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Why you shouldn’t compare your Korean to others

When you're learning Korean at any level, you sometimes can't help but see other learners and compare yourself with their progress.

After all, if someone else is doing the same journey you are, you might feel curious to know how they're doing things, where they're at, and how fast they got there.

However, while it may be unavoidable to do this, it's not a good idea for several reasons. I also have a lot of experience learning Korean, and also comparing myself to others, and I've learned along the way that it's not a productive thing to spend my time doing.

So let me share two of my methods for tracking my progress, and also how I can continue to improve my speaking abilities.

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Ask Dr.Kang - Most Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Vision Correction

Location: 

Dr. Kang is a leading surgeon of BGN Eye Hospital SMILE LASIK center. He has vast experience in Laser Vision Correction surgeries and will answer today our patients` most common questions.

Dr. Kang, a patient from Russia, Aygul is particularly worried about pain during and after surgery. Here is her question:
Is it painful during surgery? And what about pain during the recovery period?

During surgery, there is no pain, as anesthetic eye drops are used. However, manipulations of surgical instruments or cold liquid sensation during irrigation may be felt. After surgery period of pain varies, depending on the type of the surgery. In most cases, SMILE and LASIK surgery causes discomfort only on the day of the surgery. But in the case of LASEK, pain may last from 2 to 3 days.
 

Roman from Canada is worried about astigmatism
“I heard astigmatism is hard to correct. Can Laser Vision Correction correct astigmatism?

Like myopia, astigmatism can be corrected with Laser Vision Correction. And most high to moderate astigmatisms are corrected well. However, if astigmatism is very large, a small number of patients may have small amount of residual astigmatism after surgery. Patients who have large amount of astigmatism often have little discomfort after surgery, if there is a small amount of residual astigmatism left.

Sierra from UK is wondering about secondary surgery possibility
I have done LASIK surgery several years ago back home, but my vision deteriorated again. Can I do SMILE surgery?” 

In the case of SMILE surgery, the secondary operation can not be performed with the same method. In the case of traditional LASIK, reoperation is possible with the same method, however, there is a high risk of inferior ingrowth under the LASIK flap, therefore, if myopia has progressed again, SMILE, LASIK, and LASEK are all re-operated with LASEK.

Daria from Russia would like to know more about surgery side effects:
What are the main side effects of Laser Vision Correction?

Dry Eye Syndrome and glares are the main complaints of the patients after surgery. Dry eye syndrome usually lasts several months but may last over one year in rare cases, depending on the patient`s daily environment. Glares gradually subside over time, but night glares can persist to a degree that does not interfere with daily life.

Yulia from Uzbekistan is worried about pregnancy after Laser Vision Correction. 
I am planning to get pregnant next year. Can I do Laser Vision Correction before pregnancy?” 

Laser Vision Correction before pregnancy is not a problem at all. Surgery is not recommended during pregnancy, as there may be certain changes in the cornea. Therefore, if there is a possibility that you are currently pregnant, it is recommended to postpone the Laser Vision Correction. It is recommended to have surgery at least 3 months after childbirth.

 

Have more questions about Laser Vision Correction?

Or maybe wish to find out if you are a candidate for SMILE, LASIK, or LASEK?

Then do not hesitate to contact BGN Eye Hospital to book a free LASIK consultation.

You can reach BGN at their English direct line: 010-7670-3995,
Kakao: eye1004bgnbusan or
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eyehospitalinkorea

 

Seondosa Temple – 선도사 (Gyeongju)

The Central Image of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) from the Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong at Seondosa Temple in Gyeongju.

Temple History

Seondosa Temple is located in the south-western portion of Gyeongju on Mt. Seondosan (380.6 m). The mountain was regarded as the Pure Land in Korean Buddhism during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). Sadly, the mountain has been negatively impacted by forest fires in the not too distant past, which is made plain by the charred landscape. And near the peak of Mt. Seondosan is the diminutive Seondosa Temple. Near the base of the mountain, you’ll find the Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla, which is Historic Site #177; the Royal Tomb of King Beopheung of Silla, which is Historic Site #176; as well as the Stele of King Muyeol, which is National Treasure #25.

As for the diminutive Seondosa Temple, it’s home to the Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong, which is Korean Treasure #62.

Temple Layout

Because I approached Seondosa Temple from the southeast side of Mt. Seondosa Temple, you’ll pass by the Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla (r. 540 – 576 A.D.). King Jinheung of Silla was the twenty-fourth king to reign over the Silla Kingdom. King Jinheung was a strong advocate of Buddhism, which he felt would help strengthen and unify the nation. He also founded the famed Hwarang in 576 A.D., who were an elite group of youthful male warriors. King Jinheung also annexed the neighbouring Gaya Confederacy (42 – 562 A.D.). The annexing of the Gaya Confederacy helped expand the Silla lands. The tomb for King Jinheung measures some twenty metres in diametre, and it’s 5.8 metres tall. The tomb is located in a peaceful clearing among mature red pines.

It’s past the Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla that you’ll find a trailhead leading up to Seondosa Temple. Along the way, you’ll pass by the nearly apocalyptic landscape. Continuing up the side-winding trail, you’ll eventually come to the outskirts of the temple grounds. Past the monks’ dorms, you’ll enter into the main temple courtyard at Seondosa Temple.

Straight ahead of you is the diminutive main hall, which matches the overall size of the entire temple grounds. Unfortunately, the main hall was locked when I visited. However, it’s to the left of the main hall that’s the true highlight to Seondosa Temple.

To the left of the main hall is the previously mentioned Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong. The surrealistic Korean Treasure is believed to have first been carved some time in the 7th century, during the transition from the Three Kingdoms of Korea to that of the Unified Silla Kingdom (668 – 935 A.D.). The rock carving is comprised of a triad of standing images. The central image, and the largest of the three, standing at seven metres in height, is Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This central figure is highly disfigured. The face of Amita-bul has been split on either side (either purposely or the result of natural wear over time), and is now shaped like an inverted “V.” Amita-bul’s entire body is well worn and almost indistinguishable in parts and is joined to the left by a crowned Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). Similar to Amita-bul, Gwanseeum-bosal is damaged on its left side. To the right stands Daesaeji-bosal (The Power and Wisdom of Amita-bul) which, of the three statues, is the least damaged.

To the rear of both the main hall and the Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong, and up the embankment, is the temple’s Samseong-gak Hall. The Samseong-gak Hall looks like a storage shed with its simplistic white, metal exterior. However, housed inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll find highly original murals dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Yongwang (The Dragon King), and Chilseong (The Seven Stars). The collection of shaman deities look more like animation characters than they do painted images of veneration. Either way, though, they are quite beautiful in their originality.

How To Get There

From the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to catch a taxi to the southeast side of Mt. Seondosan. The taxi will cost you around 5,000 won (one way) with the ride lasting around ten minutes. From where the taxi drops you off, you should be able to see the trailhead markers near the Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla leading you up towards Seondosa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Without a doubt, the main highlight to Seondosa Temple is the disfigured images of the Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong. They’re surrealistic in their now disfigured form. However, their original beauty shines through all of their destruction. In addition to this Korean masterpiece, you can enjoy the three unique murals dedicated to Sanshin, Chilseong, and Dokseong inside the Samseong-gak Hall. And if you’re really adventurous, you can enjoy the royal artifacts and tombs surrounding the base of Mt. Seondosa Temple, as well.

The Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla at the trailhead leading up to Seondosa Temple.
The beautiful autumn colours of Mt. Seondosan.
Contrasted by the burnt foliage of Mt. Seondosan.
The main temple courtyard at Seondosa Temple with the main hall to the right and the Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong to the left.
A look at the disfigured Rock-Carved Standing Buddha Triad in Seoak-dong.
An up-close of the central image of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) that’s largely disfigured.
The statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
And the statue dedicated to Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul).
The Samseong-gak Hall at Seondosa Temple.
The painting inside of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
And the blue dragon from the Yongwang (The Dragon King) mural.

Hangul Stroke Order – How to Write Korean Letters

As you’ve been learning Korean and its alphabet, a thought may have crossed your mind: is there a Hangul stroke order? The answer to this is yes! Specific stroke orders are also followed in writing each character in the Korean alphabet.

This lesson will help you learn each stroke order for the Korean letters. By the end of this lesson, you’ll not only have improved on your skills as you write in the Korean language, and you’ll be well on your way to crafting some beautiful calligraphy with Hangul!

Hangul Stroke Order

What is Hangul Stroke Order?

As its name suggests, Hangul stroke order is the specific order of stroke in writing the letters of the Korean alphabet, or Hangul. Although they are only letters and not characters expressing a whole word, there is a specific way to write each Korean character. These rules appear to have origins in Chinese calligraphy and are especially useful for writing in Korean.

What does Korean writing look like?

If you’re new to learning the Korean language and it’s your first time encountering the Korean writing system, it may just look the same as Japanese or Chinese writing. However, Korean writing’s distinctive characteristic is the round letters like ㅇ or ㅎ. Korean writing also has spaces added between words. As you learn Korean, distinguishing it from the rest will become easier.

How to Write Each Letter Correctly

This section will teach you the traditional and most commonly accepted stroke order for each letter in the Korean alphabet. An example for each character is shown in the images.

How to write Korean letters – Consonants

Below are the stroke orders for Korean consonants, which also apply to the double consonants.

ㄱ (기역, giyeok)

This is a single-stroke character, meaning you’ll start and finish it in one stroke. Start from the left and then drop down.

ㄴ (니은, nieun)

This is also a single-stroke letter, starting by dropping down on the left side before continuing as a horizontal line towards the right.

ㄷ (디귿, digeut)

Your first two-stroke character. Start by drawing the top line, from left to right. Then finish it by drawing ㄴ below the first line.

ㄹ (리을, rieul)

This is the first slightly more complex character. First, draw the shape of ㄱ, as instructed above. Then, draw a horizontal line, from the left to the right, so that the line touches the finishing tip of the ㄱ.

Then, finish off with an ㄴ, connecting it to the start of the horizontal line. In other words, to draw ㄹ, you can imagine yourself drawing ㄱ and ㄷ connected as one character.

ㅁ (미음, mieum)

Start by drawing a line from top to bottom. Next, connect a ㄱ shape to it, drawn on the right side of the line. Lastly, at the bottom of this figure, draw a horizontal line from left to right. As a result, you should now see a box shape, aka the Korean character ㅁ.

ㅂ (비읍, bieup)

Again, start by drawing a vertical line. Then, draw another vertical line next to it, but not to touch the two lines. Now, draw two small horizontal lines between these two vertical lines, both from left going to right, the first one around the center and the second one right at the bottom.

ㅅ (시읏, sieut)

Start this one from the center top, first drawing a line going down towards the left, then going back to the top spot to draw another line to the right.

Kor.Write - ㅅ

ㅇ (이응, ieung)

For another single stroke character, simply draw a circle, counterclockwise, to get the character ㅇ.

Kor.Write - ㅇ

ㅈ (지읏, jieut)

Start by drawing a horizontal line, from the left going to the right. Then, draw the legs as you drew the Korean character ㅅ.

Kor.Write - ㅈ

ㅊ (치읓, chieut)

Start by drawing a small horizontal line that should be narrower than the rest of the character. Then, below this line, draw the character ㅈ.

Kor.Write - ㅊ

ㅋ (키읔, kieuk)

First, draw the character ㄱ as you normally would. Then, add another horizontal line from left to right, below the higher line, and connect it to the vertical line.

ㅌ (티읕, tieut)

For this character, first stroke the highest horizontal line. Then follow by drawing another horizontal line below it. Lastly, in one stroke, draw the character ㄴ, so that it connects to the horizontal lines you drew first.

ㅍ (피읖, pieup)

Start by drawing a horizontal line, from left to right. Then, draw two vertical lines from top to bottom. The first one on the left, then one on the right. Finish by drawing a horizontal line at the bottom, from left to right, connecting to both of the vertical lines.

ㅎ (히읗, hieuh)

Begin by drawing a small horizontal line. Below this line, draw a wider horizontal line. Finish off by drawing a circle below these two lines, counterclockwise.

Kor.Write - ㅎ

How to write Korean letters – Vowels

Unlike consonants, vowels are primarily made up of lines. The correct stroke order for each Korean vowel is illustrated below.

ㅏ (a)

First, draw a vertical line, top to bottom. Then, find the middle of the line and draw a small horizontal line onto the right side.

ㅑ (ya)

Start by drawing the vertical line from top to bottom. Then, connect to its right side two short horizontal lines.

ㅐ (ae)

First, drawㅏ as instructed above. Then, draw another vertical line, from top to bottom, to connect to where the small horizontal line ends.

ㅒ (yae)

First, draw ㅑ as instructed above. Then, draw another vertical line, from top to bottom, to connect to where the small horizontal lines end.

ㅓ (eo)

Begin by drawing the small horizontal line, from left to right. Then, connect a longer vertical line to its right tip, from top to bottom.

ㅕ (yeo)

Begin by drawing two small horizontal lines, from left to the right side, one above the other. Then, connect a longer vertical line to where they end on the right, from top to bottom.

ㅔ (e)

First, draw ㅓ as instructed above. Then, next to the first vertical line, draw another one, from top to bottom, so that they are close but do not touch.

ㅖ (ye)

First, drawㅕ as instructed above. Then, next to this, draw another vertical line.

ㅗ (o)

First, draw a short vertical line from top to bottom. Then, below it, draw a horizontal line, from left to the right side, connecting to the vertical line in the center.

ㅛ (yo)

First, draw two short vertical lines, from top to bottom. Then, below them, draw a horizontal line, from the left to the right, to connect to the vertical lines.

ㅜ (u)

First, draw a horizontal line. Then, find the center of that line and draw a short vertical line connected to it.

ㅠ (yu)

Draw a horizontal line first. Then, connected to this line, draw two short vertical lines.

ㅡ (eu)

A very easy one, simply draw a horizontal line from left to right.

ㅣ(i)

Lastly, just as easy as ㅡ, you can draw a vertical from top to bottom. That’s it!

Modifications to the traditional look of letters

As you may have noticed, some modifications to some of the letters’ look appear depending on the font used as you write the Korean alphabet. Most notably, ㅊ and ㅎ appear to lose the small horizontal line at the top instead of being drawn as a short vertical line connecting to the longer horizontal line.

This is completely normal to see especially when typing on your computer using a basic Western font. However, at least as long as you are a beginner, we advise using the traditional order of strokes and methods to write Korean letters.

The Korean stroke order of a syllable

How about the order of strokes for a syllable? Depending on the letters that a syllable is constructed of, the order is either left to right, top to bottom – or a combination of both!

Here are some examples.

가요 (gayo, to go)

The syllable 가 is written from left to right. Meaning, first write ㄱ and then add ㅏ. Meanwhile, the syllable 요 is done top to bottom, starting with ㅇ and then adding ㅛ.

닭 (dal, chicken)

Here, on the other hand, a combination of sorts is used as there are four letters in the syllable. First, start from left to right with the top row, withㄷ and then ㅏ. Afterward, move onto the bottom row, first write ㄹ and then ㄱ.

How important is stroke order for Hangul?

In learning how to write Korean letters, stroke orders may often be overlooked. Although the output may appear the same, following stroke orders essentially make a difference for the following reasons. If you’re in South Korea, you might come across

Your writing will look neater.

Following the correct order of the stroke as you write a Hangul character produces a neater result. When you write the Korean alphabet without following the stroke order, it often results in messier handwriting, making it hard for the reader to comprehend.

It’s easy to understand your handwriting.

Even when you’re writing quickly, Korean alphabet letters are easily understandable when the correct stroke order was followed when it was written. The reader can correctly interpret the writing based on the correct number of strokes and the order of strokes you used.

It makes calligraphy easier.

If you’re also into calligraphy, knowing the correct stroke order in Hangul will help you produce a better result. This is because the Korean alphabet follows the rules of Chinese calligraphy, which includes the order of the strokes.

Is there cursive in Korean?

Yes, however, not in the same way in English the Latin alphabet. There are no specific rules or standards when it comes to writing cursive in Korean, so it is not official, unlike the Latin alphabet. Think of it as your handwritten version of the Korean alphabet, usually with lesser strokes.

Cursive in English letters are written in a continuous and flowing manner as it forms a word. When cursive in Korean is written, each letter still has to be separate. The Korean alphabet is already clustered when it forms syllables, so joining them together might make it difficult to read.

How do you write in Korean naturally?

Just like learning Korean language in general, practicing regularly will help you improve. If you want to have natural Korean handwriting, it’s best to expose yourself constantly to different materials you can use for practice. As you do so, it’s best to follow the stroke order early on to help you get used to it.

Hurray, we hope this has been helpful! You should now be able to write the Korean alphabet in the correct order! Did you find all of this simple and logical to understand, or was a particular character giving you a hard time? Don’t worry, as you can double-check your work here, and consistent practice will help you the most. Comment what you think below this article, and we’ll support you as much as we can!

The post Hangul Stroke Order – How to Write Korean Letters appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Cheonbulsa Temple – 천불사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

A Statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) at Cheonbulsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Temple History

Cheonbulsa Temple is located to the north-east of Mt. Yongcheonsan (544.7 m) in the eastern part of Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The name of the temple means “Sky Buddha Temple” in English, and it was originally constructed in 1974. Cheonbulsa Temple’s name refers to the energy of the temple that it gets from the heavenly realm of Tushita. When the head monk at Cheonbulsa Temple wanted to build a temple, he held a memorial service for one thousand days in a cave at Yaksuam Hermitage near Baekyangsa Temple in Gwangju. During this memorial service, the head monk received a divine revelation. In this revelation, he learned that he should find a place where the peaks of three mountains met. There, he should build a temple where a white crane sat. Eventually, the head monk found this location in Yangsan. Initially, he pitched a tent in the area, until he was able to develop the land and the temple more. Eventually, the head monk would build the amazing temple that we see currently at Cheonbulsa Temple.

Temple Layout

You first approach the temple grounds up a pathway with a slight incline. Along the way, you’ll pass by a Koi pond to your left. In the centre of this Koi pond appears a seated stone image of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And to your right is another Koi pond with a water fountain in the centre of it.

Continuing up the pathway that has a beautiful canopy of paper lanterns over top, you’ll notice a line of stone statues dedicated to the Sibijin-shin (The Twelve Spirit Generals) to your left. A little further along, and back at the main pathway, you’ll notice a two-story Jong-ru Pavilion with an elaborate set of the four traditional Buddhist percussion instruments to your left. And this bell pavilion is fronted by a simplistic five-story pagoda with a lotus flower relief design around its base. And to the right is a matching five-story pagoda.

Continuing your ascent, you’ll finally come to the main temple courtyard at Cheonbulsa Temple. The Daeung-jeon Hall is beautifully adorned both inside and out. Some of the latticework on the main hall is second to none, especially the white and red images of Wolgwang-bosal (The Moonlight Bodhisattva) and Ilgwang-bosal (The Sunlight Bodhisattva). As for the murals that adorn the exterior walls, they are an assortment of Buddhist motifs. And out in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a jovial stone statue dedicated to Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag), as well as a large, green jade incense burner.

Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a triad of statues resting on the main altar centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This statue is joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). To the immediate left of the main altar is a thousand armed seated statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal. And to the immediate right of the main altar, you’ll find a colourful wooden relief dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). On the far left wall, on the other hand, hangs an amazing large wooden relief of the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And on the right is a standing statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). This statue is backed by an elaborate, black mural of Jijang-bosal.

To the left of the main hall is the Yongwang-dang Hall. Inside the Yongwang-dang Hall, you’ll find a standing image of Yongwang (The Dragon King). This statue of the Dragon King stands atop a blue dragon who hovers over top of a shallow pool of water. The statue of Yongwang is backed by a large mural of the shaman deity joined by a pair of twisting yellow and blue dragons. And surrounding the wide main altar are murals of Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities). And to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find an elegant stone relief dedicated to a contemplative Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha).

To the rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a row of white jade statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). It’s also from this vantage point that you get an amazing view of the neighbouring mountains. Continuing up the mountain, and past a pair of burial mounds (not associated with Cheonbulsa Temple), you’ll find the Samseong-gak Hall. Sitting in the centre of the main altar is a statue dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the right is a statue and painting dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). Rather interestingly, and to the left of the central image of Chilseong, is a window that looks out onto cascading water with Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) at its base.

Heading back down the mountain, you’ll find a more modern looking shrine hall. This rather long shrine hall actually houses two temple shrine halls. The temple shrine hall to the right is the Yaksa-jeon Hall. Inside the Yaksa-jeon Hall, you’ll find seven standing images with the central statue dedicated to Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha). And the temple shrine hall to the left, with its own entry, is the Geukrak-jeon Hall. The entire Geukrak-jeon Hall is filled with a soothing golden light that’s emitted from the thousands of tiny statues dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). There is a shrine dedicated to Jijang-bosal in the central part of the numerous alcoves inside this temple shrine hall. And to the far left, you’ll find a large statue dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) on the main altar of the Geukrak-jeon Hall. The hallway outside both of these entryways is filled with beautiful painted floral patterns. So look upwards in this area.

Through the years, much has changed in and around Cheonbulsa Temple. However, what has remained constant is the beautiful Gwaneum-jeon Hall. To the front of the Yaksa/Geukrak-jeon Halls, and up an uneven set of stairs, you’ll find a beautiful corridor filled with stone statues dedicated to the thirty-three incarnations of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). All of these life-sized statues are amazingly rendered and lead up towards a cave entrance. Traditionally, as you walk among the statues, you’re supposed to pray every three steps. Watch your head, as you step inside the low-lying entryway to the Gwanseum-jeon Hall. Lining the walls, as you make your way up the passageway, are glowing row-upon-row of Gwanseeum-bosal figurines. Stepping inside the vaulted inner chamber of the Gwaneum-jeon Hall, you’ll find, seated all alone on the main altar, a beautiful, golden statue dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion shimmering in the softened darker light of the prayer hall. The golden statue is joined by carved images of the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) around the circumference of the cavernous interior.

How To Get There

To get to Cheonbulsa Temple, you’ll need to take Bus #50 or #301 from the Nopo-dong subway stop in Busan. You’ll need to get off the bus in Deokgye in Yangsan at the “Deokgye Sageo-ri – 덕계사거리” stop. From this stop, you’ll need to find the local bus stop in front. This local bus sign will say “Cheonbulsa – 천불사” on it. This bus comes every thirty minutes.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

This temple is packed with beautiful Buddhist temple artistry and architecture. The Daeung-jeon Hall is beautifully adorned with amazing latticework. Also have a look for the large, green jade incense burner at the front of the main hall, as well as the artwork inside the Yongwang-dang Hall to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall. Other interesting aspects are the two-in-one Yaksa/Geukrak-jeon Halls and the cascading waterfall behind the Samseong-gak Hall. But the most beautiful aspect of Cheonbulsa Temple is the subterranean Gwaneum-jeon Hall that has an outdoor shrine leading up to the temple shrine hall with thirty-three different incarnations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It’s really something that needs to be explored and experienced.

The entry to Cheonbulsa Temple.
The row of Sibijin-shin (The Twelve Spirit Generals) statues.
The Daeung-jeon Hall at Cheonbulsa Temple.
Some of the beautiful latticework adorning the Daeung-jeon Hall.
An up-close of some of the reliefs adorning the jade incense burner out in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Yongwang-dang Hall.
The Samseong-gak Hall at Cheonbulsa Temple.
And the beautiful view from the Samseong-gak Hall.
The amazing dancheong corridor out in front of the Yaksa-jeon Hall and the Geukrak-jeon Hall.
The golden shrine dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall.
The trail leading up towards the Gwaneum-jeon Hall and outdoor shrine dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
One of the beautiful Gwanseeum-bosal statues in the outdoor shrine dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
A look down the outdoor shrine dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal.
A collection of some of the thirty-three incarnations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
One last look as you near the entry of the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
The subterranean corridor leading into the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
And a look inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall at a golden, seated image of Gwanseeum-bosal.

~해 보니까 After doing | Live Class Abridged

Do you know about the form ~해 보니까 or ~아/어/etc. 보니까?

The form ~해 보니까 is used to show that you've realized something after having tried something, typically for the first time.

It's a combination of the ~해 보다 form ("to try") and the ending (으)니까 which can mean "because" or to show a realization after doing something.

This past Sunday I held a live Intermediate Level Korean classroom on my YouTube channel and we learned all about this form. And now it's condensed to just 7 minutes so you can review it quickly.

The post ~해 보니까 After doing | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Where To See Autumn Leaves In Korea: 20 Fall Foliage Spots

Seeing autumn leaves in Korea is an absolute must. Dazzling reds, burning oranges, rich golds, and lush greens paint the forests and mountains of Korea’s countryside in waves of splendour that shouldn’t be missed.

Not only does the Korean countryside come alive with fall foliage, parks, palaces, fortresses, and other city sights display resplendent views of autumn beauty and provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photos.

Autumn is definitely the best time to visit Korea and a season where you can’t stay in. You’ve just got to go out and embrace the gorgeous Korean nature, it calls to you!

That’s why I want to share this list of the 20 best places to see fall foliage in Korea, put together from more than 6 years of travelling and exploring Korea, hiking dozens of mountains, and travelling far and wide across the country.

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Autumn leaves in Korea with a range of colours

Official Autumn Leaves In Korea Forecast 2021

Wondering when is the best time to travel see autumn leaves in Korea?

Well, here’s your answer. This is the Korean autumn leaves forecast for 2021, based on the most up-to-date forecast information for autumn 2021.

Korean Autumn Leaves Forecast 2021 Fall Foliage

The autumn leaves typically last for 2-3 weeks, peaking 2 weeks after they first begin to appear, with the exception of Jirisan National Park, which peaks 1 week after.

Autumn leaves in Korea can last for quite a long time, lying on the ground as golden blankets of gingko leaves or red rivers of maple leaves.

You can still see autumn leaves into early November in some places, especially in the southern parts of Korea. Follow them from north to south to get the most of this season.

If you want to know more about travelling in Korea’s different seasons, check out my Korean season guide below:

Complete Korean Season Guide
My Favourite Korean Autumn Leaves Pictures

My Top 3 Fall Foliage Sights In Korea

There are breathtaking views of fall foliage across Korea. So many. If I had to pick just 3 to visit during autumn, I’d pick these sights due to their uniqueness and the glorious colours on display in each location.

1: Naejangsan National Park – Arguably one of the best fall foliage sights in the whole of Korea, this small national park is crammed full of scenic spots surrounded by maple and gingko trees.

2: Nami Island – A top destination any time of year, Nami Island really shines during autumn due to the long, tree-lined streets that spread across this natural landmark. It’s also surrounded by forests across the water.

3: Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden – One of the best palaces in Seoul that offers incredible fall foliage views with backdrops of traditional Korean architecture that also hides the Secret Garden inside, a treasure you shouldn’t miss!

Read on top find out more about each of these places and the other 17 top fall foliage spots in Korea.

Autumn leaves in Korea

Top 20 Places For Autumn Leaves In Korea

Without further ado, here are the most amazing places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

From leafy palaces and parks in big cities, to the nature-filled national parks and their incredible beauty, you’ll find somewhere to see the fall foliage wherever you are in Korea.

If you want to see the best of my Korean autumn leaves pictures, be sure to check out this article with 45 of my best fall foliage snaps so far.

Autumn Leaves In Korea Pictures

1: Nami Island

early – late October

Nami Island is famed for its natural beauty all year round, but even more so in autumn. With tree-lined streets of giant metasequoia and golden gingko, this is one of the most pleasant places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

Known as a family-friendly eco-park, as well as a romantic day-trip spot, there’s something for everyone here. You can combine a day trip to Nami Island with the Garden of Morning Calm for a perfect day of fall foliage viewing.

How To Get There

There are many ways to get to Nami Island from Seoul, including a free shuttle bus, train (Cheongpyeong Station), bus (Cheongpyeong Terminal), or guided tour.

For more details about how to get to Nami Island, as well as more pictures of Nami Island in autumn, check out my guide below.

Getting To Nami Island
Nami Island Tour Tickets

2: Naejangsan National Park

late October – early November

Naejeangsan National Park is one of the must-see places for autumn leaves in Korea for many reasons. Naejang, meaning ‘many secrets’, is packed full of delightful presents.

From the fiery colours you’ll see passing through the Maple Tree tunnel, to the golden gingko leaves surrounding Naejangsa Temple, this park has an impressive array of photo-worthy locations.

You’ll also want to see the Uhwajeong Pavilion, located inside a crystalline lake and surrounded by leafy slopes of warm fall foliage. Besides this, you will find several waterfalls, wonderful Buddhist temples, and hundreds of different plants and animals.

How To Get There

To get to Naejangsan National Park, travel to Jeongeup Station on the KTX and then transfer to a local bus to get to the park. You can also book intercity buses to Jeongeup City or tour buses that will take you directly to the park.

For more details about how to get to Naejangsan, as well as more pictures of Naejangsan in autumn, check out my guide below.

How To Go To Naejangsan

3: Seoraksan National Park

early – mid October

A great day trip from Seoul, Seoraksan is one of the most convenient national parks to see beautiful fall foliage. Situated near the northeastern coast, this is also one of the first places to see the autumn leaves in Korea.

This national park is packed full with stunning rocky peaks, the most important Buddhist temple in Korea, and plenty of ways to explore it all. There’s a large range of trails for all levels and seeing it all from the bottom is worth the trip alone.

If you want to explore the mountain range without getting too sweaty, then take the Seorak Cable Car. Local guides can help you navigate through the park and will point out all the beauty and wonders that can be found here.

How To Get There

From Seoul:
Take an intercity bus from Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal to Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal. From here, transfer to bus 7 or 7-1 towards Seoraksan National Park.

I’d recommend staying in Gangneung or Sokcho so you can spend a weekend visiting Seoraksan and seeing the lovely east coast, too.

Seoraksan Tour From Seoul
Garden of Morning Calm during autumn
Image Credit: Garden of Morning Calm

4: Garden Of Morning Calm

early – late October

Located close to Nami Island, this sculptured garden provides dozens of pathways through hundreds of beautiful plants, trees, and bushes.

The Garden of Morning Calm also holds festivals throughout the year, including the gorgeous Maple Tree Festival. The maple tree is the definitive tree for autumn as its leaves fade from green to gold to deep red, often at the same time.

Strolling through this area provides dozens of opportunities to get close to nature, and take some amazing pictures, too. Coupled with Nami Island, this makes for a great day trip out of Seoul and a chance to really see a beautiful, natural side to Korea.

How To Get There

There are many ways to get to the Garden of Morning Calm from Seoul, including by train or subway (Cheongpyeong Station), by bus (Cheongpyeong Terminal), the Gapyeong City Tour Bus, or with a guided tour.

Getting To Garden of Morning Calm
Garden of Morning Calm Tour Tickets

5: Seoul’s Royal Palaces & Secret Garden

mid – late October

Marvel at the contrast between nature and history in Seoul’s Royal Palaces during autumn and see aesthetic delights provided by traditional Korean architecture blended with the natural beauty of autumn in Korea.

All of the palaces in Seoul will offer incredible views of autumn leaves, but the best place to visit has to be the Secret Garden located inside Changedeokgung Palace. This hidden garden showcases some of the finest fall foliage in Korea.

There’s a beautiful pond where you can see the golden autumn leaves reflected in the water. Entry to the garden is limited each day, therefore get there early to book tickets and avoid disappointment.

Don’t forget to hire some traditional Korean hanbok for truly memorable pictures. Not only that, you’ll get free entry to the royal palaces if you’re wearing it!

How To Get There

The Secret Garden is located inside Changedeokgung Palace. To get to the palace, head to Anguk Station (Line 3 – orange) and walk east from Exit 2.

Rent Hanbok At Seoul’s Palaces

6: Daedunsan Provincial Park

mid – late October

Daedunsan Provincial Park is a joy to visit for both autumn leaves and the many unique attractions you can see when hiking here.

For those only interested in the sights, take the cable car to the top of the mountain. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on the best parts of the mountain, such as the suspension bridge passing between two rocky slopes with autumn views below.

Just before the peak, you can climb a near vertical ladder over a sheer drop to another peak. Known as the Cloud Bridge, this is not for faint-hearted people, but provides amazing views.

I hike here every autumn to see the fall foliage and every time its breathtaking. Therefore, I’d definitely recommend it if you’re passing through Daejeon.

How To Get There

Depart from Seobu Bus Terminal in southern Daejeon and take Bus 34 to the Daedunsan Rest Stop. Walk 10 minutes down the road to get to the park entrance. You’ll see a cable car running up the side of the mountain. If in doubt, head for that.

Another great option close to Daejeon is Gyeryongsan National Park – one of my favourites. You can find out about hiking both these places from the links below:

Hiking In Daedunsan
Hiking In Gyeryongsan
Asan Gingko Tree Road, Asan

7: Asan Gingko Tree Road

mid – late October

There are two trees that are perfect for seeing autumn leaves in Korea, they are the maple and gingko. The Asan Gingko Tree Road specialises in the latter and is the best place to see this gorgeous golden cascade of colours.

Imagine yourself strolling down the beautiful, tree-lined streets of Asan Gingko Tree Road, with a carpet of golden leaves below, and lemony clouds above.

Gingko trees are famous for their copious leaves and creating a golden carpet all around. In short, it really is magical and worth the trip.

How To Get There

To get to Asan Gingko Tree Road, take the KTX from Seoul Station (40 minutes) or on Subway Line 1 (over 2 hours) to Asan Station, then take a taxi to Asan Gingko Tree Road (은행나무길 in Korean).

Autumn leaves in Gyeongju, South Korea

8: Gyeongju City

mid – late October

Gyeongju, known as the Kyoto of Korea for its collection of beautiful historic buildings and attractions, is one of the most popular places to see autumn leaves in Korea.

Gingko leaves dropping down on temple rooftops, maple leaves lining the ancient streets, sparkling ponds reflecting the dazzling autumn hues of the resplendent fall foliage, there’s so much to see and photo in Gyeongju.

Like Seoul’s palaces, the best way to experience Gyeongju’s historic sights is dressed up in traditional Korean hanbok. Explore Gyeongju, Korea’s biggest outdoor museum, in style.

How To Get There

Train from Seoul:
Take the KTX from Seoul to Singyeongju, then take a local bus to the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal to get closer to the city centre. This takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes and costs around 60,000 KRW one way.

Bus from Seoul:
Take the bus from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Gyeongbu Line) to Gyeongju Bus Terminal. This takes about 3 hours and costs around 30,000 KRW one way.

Bus from Busan:
There are buses from Nopo Bus Terminal in Busan to Gyeongju Bus Terminal every hour. The journey is 45 minutes and fares are around 5,000 KRW.

Korean Bus Website
Hanbok Rental In Gyeongju

9: Jirisan National Park

mid – late October

The largest national park in Korea offers so many chances to see Korean autumn leaves. Packed full of maple trees and other fall foliage, as well as small villages, wild animals, and other mountain sights, this is an all-round experience not to be missed.

Jirisan National Park is great for all levels of hikers & trekkers. There are many easy courses that anyone can walk, including a 16-stage loop around the national park.

You can book lodges to stay overnight on the mountain, which will allow you to do a sunrise hike to the highest peak in the mountains and see some breathtaking sights over the park. There are also lodges lower down the mountain which can be used as a stopping point between day hikes / treks.

How To Get There

Jirisan is best accessed from Busan or other southern cities, or by car from Seoul.

Bus from Busan:
From Seobu Terminal in Busan, take buses heading for Ssanggyesa, Jungsan-ri, or Gurye.

You can also access one of the many entrances to Jirisan by bus from cities such as Jeonju, Gwangju, Daegu, and Daejeon.

Hiking Courses In Jirisan
N Seoul Tower In Seoul During Autumn

10: N Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower)

mid – late October

The unmissable N Seoul Tower in the heart of Seoul is a great place to hike and see fall foliage on cool autumn days, as well as impressive views of Korea’s capital from up high.

You can hike from Myeongdong Station all the way to the top, passing old stone walls, big leafy trees, and views of Seoul to the sides. For an easier trip to the top, take the Namsan Cable Car. Relax on the short journey to the peak and back, taking in the sights as you go.

Once you’re at the peak, be sure to check out the other great sights of the N Seoul Tower, including the love locks, traditional Korean rest stop, and the observation tower, which gives you fascinating 360 degree views of Seoul.

How To Get There

Cable Car:
Head out of Exit 3 from Myeongdong Station and walk towards the cable car station up the hill. Return tickets cost 9,500 KRW for adults and 6,500 KRW for children. The cable car runs from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm every day.

Shuttle Bus:
These are hop-on hop-off buses that also cover many of central Seoul’s top sights. Bus numbers 2 & 4 go to the N Seoul Tower.

Getting To N Seoul Tower
Cheap N Seoul Tower Tickets

11: Gangcheonsan County Park

late October – early November

A very popular place to see autumn leaves in Korea for Koreans, but not so well known by tourists, is the culturally and nature-rich Gangcheonsan County Park.

Hidden away in Sunchang, Jeollabuk-do, this large park has lush valleys lined with thick, bushy trees that turn into red, yellow, and orange mushrooms during fall and tall hills bedecked with resplendent fall foliage.

Inside Gangcheonsan County Park you’ll find lots of cultural wonders, such as Gangcheonsa Temple, the Geumseongsanseong Fortress, and the Gancheongsan Five-story Stone Pagoda.

The real attraction is the suspension bridge hanging above the valley, which offers trekkers the chance to see these incredible leaves from above, offering truly unique sights.

How To Get There

Bus from Seoul:
Take a bus to Sunchang Bus Terminal. From Sunchang Bus Terminal Bus Stop, take a local bus bound for Jeongeup or Gurim and get off at Gangcheonsan Mountain Bus Stop.

You’ll also find the Damyang Bamboo Forest nearby.

Mountain view of fall foliage at Bukhansan Mountain

12: Bukhansan National Park

mid – late October

Bukhansan National Park provides great options for hiking and enjoying fall foliage. There are several hiking routes, with each one providing stunning views of northern Seoul and autumn’s splendour.

Hikes will take the best part of 3-5 hours to get to the top and back. The weather is cool at this time of year, which is perfect for hiking. If you’re only visiting Seoul, this is probably the most convenient place to see autumn leaves in Korea and try hiking at the same time.

How To Get There

Travel to Gupabal Station (Line 3 – orange) and go out of Exit 1. Then take Bus 704 for Bukhansan-seong Fortress and get off at the Bukhansan Park Entrance bus stop

For more details about hiking Bukhansan Mountain, as well as alternative ways to get there, check out this guide.

Hiking Bukhansan National Park
Namhansanseong Provincial Park & Fortress during fall

13: Namhansanseong Provincial Park & Fortress

mid – late October

Another lesser-known autumn leaves hotspot in Korea is the Namhansanseong Provincial Park and Fortress. Located a short distance from Seoul, this is a great place to see fall foliage away from the city and the crowds.

There are several hiking paths to enjoy, as well as cultural relics from Korea’s past. Walk along the fortress walls and gaze down at the long views miles into the distance. Hiking paths take as little as 90 minutes but pass through several historic and natural sights.

Top sights include the tall fortress gates, Sueojangdae (West Command Post), the pine forest, and 12.4km of fortress walls.

How To Get There

From Samseong Station (Line 8 – red), take bus 52, 9, or 9-1 directly to the fortress.

Guide To Namhansanseong

14: Mindungsan Mountain Trail

mid – late October

There’s more to autumn leaves in Korea than maple trees and gingko trees. Autumn is also the time to see silver grass (eulalia) – tall reeds that create white waves across mountains, rivers, and lakes throughout Korea.

These reeds are a symbol of autumn and you’ll find a whole mountain’s worth of them at the Mindungsan Mountain Trail, which has its own festival from mid-September to early November, celebrating these special reeds.

There’s also plenty of autumn leaves to see on the hike to the top of the mountain, which is where the reeds are on display. The hike takes about an hour and you can stop on the way to enjoy traditional Korean pajeon and makgeolli – I highly recommend them both here.

How To Get There

Take a train from Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul to Mindungsan Station (Mugunghwa Line to Taebaeksan). Exit the station and head down the hill to the start of the trail.

More About Mindungsan Mountain
Odaesan National Park, Korea
Image Credit: Travel Info

15: Odaesan National Park

early – late October

Odaesan National Park is great for those who want to experience trekking and all the stunning autumn views you’d expect from a national park without having to hike up to the top of a mountain.

To do this, take the Seonjae-gil Road, a 10km trekking path that follows the valley floor through lush autumn foliage and is known as a ‘peaceful breath of fresh air, a place for meditation and reconnecting with nature’.

The start location, Woljeongsa Temple, also includes another treat, a fir tree lined street. Fans of K-drama may recognise it from the hit show ‘Goblin: The Great and Lonely God’.

How To Get There

Take the intercity bus from Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal to Jinbu Bus Terminal (2 hours). From Jinbu Bus Terminal, take a bus to the Minbak Village (Woljeongsa Stop) or to the Sangwonsa Temple Bus Stop.

Alternatively, take a taxi straight to the park entrance, which will cost about 30,000 KRW.

Seonjae-gil Road Guide
Guide To Odaesan N.P.
Red and yellow maple leaves in South Korea

16: Gayasan National Park

mid – late October

Gayasan National Park is a great place to hike and see autumn leaves for people in Busan. This national park explodes with colour from mid-October, with grey boulders from the rocky mountains providing a stark contrast of views.

Culture lovers will also enjoy visiting Haeinsa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and very impressive temple that’s worth the visit alone.

Like Jirisan, the most prominent type of tree on display in autumn is the maple tree, with each tree showing off thousands of small, spiky leaves that can often include green, yellow, and red leaves on the same tree.

How To Get There

Bus from Daegu:
Take the bus from Daegu Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal directly to Haeinsa Temple. Takes about 1 hour. Travellers from Seoul and Busan should transfer in Daegu to get to Gayasan.

Bus from Daejeon:
Take the intercity bus from Daejeon to Haeinsa Temple.

Getting To Gayasan
Red and yellow autumn leaves with a blue sky

17: Seoul Forest Park

mid – late October

With sycamore trees producing leaves the size of dinner plates and bigger, you’ll find some unique autumn foliage in Seoul Forest. A great place for families, you’ll also find a petting zoo, deer, playgrounds and lots more.

There are four sections to this park, including the Culture & Art Park, Educational Experience Park, Eco-forest Park, and Riverside Park along the Hangang River.

If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the nearby Under Stand Avenue – a collection of old shipping containers that have been turned into artsy shops, cafes, and galleries.

How To Get There

Take the subway to Seoul Forest Station (Bundang Line – orange). You’ll see signs for the park as you exit. Under Stand Avenue is on the opposite side of the station and there are some small galleries and cafes to the north.

Joel at the top of Hallasan Mountain, Jeju Island

18: Hallasan National Park

late October – early November

Hallasan Volcano, rising up out of the ocean to create Jeju Island, provides an incredible hiking experience. It’s also one of the last places to see the autumn leaves in Korea as the cold weather makes its way through Korea, touching Jeju Island just before winter sets in.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to climb the highest mountain in Korea to see the fall foliage. Shorter routes around the base of the mountain will give you great views of autumn’s splendour and leave you enough energy to enjoy Jeju’s other sights.

Here’s a quick summary of the 4 main trails:

Gwaneumsa Trail:
8.7km (one-way)
8-10 hours total hike

Seongpanak Trail:
9.6km (one-way)
7-9 hours total hike

Eorimok Trail:
4.7km (one-way)
2.5 hours return hike

Yeongsil Trail:
3.7km (one-way)
2 hours return

Wherever you go, however, make sure to start hiking early as the trails start turning people away after 12:00pm.

How To Get There

There are 4 different paths to climb in Hallasan National Park and they can all be accessed by taxi or public transport from either Jeju City, Jeju Airport, or Seogwipo City.

Hallasan Hiking Guide
Jeju Island In Winter
Pink Muhly in Korea

19: Yangju Nari Park

mid – late October

This spot isn’t really a place for autumn leaves, but I wanted to include it anyway as it’s a festival of colours and autumn flowers and a great place to spend a day out near Seoul.

Nari Park in Yangju is a haven of autumn plants and flowers, including Mexican fire brush, globe amaranth, and the increasingly popular pink muhly. Take a stroll through the pinks, purples, and reds of these fall flowers.

Immerse yourself in schools of butterflies, floating and dancing between the flowers. A true symbol of autumn, working hard to keep the beauty alive and ready for next year.

How To Get There

Take the subway to Yangju Subway Station (Line 1 – dark blue). Take the local bus 2-4 and get off at Mansong-dong 1-tong, or take a taxi to this address – 경기도 양주시 만송동 산46.

Rest Stop at Songnisan National Park

20: Songnisan National Park

mid – late October

Located in the heart of Korea, Songnisan was one of the first national parks in Korea and remains one of the best, especially for an all-round autumn experience. It’s also the place where I took the cover photo for this article.

The hiking trails take you from the historic Beopjusa Temple, with a gigantic standing golden Buddha, past shaded streams, a lush valley floor, and up into the moderately high peaks. There are lovely fall sights at every step and peaceful restaurants to enjoy the views in as you hike.

If you’re looking for a truly unique Korean experience to enjoy during autumn, I’d highly recommend booking a temple stay at Beopjusa Temple in Songnisan National Park. I’ve done it twice and it’s something you’ll never forget.

How To Get There

Bus from Daejeon:
Take the intercity bus from Daejeon Bokhap Terminal to Songnisan National Park entrance and walk towards the restaurants and cafes that lead to the start of the hiking courses.

From other cities:
Take the train to Jochiwon or bus to Cheongju and transfer to a local bus to Songnisan.

Unique Korean Experiences
Korean Temple Stay
Autumn leaves at the Secret Garden in Changdeokgung Palace

Quick Guide To Autumn In Korea

If you’re interested in hiking during autumn, which I would really recommend, then check out my guide to hiking in Korea, featuring lots of great tips all about Korea’s number 1 outdoor pastime.

Hiking In Korea Guide

Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your time seeing autumn leaves in Korea, such as what the weather is like, what to wear, and how to travel to see fall foliage.

Why Autumn Is The Best Time To Visit Korea

Korea has 4 very distinct seasons, ranging from really hot and humid summer (40+ degrees) to a freezing cold winter (-18 degrees). Spring and autumn are short, but packed full of opportunities to travel.

Although spring has cherry blossoms to see, autumn is the best for me due to the better weather, lower air pollution (which peaks in spring), and the feeling of relief that comes with the cooler weather after a long, tough summer.

If you want to travel to Korea, September to early November are definitely the best times to travel. You’ll see autumn leaves, get to enjoy local foods and fresh produce, and witness a lot of festivals and public holidays.

Yellow gingko leaves against a blue sky

Autumn Weather In Korea

The weather in autumn ranges from hot and humid in early September (30 degrees) to freezing cold by early November. The temperature ranges from 10-25 degrees during the day, but can fall below 10 degrees at night.

Typhoons during September and October can change the weather very quickly, and rain showers or strong winds can appear one day and be gone the next, leaving the spectacular skies you can only see at this time of year.

What To Wear During Autumn In Korea

Because the temperature can change quite a lot from morning to night, I’d recommend packing a light jacket or sweater to keep you warm after the sun sets. Lighter clothes should be fine during the day until mid-October, after that it’s time for more layers.

How To See Fall Foliage In Korea

The best way to see fall foliage in Korea is to get out into the mountains and national parks and try hiking. You don’t need to be a seasoned hiker to experience the best of the leaves, and in fact you don’t want to go too high as the best views are in the valleys.

Most national parks have walking trails through the valleys that can range from a couple of kilometres up to 10km (at Odaesan) of forest trails.

Alternatively, head to the historic sites across Korea, such as the royal palaces in Seoul, fortresses, or historic cities such as Gyeongju or Buyeo.

Guide To Visiting Buyeo
Korean pagoda covered in snow in the mountains

Visiting Korea In Other Seasons?

Can’t travel to Korea in autumn?

No worries, Korea has so many amazing sights to see and things to experience all year round. Here are a few articles that will help you out in other seasons:

Korean Spring Cherry Blossoms
Summer Activities In Korea
Winter In Korea
Festivals In Korea

There’s so much to see in every season: snow, cherry blossoms, summer beaches, and autumn leaves. There’s never a bad time to visit Korea.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ About Seeing Autumn Leaves In Korea

Finally, here’s a few FAQs about seeing autumn leaves in Korea, in case the above information didn’t cover enough for you.

Where Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

The best places to see autumn leaves in Korea are without a doubt in Korea’s national parks. There are national parks spread across the country, as well as dozens of smaller areas of natural beauty where you can see fall foliage.

Where Can I See Autumn Leaves In Seoul?

You can find autumn leaves in Seoul very easily as there are many green areas throughout the city. Some of the most popular spots are in the royal palaces in the heart of Seoul, especially Changdeokgung Palace. Seoul has many other places to experience fall foliage, including Seoul Zoo, Seoul Forest, along the banks of the Han River, and Namsan Tower.

What Is There To Do In Seoul In Autumn?

There are many autumn festivals in Seoul that coincide with the major holiday of the season, which is called Chuseok in Korea. When the autumn leaves appear, many people go hiking in national parks and walking in nature. Autumn is cool and has low levels of pollution, making it a great time to get outside and enjoy nature’s blessings. The evenings are still warm in early autumn, so many people in Seoul visit night markets in various locations, too.

What Should I Wear To See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

Autumn leaves start falling in late September and the weather cools significantly after the hot summer. You’ll need at least a light jacket and something appropriate to cover your legs and arms. If you want to see autumn leaves in Korea, you should be fine with regular shoes for walking around a city. However, if you want to see Korea’s fall foliage in the national parks, then you should wear training or hiking shoes that are comfortable in rough terrain.

How Cold Is Autumn In Korea?

Autumn in Korea starts in September and is still warm and humid. However, the temperature drops quickly and by mid-October it can be windy and cold enough for a jacket. By November the temperature drops further and starts to get below zero as Korea approaches winter. During peak autumn season time (October), temperatures are around 10-15 degrees Celsius during the day. There can be typhoons during this season, so be careful as there can be strong winds and heavy rains for brief periods. Otherwise, the weather is mostly calm and sunny.

When Can I See Autumn Leaves In Seoul?

The best time to see autumn leaves in Seoul is around mid-October as the trees start to change colour. The autumn leaves in Seoul should stay for several weeks and reach their peak around the end of October. Places close to Seoul, such as Seoraksan National Park, usually peak before Seoul.

When Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea?

Autumn leaves in Korea first appear at the end of September in the north-east of Korea, before moving down through the country and reaching Jeju Island around mid-October. The start date is not the same as the peak date, which is when the autumn leaves will be most colourful.

Can I See Autumn Leaves In Korea During November?

There are several national parks in the south of Korea, including Jirisan National Park, Naejangsang National Park, and Hallasan National Park on Jeju Island. These should all still have autumn leaves on their trees by early-mid November. The last time you’ll see autumn leaves in Korea is the middle of November. After that, the weather drops quickly and winter in Korea begins.

Thank you sign

Share Your Thoughts

If you enjoyed reading this article, or if you have any thoughts about it that you want to share, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below. I’d love to hear your feedback about this article and the subject.

If you want some recommendations about where to see autumn leaves in Korea, then you can also ask in the Korea Travel Advice group on Facebook.

Korea Travel Advice Group

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Haeinjeongsa Temple – 해인정사 (Saha-gu, Busan)

The View from the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall at Haeinjeongsa Temple in Saha-gu, Busan.

Temple History

Haeinjeongsa Temple is located in Saha-gu, Busan. It’s located on the lower south-western slopes of Mt. Gudeoksan (545.3 m). Haeinjeongsa Temple is a modern temple. It first started being built in August, 1999. It has an overall size of 5,000 pyeong, or nearly 16,529 square metres. The first of the temple structures to be built was the main hall, the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall, which started to be built in June, 2000. And the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall was completed in 2003. In total, there are half a dozen temple shrine halls for visitors to explore at Haeinjeongsa Temple.

Temple Layout

To get to the temple, you’ll first need to ascend a steep road that leads you towards the temple parking lot. To get there, you’ll need to pass under a high vaulted ceiling for the Boje-ru Pavilion. The ceiling of this pavilion is painted with beautiful dragon and Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities) murals.

Making your way up to the main temple courtyard, you’ll pass by the temple’s administrative office and kitchen. Ascending a set of stairs, you’ll finally enter into the main temple courtyard. Straight ahead of you is the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall. As you approached the elevated main hall, you’ll notice the Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion) to your back. This is the upper portion of the Boje-ru Pavilion that you first passed through on your way up to the main temple courtyard. It’s also from this vantage point that you get some amazing views of the southwest-end of Busan off in the distance.

As for the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall, its exterior walls are adorned with an assortment of golden Buddha and Bodhisattva murals. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll notice seven statues taking up residence on the main altar. The central image, as the name of the shrine hall already hints at, is that of Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). This central image is flanked by two large seated statues of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) and Nosana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha).

To the left of the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall is the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this temple shrine hall are adorned with various murals like the frightening Judgment Murals that include images of Agwi (Hungry Ghosts) and Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). The interior to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is rather cavernous but plain. The central image on the main altar is a statue of Jijang-bosal with a golden scroll in its hand. Interestingly, the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) are absent from the interior of the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.

And to the right of the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall, and joined by the monks dorms to the far right, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. All of the exterior walls to the Gwaneum-jeon Hall are adorned with various incarnations of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). These murals include some of the thirty-three incarnations of Gwanseeum-bosal. As for the main altar inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall, and much like the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, you’ll only find a solitary statue on the main altar. This is a golden statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

The other two shrine halls that visitors can explore at Haeinjeongsa Temple are to the left of the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall. One is the rather underwhelming Yongwang-dang Hall, which is dedicated to Yongwang (the Dragon King). And the other shaman shrine hall is the Sanshin-gak Hall, which is dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). These bunker-like structures look out of place next to the brilliantly designed Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall.

How To Get There

To get to Haeinjeongsa Temple, you’ll first need to get to Goejeong Subway Station, stop #105, on line one of the Busan subway system. From there, you should take a taxi, because the roads that lead up to the temple are both confusing and steep. It should only cost you about 3,000 won to get to Haeinjeongsa Temple.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Haeinjeongsa Temple is one of the more complicated temples to rate. Because it’s harder to get to, and it has two dilapidated shaman shrine halls, it isn’t the best; however, with that being said, the newly constructed Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall, the Gwaneum-jeon Hall, and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall help to elevate the overall rating of this newly constructed temple in Busan. Also, the spectacular views of southwestern Busan help add to the overall aesthetic of Haeinjeongsa Temple. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that Haeinjeongsa Temple is a bit of a mixed bag of sorts; but by far, the architecturally good outweighs the architecturally bad.

Passing under the Boje-ru Pavilion at Haeinjeongsa Temple.
The second-story Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion).
The Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall (right) and Myeongbu-jeon Hall (left).
The main altar inside the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall.
The beautiful view from the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall out towards the city of Busan.
Inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).
Jijang-bosal with a tissue.
The bunker-like shaman shrine halls dedicated to Yongwang (bottom) and Sanshin (top).

In the middle (中) 중 & 중이다 (한자) | Korean FAQ

The 한자 character 中 (중) is used in a common Korean grammar form (~중이다), but also it's used together with certain nouns to mean "in the middle of."

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