Bukhansan National Park
After a couple of days in the concrete jungle of Seoul, I needed a fresh walk somewhere inside the mountain. I looked at the map and decided to visit Bukhansan National Park. The Bukhansan Mountain is located in the North part of Seoul and it is defined as a national park in 1983. The name of the mountain actually means: “A mountain north of the river Han”.
The national park Bukhansan is also known as Samgaksan (the triangle mountain) because it encompasses three peaks Baegundae Terrace (836.5 m.), Insubong Peak (810.5 m.) and Mangyeongdae Terrace (799.5 m.). The park is rich in biodiversity – a home to more than a 1300 types of plants and animals.
The route starts from the Western entrance of the national park up to the Baegundae peak. This is one of the most visited national parks in South Korea and there are always many people around. The Koreans are keen tourists and usually are very well equipped with everything that you can imagine.
I went for a walk alone and in the beginning, I was a little worried whether I could find the path to the top but it turned out there were signs and arrows and I had no problems climbing to the top. In other cases, I’d simply follow the locals on the way there.
At the beginning of the park there is a path which is very well made but later on there are many rocky steps and big parts of stones and rocks, so you have to be careful. The best option is if you have touristic shoes although sneakers are also fine. The transition is not very easy but it is rewarding.
I don’t know how it is during the rest of the seasons but the autumn in the park was magical. For a couple of times, I stopped in order to take a picture of the fairy colors. The autumn had drawn the leaves of the trees with yellow, red, green and golden tints turning the crowns of the trees into a colorful carpet.
The last part of the mountain is especially challenging because you have to hold on to the steel ropes and to walk on narrow steps in the rocks.
In the national park, there are a couple of peaks but the tallest and most popular one is Baegundae. It is situated at 836,5 m and the view from the top is breath-taking. It was standing up there, surrounded by plenty of peaks and mountains in one of the largest cities in the word. In such moments you realize how majestic and spectacular nature is.
On the way there, there are a couple of places where you can have a picnic but most of the Koreans did it on the top of the mountain. They are very good and almost always, they would offer you water or something to eat.
The park is visited by 5 million visitors on average and is honored as a national park with the most visitors per square meter in the “World Guinness Records“. In order to protect the nature, there are periods when visiting is limited and sometimes it is closed for visitors, so it’s good to check before you leave to get there.
Tip: in the lower part of the mountain there are machines for drinks and light snacks in case you forget to take some with you.
Duration: I climbed the peak for about an hour and thirty minutes although it usually takes at least two hours.