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Postcards from Seoraksan National Park: Fall Colours

A vibrant symphony of fall colour has been sweeping it’s way down the peninsula since temperatures dropped late last week. And while there’s still plenty of green around, with the first dip below zero a few days ago, the rest of nature should fall into line quickly.

Last weekend, we made the 2.5 hour drive out to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul to take in the painted canvases of autumn at one of the country’s most beloved fall foliage spots.

Surprisingly, the mountains were still mostly carpeted in a blanket of green, but at ground level, we were treated to trees in every stage of their transmogrification from the warmth of summer to the achromatic dark of winter.

Tips for a Visit to Seoraksan
When fall foliage is at it’s peak (like it is now), Seoraksan can be uncomfortably busy, with waits to ride the Seorak Cable Car taking up to 3 hours. Never mind the traffic getting there in the first place.

We sidestepped most of this frustration by driving to Seoraksan on a Sunday, and returning to Seoul on a Monday. There was literally no traffic on the roads, in either direction, making for an extremely easy and stress free journey.

We rented an apartment through AirBnB in nearby YangYang, but if you don’t have a car, Sokcho is the best place to stay for a visit to the Park.

If you plan to take the cable car up Gwongeumseong to it’s peak, Bonghwadae, I’d recommend buying a ticket for the cable car as soon as you enter the Park (10,000 won round-trip). When we arrived at 2:30, the next available car was at 3:45 (and this was on a Monday). Once you have your ticket in hand, you can wander around the Park, or sit and have food or coffee at one of the many restaurants.

Have you been to Seoraksan? What’s your favourite place to see fall colour in Korea?

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. This looks absolutely beautiful. The colours are so intense. Hopefully we’ll get to Korea one day!
    Alison

    November 3, 2016
    • The reds in the Park are particularly intense! Yes! Please come visit…I think you’d enjoy it here quite a bit. 🙂

      November 3, 2016
  2. I can’t get over the brilliance of those leaf colors! It’s kind of nice that some of the green is still there as a backdrop for all those warm colors. Sounds like a perfect little mini-vacation!

    November 3, 2016
    • It was nice to get out of the big city for a night, and be next to the ocean and the mountains. We came back to Seoul just as the temperatures dropped below zero…and unfortunately, we’d left all our windows open in the apartment before we left. Yikes! It was cold…but I’m sure that means plenty more beautiful fall colours. 🙂

      November 3, 2016
  3. The colors are amazing. Here all trees basically turns just yellow and then brown with the few exceptions here and there so it is not that interesting to go around. For some nicer colors we need to travel also some distance

    November 3, 2016
    • The seasons here really are very vibrant, and quite extreme. But it does make for some very beautiful colours! All this vividness in fall and all the pink of the cherry blossoms in springtime. Almost makes the bitter cold of winter and the 90% humidity and monsoons of summer worth it. Almost… 😉

      November 15, 2016
  4. Looks amazing, Shelley! A friend of mine celebrated her birthday there. She said fall colours had passed. Maybe, she was early! Lol! How long do you think it will last? Or should we head to Gwanaksan?

    November 15, 2016
    • Hmm…I think they’re likely almost gone now. Seoraksan is usually one of the FIRST places to get fall colour…so probably Gwankasan is a better bet for you guys. Lol…but better hurry. Don’t think it will last much longer ANYWHERE. 🙂

      November 15, 2016
      • I’l make my peace with the streets of Seoul! haha! LOL! Next year if I’m lucky. 🙂

        November 15, 2016
  5. We came back from our first – our only- trip to South Korea 6 weeks ago. We felt sorry to miss the best of the Autumnal colours. Your photos give a real flavour of what we missed

    November 22, 2016
    • I hope you enjoyed your time here, despite missing the best of the autumn colours. There’s something interesting to see in all seasons, so perhaps you’ll have to make another trip back some day. Maybe in springtime for the cherry blossoms, which are fleeting but incredibly beautiful as well! 🙂

      November 24, 2016
      • I really hope we will come back, though it may not be soon. Thank you!

        November 24, 2016

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