much time at one spot so that the beauty of the whole island can be enjoyed. Two small cafes are located on the island as well as a gift shop and bathrooms.

• Seven Highlights of Oedo Paradise Island



 Venus Garden
Based on gardens at Versailles, Venus Garden captures the essence of European style. Twelve statues line the garden adding to its overall beauty. The house at the foot of the gardens is where the popular TV miniseries Gyeoul Yeonga (Winter Sonata) was filmed. Paradise Lounge is located near the garden area where coffee and other beverages can be purchased.



 Private House
The quaint white house with a crimson-red roof looking over Venus Garden is occupied by the owners of the island. Adding to picturesque atmosphere are flower boxes placed under each window. Many fans of Gyeoul Yeonga enjoy taking pictures at the spot where part of the last episode of the TV miniseries was filmed. Entrance into the house is not permitted, so fans must take pictures from outside.



 Cactus Garden
There are approximately 50 species of cactuses found in this garden. The abundance of species is a visual delight to visitors. Don’t miss the chance to see the contrast of the Cactus Garden against the ocean view –unforgettable!



 Castle Oedo
The vista from Castle Oedo is one of the best on the island. Views of Haegeumgamg (naturally formed rock sculptures and mountain-like rock islands in the ocean) fade off into the horizon.



 Stairway to Heaven
This grand stairway, made of wood, is lined with fantastic gardens on both sides. The flower beds change with each season, giving visitors a view that is certainly heavenly. Sadly, many trees and other vegetation were destroyed during Typhoon Maemi which struck the island in 2003. Much of the vegetation has been replanted.



 Seaside Observatory
The final part of the tour leads back to where visitors first arrived by ferry and to the Seaside Observatory. Before getting back on the ferry, many enjoy hiking up the curved stairway for a final spectacular view of the ocean.



 Friendship Gate
Following the stairway down from the Seaside Observatory is the Friendship Gate. The crimson-red roof on the white structure creates a romantic mood. This last spot before boarding the ferry is the perfect place to take a picture.



  Sit back and enjoy the view at Panorama Place
This is the perfect midpoint to take a rest, even if just for ten minutes, to sit down and enjoy the view. Many tourists tend to feel rushed due to the time constraints and don’t take the time to sit back and enjoy the true splendor that is Oedo.
• Things you must know about Oedo Paradise Island.
* Try to avoid visiting during the summer months of July and August. This is the peak season and the island will most likely be mobbed with visitors. April through June would the ideal time to visit.

* The waters can be rough on the way to Oedo. For those that suffer from seasickness, be sure to take some medicine before getting on the ferry! The ferry ride is approximately one hour.

* There are no lodging facilities on the island, so be sure to get back to your ferry on time!

* Brochures are available in English and Japanese at the entrance where admission fees are paid. Be sure to pick up one of these brochures because all of the signs on the island are written in Korean.

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Date   07/11/2008



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