Tour Destinations: National Parks in Korea
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is a relatively small country, but has a numerous number
of National parks, some of them have been internationally
recognized as UNESCO Natural Biosphere Reserves. Here
is a description of some of National Parks.
Soraksan Mt. National Park. After
being designated as Natural Monument No. 171 in November
1965, Seoraksan became Korea's 5th national park in
March 1970. It was selected as a conservation area by
UNESCO in 1982, because of its variety of plants and
Kum Seong Fortress is
the best place to view all of the National Park. There
is a legend that 2 generals built the castle to avoid
war. You can go to the fotress by cable car and in clear
weather you can see the East Sea and the city of Sokcho.
built in 652 A.D. by the Buddhist monk Chajang-yulsa.
On the path to Sinheungsa, there is a great bronze statue
called Bronze Jwabul Statue, which is 14.6 m high.
National Park lies within the territory of Seoul
city, covering a total of 79.916km2, or 13% of the Seoul
area and playing an important role as a "green
lung" for Seoul. The name Bukhansan means "big
mountain in the north". Mt. Bukhansan has such
smooth curves that the large granite rocks sometimes
look as if they would slide down the mountain.
According to legend, it is believed that the mountain
spirit of Paekdusan temporarily rested in the area surrounded
by 3 Peaks on what was then called Samgaksan (Triangle
Mountain). It is said that he was so impressed with
the mountain, that he continues to this day, to visit
Pohyonbong and Pugak to admire their unobstructed views
of Seoul. Bukhansan is a collage of precipitous peaks,
rough terrain, and valleys.
As most Korean national parks Bukhansan has several
Buddhist Temples, one of them is Tosongsa Temple
which is very colorfully decorated for Buddha's birthday.
National Park differs notably from other national
parks in that a great majority of its entire area is
composed of various artifacts of differing shapes and
sizes, along with famous sites. Among these various
cultural assets of Kyongju, the capital of the ancient
Shilla Kingdom, a visitor can view relics which were
used for a thousand years, and have remained intact
for another thousand years after the fall of Shilla.
Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju
famous for numerous stone Buddhas carved on the rocks
starting from the 7th century.
National Park is located in the southernmost part
of Korea, on Jeju Island. Standing 1,950m above sea
level Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea,
and is a dormant volcano with a lake crater at its summit.
The entire area has been designated as a nature preservation
zone and UNESCO
Natural Biosphere Reserves
an effort to protect the rare plants and animals that
inhabit the mountain park. Every season at Hallasan
presents a different and spectacular view, but it is
most renown for its springtime beauty, when the azaleas
are in full bloom.
If you want to reach the summit of the mountain you
should take the Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa courses and
be at the departure point before 9 am. The other courses
Yongsil and Eorimok do not go the very top, only to
Wiseoreum (1.700 m).
Camping is not allowed in Hallasan National Park.
- Seongpanak course ¡æ Summit (9.6km /about
4 hrs and 30 min for one-way)
course ¡æ Summit (8.72km/about 5 hours for
- Eorimok course ¡æ Wiseoreum (4.7km /about
2 hrs for one-way)
Yongsil course ¡æ Wiseoreum (3.7km/ about
hours for one-way)