After visiting Upo Marsh (우포늪) in the summer, I was determined to make another trip in the fall to see the migrating birds that make Upo Marsh their temporary home as the weather becomes colder. I wound up going in mid-November, and I think my timing was perfect as the weather was a little crisp in the morning but pleasantly warm in the afternoon.
On my first trip to Upo Marsh during the summer, I was unable to walk completely around it due to the fact that heavy rain had flooded the trail on an island-like route that cuts across the marsh. This time I made a full circle around the marsh, but didn’t see every bit of the marsh because I took the short cut across the island route. I would recommend doing the same.
As I had hoped, there were tons of migratory birds to watch. It’s one of the main reasons I enjoyed this trip. Huge flocks of noisy geese, ducks, swans, and other birds I couldn’t identify were scattered all across the marsh. During the summer I saw numerous white cranes (egrets), however, I saw only a handful of them on this trip. It seems they have migrated farther south as well.
One of the most pleasant surprises for me was seeing the beautifully golden-brown colored reed grass that grows along the banks of the marsh at every turn. It was simply stunning. This is another reason why I enjoyed my visit. The scenery combined with the wildlife and weather was everything I could have hoped for.
Along the trail that cuts across the island were lots of reed grass and open spaces. It made for a perfect place to have a comfortable picnic in the sun. I saw a handful of happy families and couples doing just that.
Sitting at my desk and looking back, Upo Marsh in the fall is one of the most beautiful and interesting places I’ve seen in Korea. Every nature and wildlife enthusiast in Korea should visit this place at least once in the fall. Pack your camera, a picnic mat, some food and drinks and you will have the makings of a great trip at Upo Marsh in the fall.
Time Saving Tip
Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn somewhere that turned out to add about an hour of unnecessary walking to my trek. In retrospect, I should have paid closer attention to the map near the entrance of the park. The signs that help visitors find their way around the marsh aren’t as clearly marked as I think they should. So be careful to not make the same mistake I did.
Tip on getting there
There are only 5 buses all day that go from the Changnyeong Bus Terminal to Upo Marsh. If you take a taxi, be prepared to spend 10,000 won one-way. The bus schedule is as follows:
From Changnyeong: 06:50, 09:40, 13:30, 15:00, 18:00
From Upo Marsh: 07:10, 11:15, 13:50, 15:55, 18:20