Destination: Namhae Treasure Island Garlic Land (Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)
And now, for something completely different. You read the title, right – it’s a glorified garlic museum in Namhae. The full name is the Treasure Island Garlic Land (보물섬 마늘나라), and I believe the claim “The Only Garlic Exhibition Hall in the Nation”. Why someone else would even want to build a second one is beyond me.
Be sure to get some good pictures of the five-story tall garlic bulb outside. A couple of mascots are also outside, if you’d like to pose with them.
Off to the left side of the entrance, is a brief look at some of the products where garlic has been used. Be sure to look around the other side of the lobby, complete with a miniature village revolving around garlic.
The first main hall talks about the history of garlic, its introduction to Korea, the varieties of garlic seen around the world, and so on. There’s a surprising amount of English; typically, museums like these don’t have much to go on.
A comparison of the growing styles, anyone? The Dangun myth (Korea’s creation story) is also mentioned, since garlic is mentioned in it.
The second exhibition hall focuses on Namhae’s history, it’s natural advantages, and some other rural villages good for sightseeing.
Most of these sound normal enough – Garlic-fried rice and garlic bread, for example – but Garlic Jam Sandwiches? Yuck!
As you exit the main exhibition hall, take in some of the regional products from around the world, each using garlic in some way. The front desk sells some local products, though we never saw a staff member to buy it from!
A little walk on the wild side within the arboretum…?
Namhae itself is pretty distant from Seoul, though this Garlic Land is one intriguing reason to visit. The German Village is also around, though it’s a little further out.
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks – How do I rate destinations?):
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
Name: Namhae Treasure Island Garlic Land (보물섬마늘나라)
Address: Gyeongsangnam-do Namhae-gun I-dong-myeon Dajeong-ri 971
Korean address: 경상남도 남해군 이동면 다정리 971
Directions: Get to the Namhae Bus Terminal. Once there, take a left out the terminal, then another left around the corner, and look for the bus stop. You’ll need to jump on a bus going towards 미조 (Mee-jo) – ask the bus driver or look at the front window of the bus. Ride to 다정마을 (Da-jeong-ma-eul), which is about 6 stops out. Once off the bus, keep walking about 350 meters in the same direction and you’ll see it on the right.