Gangwon-do, a province in South Korea has the most beautiful locations to enjoy the fall season. Think mountains, temples, natural reserves, and a plethora of colours.
The province has been in existence since the Joseon Dynasty came into power, in the late 1300s. Located in the northern and east part of Korea, it is one of the coldest regions in the country. It is here that the autumn foliage glistens in all its glory — you can watch it shining bright on the mountain slope during a lazy sunset or marvel at its beauty as you walk under a canopy of Gingko trees in one of the forests here. Find out the places you should visit in this province and where you should be staying to enjoy the amazing weather and the beautiful sights.
Seoraksan National Park
About a four-hour drive from Seoul, the Seoraksan National Park can consume your senses with its autumn colours of red and yellow, its multiple hot springs, jaw-dropping cliffs, dense forests, and ancient temples. Named after Korea’s third largest peak, Seorak, which literally means ‘snow’ (‘Seol’) and big mountain (‘Ak’), the range was named such because the snow would not melt for a long time. Spread across 400,000 km, there is so much to do, that a day here is not be enough.
You can take your pick from the multiple hiking trails (based on difficulty levels) or sit back and enjoy the autumn views in a cable car that goes to one of the mountains. A must visit is the Sinheungsa Temple. A historical monument, it is very close to the entrance of the park. We recommend the lovely, scenic walk to enjoy the quietness of the surroundings here. Although spread across such a wide area, the ‘Outer Seorak’ is a favourite and is close to the sea and the town of Sokcho.
Here are some lovely HomeAways to book for your holiday here:
Sokcho beach family room
This studio apartment is just a walk away from the beach and ideal for small families or couples on a holiday to explore this beautiful part of Korea. Clean, spacious and well-designed, the home comes with all modern amenities. If you are there to enjoy the beauty of nature, then this quote on the wall of the home may be a good one to remind you of your purpose — ‘Every day is a new life to a wise man. Think that this day will never dawn again.’
Average price per night: SGD 87
Alkong room close to the nature reserve
This lovely duplex home is ideal for a group of six. We love the idea of looking into the sea from the attic beds. With the beach and shopping marts just a short distance away, enjoy the convenience and your evening walks in the lovely weather. The Nature Reserve is a fifteen-minute bus ride away, so take time out to plan the early morning hikes to enjoy the autumn views, too.
Average price per night: SGD 124
Odaesan National Park
Home to over 3000 species of plants and animals, the Odaesan mountain was designated as a national park in 1975. Beautiful reds, greens and yellows, the national park throws open its canvas to nature during the autumn months. A must visit here is the Shilla-era temple built in the 6th century. Sheltered by Fir trees, the walk to the temple is therapeutic in its own way, as you cross bridges over little streams, and enjoy the scenic views. You can spend time meditating with the monks at the temple, or looking at the intricate Buddhist art, especially the nine-storey pagoda called the Sari-Pagoda and a stone seated Buddha in the main courtyard.
Book yourself at one of these HomeAways to enjoy the best that nature has to offer.
This lavishly done-up home with modern furnishings, café terrace, and barbeque grill seems tailor made for those among us who are always looking to strike a balance. On the one hand, we yearn for the peace and quiet of nature, while on the other we also enjoy the comforts of urbane living. This one combines both, and does a great artistic job of it. So, you get to wake up to chirping birds and gurgling streams, but you also enjoy the joys of a hot tub bath.
Average price per night: SGD 170
Pine tree cabin
Always dreamt of living in a cabin close to the forests, where it is you and the rustic elements of nature? Time to make that dream come true. And while you are at it, do it in style. The warm hues of this cabin contrast the cold, nippy weather quite well. Perfect for a family of four, the first floor has the kitchen and the stairs lead you to a comfortable room, with the view of the mountains and the forest.
Average price per night: SGD 248
Angel red with spa
A beautiful patio that looks into greenery, tastefully designed seating arrangements across the house — a HomeAway couldn’t look any more inviting. Done up in bright red, enjoy your holiday with your family, planning a barbeque in the evening, or sipping coffee in the Cafe Terrace in the morning.
Average price per night: SGD 170
Sobaeksan National Park
A mountain lover? Then this national park should be on your bucket list.
Home to some of the most beautiful peaks in Korea, if you love a good mountain trek, then climbing the Birobong peak (1439.5m) is highly recommended. While you are there, do visit Guin-sa, the Buddhist site in the Park. The temple is the headquarters of the Cheontae School of Buddhism. The monument has been built in a valley and is wedged between steep slopes on either side, making for some remarkable views. You are sure to find the serenity of the temple and the beautiful fall foliage to be incredibly calming.
Enjoy the treks, walks, and the views of the mountains all around you bursting into vibrant colours at these comfortable HomeAways.
Riverside camp with Kayak
If staying at unique properties is your thing, then check this one out right away. You are in a Volkswagen microbus camping van that comes with free kayaks that you can use anytime of the day. The home comes fully-equipped with a bedroom, kitchen, shower and outdoor equipment. The deck of the trailer makes for a neat patio, where you can set up a table and camping chairs. What’s more? Your out-in-the-wild experience comes with breakfast, so begin your day enjoying the views of the mountains. The outdoor vacation is only recommended for guests over 20 years of age.
Average price per night: SGD 188
Vintage airstream adventure camp
See yourself as an outdoorsy-kind of a person? Then put those skills to test right here. Although since this camp comes with a well-equipped room and kitchen, it won’t prove to be much of a challenge. This HomeAway in a minivan has a very warm and cosy vibe. The trailer home comes with two bedrooms and can accommodate upto 3 guests. The deck here also has a grill and a fireplace, so planning that party will be a breeze.
Average price per night: SGD 163
HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.sg or download the HomeAway Asia app to choose the ideal holiday homes and homestays for your next holiday.