South-Korea is rapidly becoming a number one tourist destination. This beautiful country manages to combine traditions and historical sites, harmoniously alongside the modern and technological advancement. Needless to say, Korea has something to offer for everyone. If, however, you’re a true nature lover or need a little breather from the busy city of Seoul (which is also known as Korea’s New York), you can try out these top 3 ways to experience nature in South-Korea.
All of these lie in the Seoul area, so you really do not need to go far from the capital!
Korea consists out of 70% mountains and has some of the most amazing hiking trails famous not only with Koreans but throughout the world.
One of Korea’s most famous mountains is Hallasan mountain. It’s an amazing nature/animal rich mountain that is at the base of many Korean myths. The older Korean generation believes spirits and Gods live there. If you were to climb it and see a star you would be granted a longer lifespan. BUT, despite your possible wish for living a longer life, I found through my own hiking experiences that there is one mountain that will leave you even more breathless. One that’s literally worth the blisters on your feet!
I’m talking about Bukhansan Mountain:
After an off-the-beaten-path hike, you will be rewarded by the sight of this amazing giant golden Buddha. It’s even bigger than the surrounding trees and looks even more impressive in reality. Well worth the (only) 2-hour hike to reach it.
Since you need to go off the main hiking trail to reach it, it’s safe to say many Koreans themselves have never seen it.
2. Animal Cafes
Animal cafes are a big trend in Asia, and Korea definitely houses one of the best and nature-friendly ones.
Around Seoul, you can find cat cafes and dog cafes in almost every city (student cities even have several throughout). Not only is it a great way to meet your furry friends, but it can help you relieve some of the travel stress for just a few dollars.
They are usually very well taken care of and you won’t spend more than 7 dollars for a drink and a few hours with these well-groomed dogs and cats.
Tip: You can even buy animal snacks so you can lure all the cats and dogs to come to you!
Other than that Seoul also has cafes where you can meet owls, meerkats, raccoons and even sheep!
If you’re not a big fan of meeting animals in a cafe, I suggest you head to Korea’s Jeju Island. Throughout the Island, you can experience horseback riding on many of the incredible mountains or beaches.
3. Island Hopping during Different Seasons
Because Seoul is – despite all the overwhelming mortar buildings – filled with trees and small parks, you get to enjoy a new look of Korea’s capital city during different seasons, without leaving its bustling centre.
However, the best way to see the passing of the seasons is by Island hopping.
If you’re going towards Jeju Island you will have the opportunity to easily reach surrounding Islands using the ferry.
If you don’t feel like going that far or doing something that takes a lot of energy I suggest you visit Korea’ Nami Island. It’s a very small Island located near Seoul in the Gapyeong area, (there are plenty of buses that will take you straight to the docks from Gapyeong Station). From here you will get to see squirrels, rabbits, peacocks, etc. roam free around you.
Renting a bike on the Island is also very cheap and a great way to see the whole Island in one day. This allows you to go where many tourists don’t go by foot, (you’re allowed to freely bike around the whole Island and tourists tend to stay around the centre where all the festivities and activities are at).
Learn more about Nami Island here: https://adorablygone.com/discover-south-koreas-nami-island/
These are my top three recommendations for those wanting to discover Korea’s amazing nature. Korea has a lot to offer nature-wise and truly is beautiful during every season. However, I do recommend you pass by around March and April when the streets are filled with cherry blossom trees.
For more adventures in and out of Korea, have a look at my website: https://adorablygone.com/
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