Taewha River Bamboo grove
By Shim Hyun-chul
Sunlight flows into a bamboo grove that seems to extend endlessly. The bamboo leaves rustle and make fresh sounds as the wind blows in from the river.
A four-kilometer bamboo grove stretches out along the Taehwa River in the southeastern city of Ulsan. The 20-meter-wide bamboo forest is about 290,000 square meters in area, providing lush greenness to the otherwise largely industrial city.
It was first afforested in the 1920s for flood protection and later reborn as an ecological park with walking trails.
The Taehwa once was a symbol of a damaged environment, sacrificed for industrial development. Fish died en masse and people could not even approach the river because of the terrible smell.
The city of Ulsan enforced strong ecofriendly policies to revive the river and the efforts paid off as the beautiful bamboo grove came into being. Combined with waterfront, the bamboo forest has become a resting place for local residents. The Taehwa River Observatory is the best place to view the bamboo grove.