|The Poetic garden of ¡®Soswaewon¡¯|
A producer filmed ¡®You may turn off when you are in new land¡¯ in Soswaewon. Walking in the forest, you can hear the wind whistling through the trees, and the ground seems to glisten. The gardens of Soswaewon are surrounded by dense forest and old-fashioned pavilions.
Yang sanbo (1503-1577) created Soswaewon for ordinary people to represent the middle of ¡®I¡¯ dynasty. The garden is 4,060 square meters large. It has all the characteristics of a natural Korean garden. ¡®Soswae¡¯ means fresh air, nature, and the cleansing of one¡¯s mind and body.
The south of Sosweon is located on a mountain slope, facing Mount ¡®Mudeungsan¡¯, and behind Jangweonbong and Kkachibong. It has natural beauty because it was constructed around the valley, in the natural environment. The water flowing from the valley forms a small cascade, and it forms a pond called ¡®Yeondang¡¯, flowing through a hole of tree. There is a single log bridge crossing the water that flows from the valley. On the slope of the valley on both sides there are steps surrounded by flowers. The garden of Soswaewon is surrounded by fence on all sides except south area.
At the entrance of Soswaeweon, you see the pavilion called Dae Bong Dae. And there is another pavilion called ¡®Kwangpungkak¡¯ in the left across the valley. And the other pavilion located on the hill is called ¡®Jaewoldang¡¯ where the owner of the pavilion stayed. The Soswaewon is Korean historical remain no 304. There are traditional Korean buildings such as Buheondang, Daebongdae, Whangkeumjeong and Subakjeong. There are also many trees such as the Japanese apricot tree, bamboo, and pine trees. Thus, the scenery is very picturesque.
Mr Sanbo Yang participated in creating the garden around the valley, decorating it with stone, a pond, and other things. He left a verbal will that their family would not hand over the Soswaewon to his descendant as he believed him to be silly.
Parking and admission to Soswaewon is free, and there are no specific regulations inside. The descendant of Yang Sanbo gives a tour of Soswaewon at about 2.p.m. Mr. Sanbo Yang constructed the Soswaewon, whilst dreaming of the Happy Valley. Here people have the opportunity to learn about Soswaewon and the ideology of silence.
People can take lodging in a private house in the village. It is good to take a repose for a while after looking around the garden. I recommend you look around pavilions such as ¡®Sikyeongjeon,¡¯ ¡®Whanbyeokdang,¡¯ and ¡®Songkangjeong,¡¯ all located near Soswaewon. The Temples such as ¡®Weonhyosa¡¯ are also definitely worth a visit, as is the Juksun (bamboo) museum and Mount ¡®Byeongpoongsan¡¯.
Location Province of Jeonranam-do Damynag-kun Nam-myeon, Jikok-ri
How to get there
(Public Transport) From the Dongsin College in Kwangju city (or at the street Keumnamro in front of Whani Departmental store), take bus 125. Get off the bus in front of Soswaewon. The bus runs every 40 minutes. It takes 30 minutes by bus. Soswaewon is located in Damyang-kun, near Kwangju city. It is better to take a bus in Gwangju city.
(By car) At the Dongkwangju I.C on the Honam express highway, you should enter the direction of Kwangju. Drive about 300m, (in the direction of Kwangju prison) onto the provincial road (no 887), located in the left side. After that, drive about 5,4kim south, you will arrive at the front of Shikyeongjeong. From this place, if you advance 1.2kim and pass 250m after turning left, you will arrive at Soswaewon.
Tel Gwangju city hall, tourist department 061-225-0101, Administration office 061-382-1071