Autumn in Sth Korea is stunning. The leaves turn vibrant red, yellow and orange and the air just smells fresher! On Jeju, it’s a beautiful contrast of colours against a backdrop of so much green.
Living on Jeju, there are opportunities to see Autumn leaves everywhere. But if you are visiting briefly, I recommend a visit to Seogwipo National Recreational Forest.
We visited in early November, which was perfect timing. There was still plenty of colour, but if we’d left it another few weeks we’d probably have missed out. Winter on Jeju is coming and for this ex Queenslander, I am in trouble!
The forest is about a 30-40 minute drive from where we live at the GEC (Global Education City – where all of the international schools on Jeju are situated). If you’re travelling by car Google Maps doesn’t work in Korea, so you’ll need to download Kakao Maps or Naver Maps, both great apps available in English and easy to use.
There are multiple trails that can take a few hours, but you can circle back or only walk part of the trail to suit little hikers. The path can be slippery, so take care if it’s been raining.
There’s parking available, but try to arrive early to make sure you get a spot. Entry is free for Korean residents (with your ARC card) and only a few thousand for visitors. You do also have to pay for parking, which costs 3,000 WON.
Since moving here, I’ve noticed that Koreans are not early risers. Having kids means we unfortunately are! However, getting an early start does ensure you’ll have a place to yourself for a few hours. It’s rare to see anywhere busy before 11am. Be sure to check opening hours to make sure wherever you’re heading is going to be open!
Another great option I’ve been told about is the Cheona Valley Forest Path. From what I hear, it is stunning, although the walk takes longer and is slightly more difficult. Given we were taking the kids, we opted not to do it this year, but it is on my list for next Autumn!
I’ve been told by many people that the two best times to visit Sth Korea are October/November for Autumn, or during the famous cherry blossom season in March. So do yourself a favour when tourism opens up again and come visit stunning Jeju!