Taking the Scenic View of Korea's National Parks

For being a small country, South Korea sure does have a lot of national parks! Korea’s national parks are ranked into three categories – Historical, Marine & Coastal, and Mountain. While there is only one Historical Park and four Marine & Coastal National Parks, there are sixteen Mountain National Parks! These parks are found all around Korea, with “6.7% of Korea being protected as National Parks.” [1] Let’s take a look at some of the best National Parks around Korea!

DADOHAEHAESANG

This national park is not only beautiful, but it's Korea’s largest! It is part of the Marine & Coastal National Parks, which means it is close to the ocean. The beauty of this park comes from the past volcanic activity that helped to create the islands and rock formations. Because of this, the scenery is beautiful and captivates anyone who looks at it! One review on Tripadvisor stated “Wando Bay is made up of a string of mountainous islands covered with forests, some of which have very long golden-brown sand beaches…. I recommend staying here for 2 nights to enjoy this beach and harbor atmosphere.” [4]

BUKHANSAN

This national park lies directly in the capital of Korea - Seoul! Not many national parks are within a city, allowing tourists from all over to admire it. Being in the city limits not only allows for easy access to the park, but it also helps to keep the area fresh instead of being bogged down from city emissions. Featuring scenic hiking trails, and some temples to discover along the way, it’s no wonder why Bukhansan is one of the most visited national parks in the world!

NAEJANGSAN

Another one of Korea’s Mountain National Parks is Naejangsan. This mountain was voted “one of the eight most beautiful places in Korea.” [1] It’s no wonder why when the autumn foliage is incredibly stunning to look at! It also has two temples on either side of the park for visitors to enjoy, making this park full of unique experiences!

SONGNISAN

Songnisan lies directly in the middle of the country, allowing visitors from anywhere in Korea to have easy access. It is known for “its craggy, granite mountains and pink azaleas in the springtime,” [3] since it is part of the Mountain National Parks. At the foot of the mountain, Beopjusa Temple can be found for visitors to stop and admire. Spring would be a great time to stop by, not only because of the pink azaleas, but because the foliage around the mountain would be new and beautiful to look at!

GYEONGJU

Gyeongju is Korea’s second oldest, and only Historical National Park. It was listed as “one of the 10 most important historical sites in the world,” by UNESCO in 1979. [1] Throughout this park, you are likely to see some of Korea’s oldest structures because Gyeongju used to be the capital city of the Silla Dynasty in Korea. The Temple of Bulguksa, and the Anapji Royal Pond Garden are just two of the structures you could see while walking around at this Historical National Park. Because of this, tourists and history buffs alike can come to this national park and enjoy what it has to offer!

While I only touched on a few of the parks throughout Korea, all twenty-one are available to be explored. If you ever have the chance to travel to Korea, I would suggest going to at least one of these parks because they are absolutely stunning, and would most likely be a once in a lifetime experience for you to enjoy!

SOURCES: [1], [2], [3], [4


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