Destination: Goseong Dinosaur Museum (Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do)
And now for something a bit different – presenting a museum dedicated to those huge beasts from eons ago. The area claims some Real Dinosaur Footprints along the shore, which is conveniently within walking distance of the museum. The museum, however, remains a remote reach from Seoul – a day trip from Busan, certainly, and well worth a spot on any weekend itinerary to the area.
Never mind the fact that violence permeates the animation or computer-generated programs rated ’7′ - we have dinosaurs to watch!
It should be noted – albeit while smothering a laugh – that dozens of ‘no pictures’ signs were seen throughout the museum, and disregarded by virtually every person old enough to hold a camera. Presenting the Dinosaur Family Tree – at least as far as science understands it.
The tongue-twister Tuojiangosaurus multispinus on the left, and the Triceratops horridus on the right.
As mentioned before, the area lays claim to some large numbers of dinosaur footprints – while not precisely close, an area near Ulsan claims some more as well, if you’re interested in getting well off the beaten path. The Korean explanation claims that the ground was softer at the time dinosaurs walked the earth, and got harder over the millennia, which helped preserve them.
Try to picture this guy as more than bones and see if you’re not asking for the brown pants. It’s the Klamelisaurus sp., and it needs almost every inch of the two-story building to avoind craning its neck.
A reminder of the dinosaur-eat-dinosaur world that was in a room of animatronic dinos.
Fossils, anyone? Unsurprisingly, this was the part most people (including us) zoomed through. Not pictured later on is the souvenir shop, complete with almost every kind of dinosaur or ancient animal you can imagine.
Even with two floors, the museum only holds about 1/3 of the fun. If the indoor part was the educational part that delighted the teachers, the outdoor part is where dinosaurs come alive. OK, the dinosaurs merely serve as slides or things to serve as photo ops, but delightful they still are.
Petrified wood – and no signs not to hop on. Call it 규화목 (gyu-hwa-mok) in Korean if you like.
And the award for best timing goes to… While not quite from Jurassic Park, the plane met the dinosaur’s eye level just perfect.
Some dinosaurs, like this baryonyx, seemed more interested in scaring…
…while others seemed content to fulfill their duty in life. I’m afraid I don’t quite see how climbing up his back and sliding through his neck helps one learn about dinosaurs, but it’s certainly cute.
One highlight (not pictured) is a small maze park – if you take more than 10 minutes to navigate this thing you may wish to follow the yellow plastic bricks for the blind as you walk the sidewalk. Consider pulling your hat over your eyes for an added challenge.
You might find this friendly fellow awaiting you in one of the few dead-ends. I’ll note that this isn’t the only dinosaur you might see in a maze…
The park and its features gradually descend until you finally come to the area’s rear entrance. A stairway of several flights awaits:
Ironically, the rest of the park seems to go out of its way to be friendly to strollers or anyone else needing wheels to get around. There’s no other (safe) way down, save these stairs – if you want to see the real thing the museum is based on, you’ll need to be mobile.
Reach the bottom, however, and you’re rewarded with a couple lines of dinosaur tracks, along with a great view of the southern shore.
The sign warns about climbing… Why, oh, why must they make art that looks like a giant jungle gym…
Even after walking past the entrance gate, the fun isn’t over. Head down towards the parking lot by walking around the long way, or by sliding down the rollers! If that isn’t a fun way to finish off the day I don’t know what is.
It’s quirky, a bit random, and mostly educational – I’d hate to come on a Saturday and discover every elementary school having their field trip day, but most any other time is quite enjoyable. Bring your sense of humor – and your camera.
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks - How do I rate destinations?):
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
Name: Goseong Dinosaur Museum (고성공룡박물관)
Address: Gyeongsangnam-do Goseong-gun Ha-i-myeon Deokmyeong-ri 85
Korean address: 경상남도 고성군 하이면 덕명리 85
Directions: First off, don’t go to Goseong to see the Goseong Dinosaur Museum! Not only is it farther away, but the people of Goseong seem to be oblivious to the museum holding their area’s name. Instead, take a bus to Samcheonpo – over a dozen buses a day head there from Seoul. Once at Samcheonpo Bus Terminal, look left and cross the street to the bus stop. Bus 10 arrives about 20 times a day – you’re most likely to catch the bus at 10:01am, 11:00am, 12:06pm, 12:39pm, 2:07pm, 3:00pm, or 3:50pm. Ride for about 45-50 minutes – you’ll know you’re getting close when the bus navigates the hairpin turns.
Hours: 9am-6pm (March – October) and 9am-5pm (November – February). Get your ticket no later than an hour before closing.
Admission: 3,000 won.
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