The stifling heat of summer gently yields to the crisp cool air of autumn. Sundresses and t-shirts are replaced by cozy knits and boots. Autumn brings with her a splendid palette of rich browns, blazing reds and yellows to dress up even the most ordinary pavements. Whether you’re a city slicker or one for nature, an Autumn trip is the best time to visit Korea. For K-drama fans, the romantic nature of autumn in Korea might just inspire you to travel to Korea in November or December to reenact scenes in your favourite dramas.
Autumn in Korea
1) Picturesque peaks of Mount Seorak during Autumn in Korea
Getting there: From Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus from Sokcho, that will take about 2 hours 30 minutesCC 2.0 / Bryan Dorrough
The first mountain that comes to mind for a spot of hiking in the Korean fall season, is Mount Seorak or more commonly known as Seoraksan. When the heat of summer has subsided, Koreans take to the hiking trails as much as possible before Winter beckons and it becomes too cold or dangerous to hike. Seoraksan National Park is where you get outpaced by fit ahjumma and ahjussi in their neon trail gear and if they’re flocking there, you can be sure that’s where the views are.
Pack some light snacks, follow the trail markers (or ahjumma) and get going!
Mt. Sorak Overnight Tour by Kim’s Travel
Where to stay in near Seoraksan National Park
The mountain district is spread over 4 cities so there are accommodation options around the city of Sokcho should you want to take more days to get better acquainted with the peaks.
2) Descendants of the Sun location in Gangwon-do
Getting there: Take the Seoul Express Bus from Seoul Incheon airport, the journey will take about 3 hoursCC 2.0 / mendhak
What do the crazy popular dramas Heirs and Descendants Of The Sun have in common? If you consider yourself a hardcore enough K-drama fan, your answer should be Gangwon-do.
Just a 2 hour drive away from Seoul lies this province that has welcomed drama stars and nature lovers alike. Gangwon-do offers mountains, valleys, beaches and of course, K-drama location visits.
The location of Taebaek Hanbo Exhausted Mine in Sokcho provided the backdrop for Captain Yoo Si Jin and Doctor Kang Mo Yeon’s budding romance in Descendants Of The Sun. A disused mine never looked more attractive.
Or you can climb up top the mountains to see the colourful foliage during autumn in Korea for such amazing photo opps as this:
CC 2.0 / Brandon Oh
A sleepy village called Nongoldam-gil or Nongol village now sees tourists weaving through its hilltop houses in search of the house that was a sanctuary for Cha Eun-Sang and her mother in ‘Heirs’. That is, until Kim Tan located her in his exhaustive search that had most of us rooting for him.
Where to stay in Gangwan-do
Gangwon-do has been a rather popular domestic tourist destination so the province is not lacking in a variety of accommodation Including these 2 hotels in Gangwan-do:
Taebaek Hanbo Exhausted Mine
140-8, Tong-dong, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do, Korea(강원도 태백시 통동 140-8번지)
Cha Eun Sang house
Mukho-dong, Donghae-si, Gangwon-do.
3) Autumn Colours and K-drama nostalgia on Nami Island
Getting to Nami Island: Take the train from Seoul station to Gapyeong station, the journey is about 2 hours
Mention Korean drama film locations and Nami Island will be mentioned in the same breath. Even though the tiny island is part of Gangwon-do, it deserves a mention of its own because of its iconic status amongst K-drama fans.
CC 2.0 / Jeff Wong / Sabrinadai
Thanks to the tragic melodrama ‘Winter Sonata’, Nami Island now sees hordes of tourists across all seasons follow markers placed to indicate where filming occurred. A republic of it’s own, the half moon-shaped isle is spectacular in Autumn when the thousands of chestnut and poplar trees are ablaze with Autumn’s colours. Nami Island is popular during winter and autumn in Korea, as both bring out a different but equally spectacular feel and setting among the tree groves. CC 2.0 /Richard Lee
Where to stay near Nami Island
4) An Alien on Jangsado Island
Getting to Jangsado Island: Take a bus from Nambu bus terminal in Seoul to Tongyeong, then take a ferry from Tongyeong Ferry Terminal. Total travel time is about 5 hours.
The 400m wide island exploded in popularity overnight when it was revealed that it was there that an alien whisked an actress away, for some private time and later, to propose. Hearts were set aflutter when Do Min Jun and Cheon Song Yi from ‘My Love From The Star’ could finally be in the same place at the same time, away from prying eyes. Visit Jangsado in Autumn so you can get inspiration from Cheon Song Yi or Do Min Jun’s layered outfits and coats in their stylish Autumn fashion.
New romantic drama ‘Uncontrollably Fond’ was also partially filmed on the island.
Where to stay near Jangsado Island
Jangsado Island does not actually have accommodation, the nearest hotels will be in Geoje.
Jangsado-gil, Hansan-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Read more: Tongyeong Travel Guide
5) Autumn Colours from the ground up at Namsan Park and Namsan Tower
Getting to Namsan Park: There are several ways to get to Namsan Park using the subway. Stations to stop at include Hoehyeon Station and Hangangjin Station
No one but Cheon Song Yi can make night views of Seoul feel as lonely as when she sat alone in the restaurant on top of N Seoul Tower waiting for her alien love. Fans of My Love From The Star will recall the heart-wrenching scene where they waited (futilely) for Do Min Joon to appear with bated breath.CC 2.0 / Emily Orpin
N Seoul Tower isn’t just good for re-enacting scenes from the drama, it is also a spot you shouldn’t miss for viewing the fall foliage during autumn in Korea. The view from up top overlooks the city, making a pretty contrasting scene of bright coloured trees and skyscrapers in the background.
Autumn in Seoul is just as charming if you only have time to visit the bustling city. Take an easy hike from Namsan Park to really take in the foliage on ground level, the trails ascend gradually and should be a comfortable and picturesque way to burn off all the snacking
Reward yourself for the hike when you get to the observatory tower and take in the breathtaking views of Seoul 243m above Namsan.
Where to stay near Namsan Park
Since Namsan Park and Namsan Tower are in Seoul, there is an abundance of accommodation options to suit every budget.
Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
U&I Pension Hotel