If you are a K Drama lover, you might remember the time travel portal in The King: Eternal Monarch. Well, that mystic gateway to another dimension actually exists! And, I decided to visit the lush green Ahopsan forest in order to see the place with my own eyes. Ahopsan Forest is a place with rich history and amazing scenery. If you are traveling in Busan, I recommend going to this eternal mystic wonder.
Ahopsan Forest in Korean Dramas
Ahopsan Forest is a popular filming location that has appeared in many films and dramas. Recently, it has become a hot spot due to the SBS drama The King: Eternal Monarch starring Lee Min Ho.
But, that’s not all. So many of my favorite dramas have been set in this forest! If you’re a Korean Drama fanatic like I am, I’m sure you’ll recognize Ahopsan Forest as the backdrop to dozens of your favorite dramas. For example, while I was there, I noticed sets from Moon Lovers; Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and 100 Days My Prince.
Ahopsan Forest recently became a popular filming location after the 2014 movie Kundo; Age of Rampant was filmed there. When I visited they were both local and foreign drama fans visiting the forest.
Here is a list of dramas and movies that were filmed in Ahopsan Forest:
- River Where the Moon Rises (2021)
- The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)
- 100 Days My Prince (2018)
- My Sassy Girl (2017)
- The Emperor: Owner of the mask (2017)
- The King Loves (2017)
- Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
- Flowers of the Prison (2016)
- Jackpot (2016)
- The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale (2015)
- Memories of the Sword (2015)
- Kudo: Age of the Rampant (2014)
Ahopsan Forest: Family Owned
Ahopsan Forest is located in Busan and has actually been the property of a single family for nearly 400 years. Rather than developing the area, the family chose to protect and preserve Ahopsan Forest and its natural beauty. It is still a privately owned forest, however, the family recently decided to open it up to the public for visitation. Of course, following its popularity as a K-Drama filming site, many people wanted to visit the forest.
Although the site is open to the public, the family would still like to preserve the pristine natural beauty of the forest. And so, there are a number of rules you must follow when visiting such as not leaving the path and being sure not to leave any trash behind.
The Importance of Ahopsan Forest
It is said that Ahopsan Forest has been never opened up to the public, even during the Japanese Colonial period, thanks to the family’s strong resistance. The family’s efforts to preserve this gift of nature made it what it is today.
Those who know of Korea’s history know how rare a pristine, ancient natural environment like this is. Over the course of Japanese colonization and the Korean war, the Korean peninsula’s natural resources were ravaged. Very few pre-colonial landscapes survived. The vast majority of Korea’s forests we see today were actually replanted during the Saemaeul reforesting initiatives of the 1960s – 1980s.
As a result, this forest is not only beautiful, it is scientifically important. Ahopsan Forest is home to many of Korea’s indigenous plants and animals. Plus, the bamboo, which is hundreds of years old, is a tool for tracking historical climates.
My Visit to Ahopsan Forest
When I walked through the forest there was only pure nature and clean air surrounding me. Honestly, after living in the middle of a busy city, this was the perfect place to take a deep breath of fresh air and clean up my lungs.
The thing Ahopsan Forest is famous for is Bamboo trees. However, the view was amazing. In addition to bamboo, there are also Red Pine trees, Hinoki Cypress trees, and Oak trees which were equally magnificent. If you are a nature lover and happen to be in Busan on vacation this is the best place for you!
I quickly discovered that there was not just one forest. Ahopsan forest is actually a collection of forests. In fact, the name Ahopsan actually means nine mountains. However, not all of the massive 520,000 square meters of forests are accessible. I was only able to walk along a mere 3.2 km path that had been cleared for visitors to walk along. The first one is called The Maengjongjuk Forest. Maengjeong is the one you will come to first while following the trail. The second bamboo forest is my favorite. Both sides of the path are surrounded by bamboo. It feels like walking through a jade cave.
Ahopsan Forest Korean Name: 아홉산숲 Address: Busan, Gijang-gun, Cheolma-myeon, midong-Gil37-1 Korean Address: 인부산 기장군 철마면 미동길 37-1 Operating Hours: 09:00 AM - 05:30 PM Mondays: Closed
If you want to visit more bamboo forests in Korea, Click Here to read about the magical Taehwang bamboo forest in Ulsan!