Autumn in Korea


Namiseon Island has always been a very popular destination for the locals and tourist.  Just in the last couple of years, I would say visiting tourists have out proportion the locals, particularly during the autumn foliage season. More shops, cafes and restaurants are established with the sharp rise of tourists in recent years. As soon as the first ferry starts, over 100 tourists arrive every 10 minutes. It is almost impossible to get any pictures taken without people getting in the way or the other way round. So I took a different approach: go to the island when people are leaving, spend a night in the hotel, and leave when Namiseon Island is packed with tourists the next day.

Locating within Naejansan National Park, Baekyangsa is the second location where you may see more autumn foliage. You may see the mountain backdrop with colorful autumn foliage and reflection on a couple of ponds, walk on the bridges, and visit some culture assets of South Korea. The special photo spots are the “pond” area by the entrance and the pavilion at the temple. It is easily accessible from Naejangsan but you will have to spend at least one more day on Jeongeup/Naejangsan to be able to visit. You won’t be able to do a day trip to cover both Naejangsan National Park and Baekyangsa Temple even though the later is part of the National Park.

Ilsan Lake Park is one of the largest man-made lake park in Asia, spanning across over 990,000 square meters with a musical fountain, 4.7 km bike path, foot path, 100 species of wild flowers, and a forest with 200,000 trees. The park is very big. Be prepared for a good couple of hours walk if you take a loop. It is a very nice walk though. The foot path is easy and flat. You can take a rest any time and enjoy the green and nature. It’s along the subway line which is very accessible – Jeongbalsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. There is a shopping/mall area before you get to the entrance of the lake. So you may take a meal before or after the walk.

Namiseon Island is a really nice weekend outing from Seoul, particularly after a TV drama was filmed a few years ago. It’s green everywhere and certainly very colorful when the trees turn red in autumn. You can ride a bike around the island and even stay there (yes, hotel rooms available but always full). It’s a beautiful place with nice breeze from the water. The most famous areas are the tall tree-lined path (metasequoia) and the riverside gingko tree lane. There are restaurants, woodcraft art works and children/family activities areas. It is also a popular place for pre-wedding photos too!

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