Autumn in Seoul. Sounds like a title of a movie already. South Korea was the first traveling experience I had. I think autumn is the best time to visit Seoul, or South Korea in general, as there are so much you can do with the autumn vibes, especially if you love hiking (as much as I do) 😆
The Best Date To Visit
Well, when you have autumn season in mind, you definitely don’t want to come to South Korea when the leaves are still green or, worse, when all the leaves are already fall off its branch. To catch the best autumn foliage in Seoul, South Korea, you should go there between mid to the end of October. Beginning of November is still good, but I’d say not great because you’ll miss highlight of Seoul’s Autumn (my version). You’ll know why later in this post.
The Best Activity
Well I said it already, the best activity in autumn, I could say, is HIKING! Even if you are a totally beginner and have never done it before (like I was back then), you should totally try it. And South Korea, close to its capital city of Seoul, has a lot of easy mountain for a day hike.
Why, you ask? Can you imagine, you walk with the peak as your goal, and a landscape that screams “AUTUMN!!!” wherever you see? 😆 I can still remember the orange, red, green, and yellow colored leaves are mixed with the blue sky as the background. Well, I’ll let the photos speak for me.
The Best Places to Experience Autumn
1. Bukhansan National Park
My number one place is, of course, related to the best activity I said earlier: a mountain! Could you guess it? 🙈
In my case, I went to hike Bukhansan–or Bukhan Mountain. It’s located very close to Seoul. You can go there with no hassle at all! From Ewha University area, it only took less than 1 hour to get to the foot of the mountain. What’s more, the bus stop was that close to the entrance. Please remember to check the opening period. I went there on 29 October, and on 1 November the mountain was closed due to winter cold. (This is why I can’t recommend you to go to South Korea on November!)
I went to the national park by myself. I went to South Korea with my friend, but she had another agenda. With no experience of hiking and solo traveling at all, I brave up to do it by myself. I wanted to experience autumn hiking, no matter what, with or without my friend.
By the time I got there, I was quite surprised, but also kind of expected, that I was the only Indonesian (or even South East Asian) that I found that day! I mean, I saw Indonesian wherever I go at the city. But not here. Somehow proud of myself for going antimainstream 😆
Turns out, that was one of the best decisions of my life. So, yes, you can safely and comfortably solo hike at Bukhansan. You can even make friends on the way up to the peak!
One more thing about hiking in South Korea is…South Korean loves hiking so much. Or at least the elders. I went there on Monday, so most of Korean that I see was elders. But the numbers… I couldn’t believe there were that much of elders hiking every day. I mean, the way up was not that easy and they looked like more than 60 years old. They could even move with more agility than me!
Their level of dedication to hiking was also no joke. Almost all of them used complete hiking gears: hiking shoes, hiking outfit, hiking bag, even with the hiking staff! Me? Just my casual autumn outfit 😅
Read more: My Bukhansan Experience
2. Nami Island
Second place is…Nami Island! If you love taking photos of people, or yourself, you’ll love it here. It has autumn vibes all around on the whole island and Nami Island has its best photo spots literally anywhere. Very beautiful and it has that out-of-the-city vibes you’ll love. Be careful not to put Nami Island on the weekend to your itinerary, though. It could be very jam-packed. Tourists are not the only one who think of Nami Island as the best autumn destination, locals do too.
For Muslims, there is a bonus: a mushola! You can take your prayer comfortably in a big mushola there. I was quite shocked honestly, that the mushola was that big for a non-Muslim country.