Hi friends! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted. Usually, I’m pretty good at staying on top of life, but lately life, prepping the kids for school, trying to stay sane in a house with no furniture, etc., honestly just got the best of me during the latter half of last week. Ryan’s been pretty busy acclimating to work, too, so I’ve sort of just been hanging by a thread lately. Thankfully, we made it to the weekend, and we made a point of getting out together as a family – checking something off our South Korea bucket list and exploring Ppuri Park in Daejeon.
Visiting Ppuri Park in Daejeon, South Korea
When I was first researching Ppuri Park in Daejeon, I was under the impression it was some sort of burial ground because the grounds are covered in what look like tombstones to the naked eye. Ppuri Park, however, goes a little deeper. In Hangeul, Ppuri translates to “root” meaning that Ppuri Park means “family root” – a completely appropriate name for the purpose of the park.
Ppuri Park features 136 unique sculptures (not quite the tombstones I thought they were) which represent the different family (or last) names in South Korea. Each stone bears the family name and a short description of the family’s history and roots in South Korea. Some on the front, some on the back, all unique and displaying distinct visual characteristics of the individual family names, the sculptures span a plot of land over roughly 26 acres.
When to Visit Ppuri Park
It’s been really hot here in South Korea, and we all sweat like crazy people since we’re 100% not acclimated to the climate here yet. Since we had evening plans in Daejeon, as well, we chose to do a late afternoon/early evening trip to Ppuri Park and, thankfully, the sun was beginning to wane, and the park was pretty empty overall. Ppuri Park contains more than just family root sculptures, and we were able to explore a decent amount of the grounds before we got too hot to continue.
The beautifully manicured grass square flanked by picnic tables led to the spring, which symbolizes the 12 jisin, or gods of the earth. There’s also a natural observatory, swan boats, and Samnam Memorial Tower which represents harmony between Honam – the western region – and Yeongnam – the eastern region – of Korea. Since we went later in the day, it was quite quiet, and the whole place was really just peaceful.
What to Know About Visiting Ppuri Park
Cost: Entry into Ppuri Park is free though there is a cafe, convenience store, and boat rides which cost money. Our US card worked fine, though we’re always prepared with Won these days.
Amenities: There are several walking trails along the river prior to making your way into Ppuri Park. Take the one that flanks the lower lot, and you’ll find the cable bridge entering the park to the right, and there are toilets to the left. There are toilets, cafes, and convenience stores within the park, as well. Parking is available on the street and in an upper lot, but as of August 7, 2021, the lower lot is closed due to water degradation of the pavement.
Accessibility: We saw several elderly in wheelchairs with their companions, and the wide walking paths around the grass square are completely accessible. Navigating around the park may prove somewhat difficult for those with mobility issues in some areas though. There is a steep and winding path on which I pushed Mieke on her bike, but the boys took the varying winding stairs throughout. Basically, it’s accessible – in most areas.
How to Get to Ppuri Park: Ppuri Park is about 10-15 km from Daejeon city center, and it’s about 90 minutes from Camp Humphreys/Pyeongtaek. To get there, enter the following address in Waze: 79, Ppurigongwon-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon