International Parks: Dadohae Haesang, South Korea

by Cie McCullough Buschle on May 12, 2012

in Arts and Culture, Outdoors with Kids, Travel Ideas

With 767 square miles of water and 129 square miles of land, Dadohae Haesang is the largest National Park in South Korea. Within Dadohae Marine Park lies Hondo Island, a Natural Preserve since 1965.

Finless Porpoise at Miyajima Aquarium, Japan

Finless Porpoise at Miyajima Aquarium, Japan

The climate of Dadohae Haesang is very warm, and supports a wide variety of species including the Finless Porpoise. This marine mammal is less than three feet in length, has a black body, and no dorsal fin. This unique porpoise prefers shallow waters close to shore, and usually is found alone or as a mother/calf pair.

Dadohae has about five hundreds islands, with more than 600 miles of coastline. There are 11 inhabited islands, including Hondo Island. Close to 99 of the uninhabited islands have their individual legends. Maebawi, or Hawk rock, is consider to be a symbol of safety. Legend says a hawk once saved a fisherman from a female water demon. When the man awoke the next morning, he found himself on Maebawi.

There are seven main hiking routes that can be completed within the day in Dadohae Haesang: Heuksando Island, Bogildo Island, Goheung Singeum Beach, Wando Gugyedeung, Hyangilam Temple, Balpo Beach, and Hongdo Island. Other courses can take two days. The National Park offices provide two information centers and four campsites, as well as numerous ranger stations. There are also a number of hotels within the park.

Elephant Rock on Hongdo Island

Elephant Rock on Hongdo Island

For more on Korea, check out this other great Albany Kid article:

Travel to Korea to See a Great Cool King Named Sejong and his Tomb

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Cie McCullough Buschle lives with her dog Einstein and a cat named Burton Guster. She is a lifelong traveler and enjoys researching history through holidays, toys, and everyday objects. Cie is a sculptor and co-owns The Creative Chameleon, a place where kids and adults can create, paint, celebrate, and just have a lot of fun. Sometimes you can find her time traveling back to the Middle Ages as part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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