Ecoland: Ride the rails on a unique journey

dsc01693Ecoland Theme Park offers up a unique experience on Jeju Island: a “Forest Train” which runs through part of the area’s Gotjawal Forest. It isn’t too far from Jeju City and as a bonus is near a number of other popular visitor destinations (Jeju Stone Park, Saryeoni Forest, etc.) so you can make a full day of it.

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After purchasing a ticket, you can catch your train at the Main Station. As it approaches, a park guide will open the doors to the train and you can sit anywhere you choose.

Did you know?

Ecoland’s forest trains run on electricity and are handmade. They're in a 4-2-2 configuration, meaning there are four leading wheels on two axles (two driving wheels on one axle, and two trailing wheels on the other).

The train’s route is as follows. It departs the Main Station, stopping by Eco Bridge Station, Lake Side Station, Picnic Garden Station, Lavender, and Green Tea & Rose Garden Station, before completing its circuit back at Main Station.

Note: You can get off at any station you like and then continue your journey after an 8 to 12-minute wait for the next train. Once you reach the end, though, it’s not possible to re-enter the park without another ticket.

Here’s a breakdown of each stop along the route:

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DSC04767Eco Bridge Station accesses the park’s 1.9-kilometer walking course called the “Eco Road,” which includes a 300-meter wooden deck over the lake. There is plenty of seating, and the view of the lake is quite peaceful as thick forest surrounds the water. Along the walking course you can learn more about the Gotjawal forest, see pampas grass and a moss and fern garde.

DSC04862Lake Side Station has a large open area with a lake and windmill to explore and photograph. It looks a lot like a horse farm.

DSC04909Picnic Garden Station has a playground for children called “Kids Town” and an area where you could picnic on a day with good weather. The 1.9-kilometer “Eco Road” is accessible from this station, so you can budget the majority of your time at the stop.

dsc01701Lavender, Green Tea & Rose Garden Station. As the name suggests, the station is next to a garden and a lavender farm. It’s a bit underwhelming in winter, but fantastically fragrant and colorful in the spring and summer.

Did you know?

Gotjawal forest covers about 6 percent of the island. The Gotjawal has over 600 plant species, many of them designated by the Ministry of the Environment as threatened or endangered.

 

dsc01704 dsc01694 dsc01678Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (summer), 8:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. (winter). The last train is an hour before closing.

How to get there: Go to Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. Take bus #730 to Jeju Stone Park. Get off at Jeju Stone Park and walk for about 100 meters to reach Ecoland.

For more information, click here for the park’s website (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese).

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