Seoul Zoo: The Full-Day Animal House, Korea

 Seoul Zoo is massive. It has to be the largest zoo I've ever visited, and the exhibits are spread out on two loops around the park - an inner loop and an outer loop. To get to the museum entrance, you can take a shuttle bus (for a fee) or walk about a kilometer. It's a nice walk that takes you over a lake.
 You're at the zoo when you find the giant sculpture.
 After paying admission, you can head right in! As I said, the zoo is very large and when I visited I had a lot of opportunities to take photos. Some parts of the complex were closed; the big cats area is getting an overhaul though they were still on display.

Because animals are animals and there isn't much else to say about many of them, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, mostly.

 There's an elevated deck at the giraffe pen.
 There are different routes to follow around the zoo; they aren't loops, so one can lead to another or two routes can run along the same path. It's important to study a color map and see which routes your favorite animals appear on. As I mentioned before, the layout is essentially two loops, but there are some complications. In the above photo, you can see one route (red) going straight as an inner loop; the blue line curves to the right to start the outer loop.
 The grounds are quite nice; the zoo opened in 1988 so the landscaping is mature; they take care of this park very carefully.

 For the first half of my visit, I saw thousands of Korean school kids (probably high school students) all over the park. Most of them were sketching in books (see the photo at the giraffe deck near the top of this post).
 The kids found parks and lawns to sit and work, including near a kids play area with an elephant trunk slide and a dinosaur slide. They also were sitting all over the seemingly pointless bird deck.

 This guy was sitting right next to the glass, watching me and a Korean couple. Soon after I finished taking photos, it jerked and scared the Koreans.

 The bird exhibit was closed due to illness concerns. This is actually a massive portion of the park near the back; a couple birds were along the net wondering why no humans were staring at them from a closer location.

 There's a large indoor botanical garden with a cactus hall; some of the cactii are massive!

 And into the cactus garden:


 This gorilla was watching us watching him. He seemed interested in the fact that we were interested in him.

 This one showed off, throwing the rope on its head just because she wanted to be funny.
 So the other one climbed a tree - all the way to the top.

 The Australian section of the zoo was pretty sad; I only managed one good picture of the entire area. It looks like this portion of the zoo is almost forgotten by tourists and landscaping.
 Along the outer loop, there are some houses for smaller creatures, including a bug/reptile section.

 This turtle has a seriously long neck.It looks like a snake if you don't see the shell in the pictures below.

 The larger indoor buildings had some interactive exhibits for children but not much else worth seeing.

 There are two chairlifts in the zoo. One leads from the front of the park to the back. The other goes from the gate back to the front of the park (near the parking lot and subway station).
 Here are the botanical garden and lion area.
 You can see the other parts of Seoul Grand Park as the lift approaches the front of the zoo, including an art museum I still haven't had time to visit.
 There's a nice pond where the two chairlifts meet. If you're going to take both, I think you can buy a combo ticket, which is cheaper than two separate tickets.
 There's a nice landscaped garden just outside the zoo; you can buy combination tickets that include both places but it's not very impressive when the roses aren't in bloom.
The outer chairlift gives you a good view of that garden and the amusement park off in the distance.

There is a third, seven kilometer loop around the entire zoo that looks like it would make for a very nice 2.5 hour hike.
The zoo opens daily at 9:00, with varied closing hours depending on time of year and day of the week. Admission to the zoo is only 3000 won ($3); the outer Children's Zoo and Botanical Garden is an additional 2000 won. The sky lift is 5000 won, 9000 won for a two-time ticket, or 12,000 won for a day pass. The elephant train (shuttle bus) is 1000 won.

Take Subway Line 2 to Seoul Grand Park, and take Exit 2. You'll walk straight through the wide plaza in the middle of the car park, where vendors set up selling lots of interesting food and souvenirs. I bought some tasty donuts, but you could buy boiled beetles if you'd like. Once you reach the loop road beyond the car park, you can catch the Elephant Train shuttle to the zoo or just walk to the right, following the road over the lake.

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