With the Winter Olympics bringing the focus to South Korea, have you ever thought about this country as a destination for your next trip?
South Korea has certainly never seen the volume of visitors as some of its Asian neighbours and remains a land of mystery for many, yet here lies a dynamic country, rich in history and culture. Vibrant cities lie within its borders, rich landscape unfolds and there is so much beautiful nature to be seen.
We’ve picked some of our top places to visit and we are absolutely positive that you’ll find walking in South Korea as interesting and exciting as it sounds.
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is a huge metropolis where modern day skyscrapers meet beautiful Buddhist temples. Even if you are walking in South Korea to soak up their delightful countryside, you should definitely pay Seoul a visit, and seeing it on foot is the perfect way to explore.
Stroll along the Han River or find peaceful walks in the city’s Namsan Park and definitely don’t miss seeing the Grand Palaces.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Seoul’s five Grand Palaces and is a beautiful sight to see. Stand under the Palace roof and look up to see the amazingly intricate detail painted on the eaves, or stroll around the garden and see lotus ponds and ornate statues.
If you fancy getting into the hustle and bustle of the city then head for Sejong Centre where you find loads of cafes and restaurants, amid amazing artwork, fountains, statues, palaces and lots of people enjoying this vibrant place.
This 460 mile trail actually crosses North and South Korea. When walking in South Korea, the Baekdu Daegan trail takes you along this beautiful section of the mountain range and with 70 % of the country being covered in mountains it is great to walk them to gain a real sense of what the country is all about.
Some of South Korea’s most amazing temples lie on this trail and you’ll gain an insight into the rich history of the country whilst meeting the wonderfully friendly locals along the way. Many offer a place to stay for the night so that you can continue your walk in the morning.
The sansin-gaks shrines you will see are dedicated to the mountain spirits and locals praying here is very much a part of Korean culture.
Look out for the intriguing and beautiful types of mushroom whilst you walk, from the Roe Deer’s Ass to delicate fungus as tiny as your little fingers, they’re quite unlike any you may have seen before.
Songnisan National Park
Songnisan National Park is made up of Mount Songnisan and the beautiful valleys surrounding it. Although it attracts many, many people each year it offers a great place for walking in South Korea with easy routes and spectacular scenery.
On wet days clouds often catch in the valleys between the mountains which creates a really dramatic layered scene. In the spring brilliant pink azaleas bloom on the mountainsides whilst at other times of the year the mountains have a craggy look with interesting granite out-croppings and cliffs.
You don’t need to be a seasoned hiker to walk here, the mountain ridge curves along the valley from South to West and contains eight small peaks.
There are buses that you can jump on that will take you into Songnisan National Park, its about a 90 minute journey from Daejeon Intercity Bus Terminal and there are plenty of inns and guest houses so you’ll easily find somewhere to stay. The village itself is quite lively with bars and places to eat.
Juwangsan National Park
Juwangsan National Park is famed for its deep gorges and thick forests and part of the Taebaek mountain range
The Jobong trail is the most popular and passes two amazing waterfalls as you walk along the valley and is a fairly easy trail.
This park is probably one of the most inaccessible though, located in Gyeongsangbuk-do, the park is about as isolated as you can get on the peninsula without being in North Korea. Public transport in South Korea though is great and you can get here by bus in about an hour from Andong, the closest sizeable city.
There are a number of places to stay but it is a lot less busy than previously mentioned Songnisan National Park and you’ll find the trails really peaceful.
Highlights here include rocky peaks, caves and magnificent waterfalls.
If you are walking in South Korea then be sure to pay Cheongsando Island a visit, it is located off the south coast of the Korean peninsula and is part of the Dadohae National Park.
This is a calm, picturesque and serene island where chilled vibes and beautiful scenery await you.
The walking trails on the island are called ‘slow trails’ and the eleven paths make up 42.2 km. Along the way you’ll encounter an observatory with sweeping views of Cheongsando and nearby islands, the steep cliffs along the shoreline, terraced rice paddies, gorgeous beaches and quiet, calm villages.
If you need some chill time to find some peace and tranquility then this is the place for you.
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