The list of best places to see fall foliage in Korea is long for good reason. Fall in this country is incredibly enchanting, and it makes leaving especially poignant. After a painfully humid summer where everyone is hugging their aircon or quietly melting with their iced americanos in hand, fall signals a cooling down. The country turns a little more golden as the sunlight softens; the trees change into bursts of reds, oranges, and yellows, and everyone lingers a little longer after work or school.
I couldn't leave without sharing the best places to see fall foliage in Korea! Even more than the cherry blossoms, it's been my favorite time of year. Since I haven't even begun to cover everywhere I wanted to see, I thought I'd ask my friends over at CGSCreative, Bobo + Chichi, and Hedgers Abroad to share their favorite fall foliage locations as well. Read on to see if you've been to any of these beautiful areas.
Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Korea
ANDONG HAHOE FOLK VILLAGE | 안동 하회마을
Located along Hwasun mountain, Andong's Hahoe Folk Village is a uniquely Korean way of seeing the fall leaves. An important setting from the Joseon dynasty, it's one of the best places to experience Korea's traditional architecture. If you can, head there around the famous Mask Festival in late September... Read More at CityGirlSearching
Get There: go to Andong Express Bus Terminal + take bus #46 to the village.
BAEMSAGOL VALLEY | 뱀사골
Last October Maggie and I decided to hike Baemsagol to take in the leaves, and it was absolutely stunning. The nine hour hike is still one of the hardest I've done, but it was worth it for the gorgeous views... Read More
Get There: go to Namwon Intercity Bus Terminal, take the bus to Baemsagol
BUKHANSAN NATIONAL PARK | 북한산국립공원
The iconic national park north of Seoul comes alive in fall. With the beautifully contrasting colors of the turning leaves and the powerful stone outcroppings that Bukhansan is known for; this park is a wonderland that begs a visit before the colds of winter set in. This national park is well known for its beauty, so be prepared to have company in the most trafficked (about 5 million visitors each year) National Park in the world...Read More at Hedgers Abroad
Get There: use subway line #3 and go to Gupalbal Station (구파발역), Exit 1. take bus #704 to Bukhansanseong Fortress (북한산성).
CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE | 창덕궁과 후원
"One of our favorite spots during the fall in Seoul is the secret garden of Changdeokgung Palace. The garden turns into a fall foliage wonderland when all the trees change colors. The most beautiful spot to enjoy them would be the small pond where all the trees and their leaves are reflected like a mirror onthe water... Read More at Bobo + Chichi
Get There: use subway line 3 to go to Anguk Station (안국역), exit 3. walk straight to entrance
DAEDUNSAN | 대둔산
Famous for its high suspension bridge, I went with some friends in unfortunately foggy weather last November to catch the last of the leaves. It's beautiful even in the clouds, and you're sure to catch some gorgeous colors... Read More
Get There: from Jeonju Intercity Bus Terminal, take a bus to Daedunsan (대둔산)
Nestled at the foot of the Jiri Mountain Range and the most popular entrance to Jirisan National Park, Gurye is surrounded by mountainous beauty on all sides. At summer's end, this sleepy town comes alive with vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. While Gurye might not be the most populated or well-appointed city in South Korea, people looking to escape the bigger cities to a more natural setting need look no further. For those unwilling to embark on one of Gurye's lovely valley hikes, check out Saseong Hermitage on Osan Mountain for dramatic architecture amidst the lovely trees or just relax by the river that runs through these stunning mountains...Read More at Hedgers Abroad
Get There: head to Gurye Bus Terminal and take a bus to Hwaeomsa (화엄사)
NAEJANGSAN | 내장산
I first heard of Naejangsan when Roxy posted about it last year. Naejangsan is considered the best mountain in the country to see autumn's colors, and it didn't disappoint even in bad weather. While I only saw a little, Elissa did the full hike the year before and Roxy had some more time to explore the different areas (you can see her post here)... Read More
Get there: go to Jeongeup Bus Terminal, take a taxi to Naejangsan Park for about 10,000 KRW
NAMI ISLAND | 남이섬 종합휴양지
Arguably the most underrated time of year to visit this couple's paradise just outside of Seoul. The island is beautifully landscaped with rows of trees that turn to beautiful yellow, orange, and red in the autumn. We enjoy spending a few hours here then exploring the rest of the beautiful places in the Chuncheon area as well... Read More at Bobo + Chichi
Get There: use the ITX-Cheongchun train via the subway to go to Gapyeong Station (가평역). from there taxi to the Namiseom parking lot + take a ferry
NAMWON | 남원
I can't talk about fall foliage in Korea and not mention my hometown of two years, could I? Last year I took my camera with me to school so I could take the long way home. I walked through Gwanghallu and by the river to take in all the colors at golden hour. Unfortunately, I also lost all these photos (except this one I had uploaded to my Facebook page) in my laptop crash this year... Hoping to recreate some photos when the weather clears up before I leave!
SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK | 설악산국립공원
Seoraksan National Park is one of those places that's magical every season. The dramatic ridge line here is even more incredible looking with the colors of fall foliage. Not only is this a beautiful time of year to visit, but one of the most comfortable temperatures to climb the mountains... Read More at Bobo + Chichi
Get There: take a bus to Sokcho Bus Terminal. from there take bus #7 or 7-1 to Sogongwon (소공원)
SEONUNSAN PROVINCIAL PARK | 선운산도립공원
Home to a 1,500 year old temple, Seonunsan park is a little more off the beaten path! Near Gochang, you'll have a better chance of viewing the fall leaves with less crowds. There are also a variety of hikes from as short as 3 hours to as long as 10 to better enjoy the scenery... Read More at CityGirlSearching
Get There: go to Gochang Intercity Bus Terminal, take a bus to Seonunsa (선운사)
SUNCHEON | 순천
Get there: take a bus to Suncheon Bus Terminal or a train to Suncheon Station
I've lived in Korea two years now, and fall is easily my favorite time of year. It feels like the whole country is overcome with this warm glow, and the colors will make you want to take the long way back. If you're planning on visiting, I highly recommend planning it around October. I hope you'll be able to use this list so you know the best places to see fall foliage in Korea!
A big thank you to the lovely contributors to this post! Be sure to check out their sites and social media for more travel inspiration.
Feature photo via Roxy at CGSCreative
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