Autumn is here! Approaching the end of October, we’d be able to see the peak of foliage.
Personally, autumn is my most favorite season because of the foliage and cool weather. So every autumn, I would make sure to find ‘hot places’ to see the foliage.
There are many posts and photos about where to watch the foliage in Seoul, but there are also some cities near Seoul that offer stunning foliage, too! These cities are reachable by public transport from Seoul. VERY CONVENIENT!
ASAN GINGKO TREE ROAD
Asan Gingko Tree Road is a pedestrian area along Gokgyocheon (Gokgyo stream). It is only 1.6 kilometres, but if you want to walk further along the stream, you can still enjoy the Gingko Tree scenery along the way.
When I visited last autumn, there were a lot of street vendors around the area. There are some cafes where you can just sit and admire the line of yellow trees. When I was there, the town seemed to hold a small festival with singers/bands. I also saw families (with kids) having a picnic or bike around the area, so I guess this area could be a regular ‘park’ for locals, as well.
To reach this place, I took the express subway train to Sinchang and got off at the Onyangoncheon Station and took a taxi to the area (it was not expensive, around KRW 4,000-5,000). Another option was to take the KTX train to Asan Station and take the Line 1 subway, or just go by taxi. For the first option, the journey took approximately 2.5 hours, while the second option took shorter time but was more expensive.
Suwon Wolhwawon Garden
Korean drama watchers might be very familiar with this place, which was the filming location for ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ drama (Lee Junki and Lee Jieun). While visiting the mighty Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, we can also visit the nearby Wolhwawon Garden (both places are in Paldang-gu, Suwon).
When we see it, we might think that it looks like a Chinese garden. Well, it is because the provincial governments of Suwon and Guangdong signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and built a traditional garden that resembles each other’s culture in each other’s cities. Therefore, this garden is heavily influenced by the design of the ancient garden in Guangdong. The garden has a cool ambience and some good spots to take photos.
It is pretty to visit in all seasons, but I think autumn is the best time to be in this garden. I also have never been to this park though I have visited Suwon more than 5 times, but it remains in my bucket list and I plan to visit it this autumn!
To reach this place, we can take the regular subway train to Suwon (Line 1, Sinchang/Suwon/Cheonan/Byeongjeom Line) and continue by bus or taxi to the park. The journey will take about 1 to 1.5 hours(depending on your location in Seoul).
Incheon Grand Park
Located near two mountains, Gwanmosan and Sangasan, Incheon Grand Park is really grand. It spans across 727 acres and it is the only natural green park in Incheon. Beside the obvious park, this massive place also offers zoo, botanical gardens, marsh garden, forest classroom, sledding hill, snack bar, lake, wood crafting studio, restrooms, exercise equipment, stage, parking lot, etc (Visit Korea).
Due to its size, you might wonder whether you can even cover the whole park. Don’t worry! There is a bicycle rental, stroller rental, and even wheelchair rental. TripHobo put KRW 2,000 as the price for bicycle rental. If you like hiking, there are hiking trails to both mountains, and there is a lake, as well, in this park! Definitely a park where you can spend one relaxing day in!
- [Subway] Take the regular subway to Incheon Grandpark (Incheon Line 2), exit 3.
- [Bus] Take Bus No. 8, 11, 14-1, 15, 16, 30, 103 and get off at Incheon Grand Park Main Gate Bus Stop
General tips to visit these places:
keep your eyes on the hashtags of these places (in KOREAN) on Instagram. Even though they are not that far from Seoul, if you go there and find the leaves are still mostly green, a round-trip journey is too tedious. Locals will usually visit these places first and you can estimate the autumn peak from their recent posts, or develop an impromptu plan if you see the foliage is already at its peak!