Dream Forest is a large park located in Gangbuk-gu which features open spaces and many walking trails. The area was formerly known as Odong Geullin Park. On October 17, 2009, renovation work was completed and the park was renamed as Dream Forest.
Dream Forest is a just as its name implies, a dream or escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. When you walk around the park, you may just forget that you are in the middle of an urban city filled with millions of people.
The name Dream Forest actually comes from Dreamland, an amusement park and petting zoo which was formerly located here before 2007.
Surrounding the park, which is located in Bun-dong, Gangbuk-gu, are the densely forested Mt. Byeogosan and Mt. Opaesan.
Though a little out of the way and usually most tourists radar, Seoul’s Dream Forest is worth a visit for its nature and attractions if you have time. Attractions and sights include the Changnyeongwigung Ancestral Shrine (Cultural Heritage No. 40), Aewoljeong Pavilion, artificial waterfalls, Grass Square, Wild Grass Garden, many gardens, two cafes, and a restaurant.
The park also offers many wonderful walking paths. These walking paths are a great way to take in all the beautiful scenery and sights, especially in the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak.
Some of the most popular walking paths are the wooden paths found next to Wolyeongji Pond (Moon Reflecting Pond). The surrounding views from here are quite spectacular.
Dream Forest is also extremely popular with families and children thanks to its Deer Garden, Children’s Gallery, playgrounds, and water park. The park is a great way to spend the day relaxing with your family.
On the sloped foothills of the park is an art center, cafe, a futuristic designed observatory, a musical hall, and Mei Lin, a Chinese restaurant serving delicious noodles.
The three story observatory offers views of Mt. Bukhansan, Mt. Dobongsan, and Mt. Suraksan to the north. The N Seoul Tower can be seen to the south. The observatory is 49 meters (163 feet) high.
The observatory is well known thanks to the KBS Drama television show, IRIS.
Changnyeongwigung Ancestral Shrine
Changnyeongwigung Ancestral Shrine is a shrine and residence dedicated to Princess Bokon (1818-1832) and her husband Changnyeongwi Kim Byeongju (1819-1853). Princess Bokon, born in 1818, was the daughter of King Sunjo, who ruled from 1800 to 1834 as the 23rd king of the Joseon Dynasty.
Kim Seokjin, the grandson of Kim Byeongju, took his life inside this residence in 1910. He was upset at the loss of the nation’s sovereignty during the annexation of Korea by Japan.
The residence consists of inner quarters (anchae), outer quarters (sarangchae), and a building by the main entrance (daemunchae). A southeastern residence was the living quarters of Princess Deokon, the sister of Princess Bokon.
A memorial hall can be found inside the inner quarters. This is unusual as more memorials are located in the outer quarters.
The inner and outer quarters were destroyed during the Korean War. They were rebuilt in 1955.