Destination: Central Park (Dongtan, Hwaseong city, Gyeonggi-do)

Somewhat like the better-known Central Park in New York, the Central Park in Dongtan features a wonderful variety of accouterments. Being in the middle of high-rise apartment buildings shouldn't look too surprising, of course.

A great place to take a date - a nine-hole 'golf' course. It's a bit more like croquet, though - a wooden club and a wooden ball - though that club is shaped somewhat like a 3-wood. The wooden 'thwack' sound can be heard around the golf course, but not off of it.

There's no staff around, no ropes to tie onto, and no signs to detail any plans or schedules. But hey, it's free for anyone to use, 24 hours a day. Not pictured are the badminton and tennis courts - essentially the same as any other regulation courts.

Close to one entrance and near a school is this set of stairs. Yes, it's a relief to know that walking amidst nature is possible even here:

Late fall suits the area nicely. There's plenty of birds chirping and not too many other people hiking these trails, which generally run behind many of the tall apartment buildings seen in other pictures.

Not a lot changes after the sun goes down - this field the size of a basketball court is excellent for night-time soccer. I wish the lighting were a bit better (too many shadows), but the players didn't seem to mind.

A very nice skate park - while there is a green fence surrounding the park (ostensibly to keep people not on wheels out) , I didn't see any indication of hours by the entrance.

It's quite nice if you're in the area, and within walking distance are enough restaurants and bars to make an excuse to stay longer. Make this your main destination if visiting Dongtan, or a good side trip from the Suwon area. The parts are nothing new, but they're put together in a nice way.

Ratings (out of 5 taeguks):
Ease to arrive:


Convenience facilities:

Worth the visit:

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