South Korea is a beautiful country famed for its beautiful palaces, delectable cuisine, shopping, and world-famous Korean bathhouses and spas. Visitors can also visit several national parks and historical sites in this fast-paced country. While there are many things to do in the “Land of the Morning Calm,” this book will assist you in planning an unforgettable trip to some of the country’s top national parks, from the suburbs of Seoul to the beaches of Jeju Island.
1. Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan National Park, on South Korea’s northeast coast, is known for its beauty and tall mountain range. Hiking trails, soaking in hot springs, discovering waterfalls, and even a cable car trip are all available in this popular park. Tourists travel from all over the world to walk Seoraksan’s alpine paths, which can take anywhere from one to three days to complete. Specific pathways allow visitors to attempt to reach Seoraksan Mountain’s highest point, Daecheongbong Peak, or to visit a Buddhist cave, such as Geumganggul Cave.
2. Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan National Park is a 31-mile-long park in the suburbs of northern Seoul. It is home to over 100 temples and 1,300 distinct plant and animal species. It is the “Most-Visited National Park Per Unit Area,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This is due in part to its wonderful location, which is easily accessible by subway from Seoul. It also has several hiking paths, including those that go to Baegundae Peak, the highest peak in the area, and the famous Golden Buddha climb.
3. Gyeongju National Park
Gyeongju, one of South Korea’s oldest cities, is home to the ancient Silla Kingdom and the country’s sole historical national park. The park is divided into eight unique districts, each of which contains medieval burial mounds, lush green gardens, and historic architectural buildings. It also provides views of lovely forested mountain ranges and ponds surrounded by floating lotus blooms. Visitors can enjoy seeing the city’s cultural landmarks as well as a combination of modern and beautiful styles.
4. Hallasan National Park
Hallasan National Park seems to be the only South Korean national park that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is located on Jeju Island. Halla Mountain, South Korea’s tallest (and inactive volcano), is also located there. Visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking trails throughout the park, with two main routes leading to the peak of the hill, where they can see the 400-meter-wide crater that sits atop it. During the winter season, when the mountain is blanketed with snow and visible from everywhere in the park, it is a spectacular sight to behold.
5. Odaesan National Park
Odaesan National Park is located in Korea’s Gangwon Province. It has the country’s greatest woodland area and a diverse range of animals, including woodpeckers, wild boars, and even turtle doves. Odaesan National Park is home to 3,788 animal and plant species, making it a haven for animal lovers and explorers alike. The greatest time to visit the park is in the spring when the area is ablaze with stunning royal azalea blossoms.
6. Naejangsan National Park
Naejangsan National Park, the country’s eighth national park, is located in Hanjeungmak. It was established in 1971. After its main temple, Yeongeunsa, Naejangsan was given the name “Yeongeunsan.” Owing to the many hidden treasures waiting to be explored in the park, the name was later changed to Naejangsan, which means “within” or “hidden place.” There are hundreds of plant species in the area, including big dogwood, Mongolian oak, and other natural vegetation. Because of the brilliant hues of the foliage, Naejangsan is one of the most popular parks to visit during the winter season.
7. Jirisan National Park
Jirisan National Park is South Korea’s largest mountainous park, spanning 292 km. Along with Hallasan and Geumgangsan, it is one of Korea’s top three most famous mountains. It supports almost 5,000 different species of flora and fauna, as well as a variety of creatures like hares, roes, elks, and wildcats. Jirisan’s fall leaves, like those in Naejangsan, blaze with color. Tourists can witness a variety of streams and ponds while trekking on one of the many trails offered.
8. Gyeryongsan National Park
Gyeryongsan National Park is located near the city of Daejeon. The park is 39 miles long, with 20 mountain summits and 15 different valleys to explore. Donghaksa Temple, Sambul Peak, Gwaneum Peak, Eunseon waterfall, and Nammaetap Pagoda are among the park’s treks and paths. Gyeryongsan was called a holy mountain where religious rituals were held and was thought to be the capital of the Joseon Dynasty (which began in 1392 and lasted five centuries). It is home to 1,121 plant species as well as hundreds of creatures such as otters and woodpeckers.
9. Mudeungsan National Park
Mudeungsan National Park is located in Gwangju, South Korea’s sixth-largest city. In 2012, it was changed from a provincial park to a national park, making it one of the region’s newest national parks. The park is known for its distinctive hexagonal rock formations that date back over 70 million years, making it a history buff’s dream spot. Tourists can hike up to observe these formations or take a cable car ride from Hotel Mudeung Park to the mountain peak to see them.
10. Hallyeohaesang Marine National Park
The Hallyeohaesang Marine National Park stretches from Geoje in Gyeongsangnam-do province to Yeosu in Jeollanam-do province along the coast. Hiking routes, islands with diverse beaches for swimming, and marine activities are all popular in this lovely coastal park. Around 1,000 plant species, including red pine, black pine, and Korean winter hazel, can be found in the park. Visitors will be able to see a variety of mammals, birds, and freshwater fish.