Memos from Asia

Places to Enjoy Autumn Foliage in South Korea

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South Korea is known to have all four seasons of the year, and the weather changes according to these distinct months. Springs are cool and cherry blossoms bloom during April and May, summers are very hot and humid with a lot of heavy rain, falls are filled with beautiful autumn foliage (known as dan-poong in Korean), and winters are very cold with a lot of snow and icy roads.

Autumn foliage at the Changdeokgung Palace. It is one of the most historically significant attractions that represent the beauty of Korea.

Among these seasons, a lot of people enjoy autumn in Korea because of the beautiful foliage and exuberant colors of tree leaves. They love to hike and walk around the roads while appreciating nature. Since autumn is less cold than the winter, it is a wonderful way to celebrate the upcoming holiday season with your family and friends while taking a stroll in one of these parks.

Naejangsan Park

Naejangsan Park is a national park that is in the Jeollabuk-do Province of South Korea, and is three hours away from Seoul. Naejangsan Park is very well known for its wonderful mountain landscape, lines of bright orange, yellow, and red maple trees, and beautiful waterfalls. They also have beautiful temples that are surrounded by these stunning maple leaves.

Maple trees in Naejangsan Park, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea

The temples such as the Baekyangsa and Naejangsa Temples have various Korean traditional food eateries that have persimmons and bibimbap that people can try. Most people go to Naejangsan Park to hike and enjoy the scenery, so there are many hiking trails that are available.

Hiking trails, Naejangsan Park, South Korea

The hiking trails are divided into difficulty levels, and are all amazing to try. The first includes an easy nature course, where people leisurely hike to enjoy the scenery. The nature trail has a lot of amazing photo opportunity spots with endless lines of maple leaves. The colors will create beautiful photography for all travelers and tourists. The intermediate trails include the Baekyangsa Temple trail where there are rocks and lakes that people walk through.

The expert hiking trail such as the Seoraebong Peak is for people who are used to the trails, and definitely not recommended for beginners or intermediate hikers. Because the hiking trails include hiking up to the peak, the course is very difficult and is usually a 7-hour hike.

People hiking, Naejangsan Park, South Korea

Gyeongju

Gyeongju is also a beautiful city to visit to enjoy the autumn foliage. Located in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province of South Korea, Gyeongju is filled with breathtaking sites that visitors can tour to observe the stunning scenery and landscape.

Autumn leaves, Gyeongju, South Korea

One of the most popular sites of Gyeongju to enjoy the foliage in the fall is Bulguksa. Bulguksa is a very famous temple in Gyeongju, and the trail to the temple is filled with exuberant fall colors created by the maple leaves.

Because the temple is located on a mountain, there are many trees surrounding the area. There are stairs that lead to the historical site, and it is known to be a Buddhist temple that was built during the Silla Kingdom in 528 B.C.

Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, South Korea

There are many national treasures and statues that were built during the time, and they remain at the temple for tourists and visitors to enjoy. Hundreds of visitors often visit the temple when visiting Gyeongju, and they love to go for the autumn foliage on their hikes.

A food that is iconic of Gyeongju is the Gyeongju Ssam-bap, which is a term that describes rice, meat, bean paste, and side dishes wrapped in lettuce. Gyeongju is very well known for its delicious leafy greens and traditional dishes, so make sure to visit the ssam-bap alley in Gyeongju while visiting.

Jirisan Mountain

Jirisan Mountain is the second tallest mountain in South Korea. The Jirisan National Park is located in the mountain, and is the largest terrestrial national park in South Korea. The park is so big that it is located in three provinces of South Korea, such as the Jeolla (north and south) and Gyeongsang provinces.

Jirisan National Park, Jirisan, South Korea

The park is well known to be host to many animals and unique plants in the country. There are also the Asian Black Bear, but they are known to be going extinct. The Jirisan Park holds a conservation program to help these bears from being harmed.

Hwaeomsa Temple hike, Jirisan, South Korea

There are many temples that are located in various areas of the mountain. Jirisan Mountain is known to have ten temples that are spread out throughout the mountain. The Hwaeomsa Temple is the largest temple in Jirisan Mountain, and has a lot of historical monuments and artwork that are still at the temple.

For example, the temples have pagodas that were built into a tower out of stones, and is also known as the National Treasure no. 67 that was named by the king during his reign. The pagoda is one of the largest stone lanterns that were built in the world.

Stone pagoda at Hwaeomsa Temple, Jirisan, South Korea

Samshinbong is a very dangerous yet popular hike that is located inside Jirisan. The hike consists of very steep and narrow trails, that should only be attempted by professional hikers. The hike takes one whole day because of its difficulty and high elevation of 4,000 feet.

The view is extremely breathtaking and the steep mountainous areas make beautiful photography of the autumn foliage. The scenery is a once in a lifetime opportunity, if one is bold enough to hike this trail.

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  1. I love the foliage. California has leaves but not like the ones in korea

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