Upo Wetlands – The Second Best Tourist Spot in Korea
The Upo wetlands are considered the second best spot to visit in Korea by the Korean Tourism Agency, which seems about right. The marsh is impressive in size, A massive 5,500 square km. The trails that lead around it take about 4 hours to travel in total, about half of which can be travelled by bicycle, which can be rented at the entrance to the wetlands. But take of yourself on the trails, there are some really frightening bicycle riders out there, including children throwing caution to the wind riding way too fast and couples attempting to working as a tag team on tandem bicycles with an almost comical inefficiency. Don’t be surprised if you see people crash their bicycles.
On the far side are some skiffs that are in my opinion the most picturesque thing there, but it takes a long time to get to them. Make sure to prepare some necessities like water and such if you go in Summer and possibly some rainwear too if it looks like it might rain. Foot trails can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 4 hours and bicycle trails from 1-2 hours.
Along the way You will for sure see a bunch of frogs and cranes and ducks, and basically being back in nature. You will be serenaded by the constant chirping of crickets and ribbitting of small frogs. The wetlands are home to more than 1,000 species in total, including fireflies. So if you aren’t too scared of spending the night with nature, You will have a blast for sure.
If traveling or staying in Korea, I can’t recommend a trip to Upo Wetlands highly enough. It feels like an endless trip to get there from the city and because of its massive size, the large amount of visitors doesn’t have much impact on the overall atmosphere of the place, as everyone is spread out quite thinly, especially as you get further and further away from the entrance.
The landscape is amazingly scenic and the sounds filling the air coming out from the marsh were musical. It was surprisingly quiet and it felt like no one was there but us, which was exactly what we were hoping for. Perfect for any visitor wanting an afternoon getaway in the Korean countryside away from the greyness of a city life.
Operating hours are from 9:00 – 18:00 everyday. Last admission is 17:00 but by then honestly you would been arriving too late to actually enjoy anything the wetlands has to offers. Remember the early bird gets the worm.
Take note that most visitors usually travel by train to Miryang and take a bus to Changnyeong from there. However, it is might quicker to reach Changnyeong from Daegu. From the bus terminal in Changnyeong there is a bus that will take you directly to the marsh, or you can take a 10,000 won taxi ride.