We wanted to get out of the city, and Hong Gildong Theme Park in Jangsoeng-gun, Jeollanamdo, was an excuse to get some nature and a bit of South Korean literary history – well, in a theme parky kind of way – very South Korea!
There is plenty of room for kids to run about and many families had bought scooters, bikes, balls and frisbees to make the most of the open space.
The sky was so blue – not usual for spring – and the blossoms were just starting to bloom.
But, back to Hong Gildong, Korea’s famous ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor’ character – a Korea Robin Hood, or Ned Kelly perhaps? This is a fictional story based on a real person. Hong Gildong was the illegitimate son of a nobleman and, in the rigid, hierarchical Joseon era, he faced obvious obstacles. His ambitions and frustrations with his place in society led him to his outlaw life. Apparently, he also has superpowers, or mastered some Taoist magic tricks, like flying – I haven’t read the book, so we’ll have to take Appa’s word.
There wasn’t an awful lot to do or see, but it’s a pleasant place to stroll around and I enjoyed hearing about this infamous Korean character and sharing a bit of his story with the kids.
Lunch at Again 226
The park would be a lovely place for a picnic, but this day I was grateful for my lack of planning because we ended up at this lovely little cafe with surprisingly good pizza and yummy and very pretty chicken salad! Again 226 is just 5 mins down the road from the theme park.
While you’re in Jangseong-gun, Naejangsan National Park is beautiful, especially in Autumn.