About Stewart H
Lives in Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
Since Jul. 2014
25-34 year old male
I've been based in Seoul the last few years and Korea has continued to capture my heart as the years go by. But I also feel even one lifetime isn't enough to fully explore what's out there so I try and head out of Seoul whenever I can. Traveling, making friends, gaining new perspectives, and lots of good eating is all that I need to live a happy life. Visit my blog for more info about Seoul! http://whatsstewin.blogspot.com
Architectural Buildings, Gardens, Historic Sites
Sports Complexes, Parks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Other Outdoor Activities
Other Outdoor Activities
Other Outdoor Activities
Other Outdoor Activities
Everyday, thousands of Seoul's residents and visitors alike come to one of the many city parks dotted along the Han River, or Hangang, which is the major river that bisects Seoul. The walking and biking paths stretch continuously along the river - allowing one to almost walk the entire length of Seoul, from one end to the other. Also available are basketball courts, outdoor exercise facilities, soccer fields, water sports, swimming pools and many other amenities, along with plenty of spots to sit, rest, and relax.
Bukhansan (or Mount Bukhan) is the highest peak in Seoul - 836.5 meters above sea level. It's a moderately challenging but rewarding climb for veterans and first-timers alike. On clear days, the city views from the peak are breathtaking, while the hike itself will give you a glimpse of the rugged mountainous terrain of the Korean peninsula.
Namsan Park is one of Seoul's most famous and popular parks, located right in the center of the city. Despite not having a very high peak, it's most famous for having the popular N Seoul Tower at its top. The trails are well maintained, allowing you to pass by ancient castle walls and important historic sites, with breathtaking views of Seoul along the way.
Although it is not as large as the main Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung (or Changdeok Palace) was the favored spot for many of the Joseon Dynasty royals. The buildings here were designed and built to blend in with the natural landscape and scenery, making it arguably the most beautiful of the palaces. A particular highlight is Huwon - the rear garden where the king would rest and relax. Considered to be one of the best examples of Korean garden design, its scenery and landscape also change dramatically with the seasons.
A remnant of the successful 1988 summer Olympics in Seoul, Olympic Park is one of the city's largest and most popular parks. Its vast fields, art sculpture installations, and numerous paths winding around two lakes, make it a great place for walks in particular. The park also contains remnants of Mongchontoseong, an ancient fortress from the Baekjae Dynasty, as well as various gymnasiums and buildings that are popular venues for performances, concerts, and other events.
Seonyudo Park is a unique eco park located on Seonyudo (or Seonyu Island) along the Han River. Once the site of a water filtration plant, the park makes interesting use of the former building's infrastructure and the grounds surrounding it. It's a fascinating combination of nature and man-made elements, and a popular spot for photographers. Seonyu bridge, which connects Seonyudo Park with Han River Park, is the only pedestrian bridge located on the Han River and offers more great photo opportunities.
Bugaksan (or Bugak Mountain) is an offshoot of the larger Bukhansan and is one of the highest peaks in Seoul. Located just behind the presidential residence, Cheongwadae, the mountain paths wind along the old Seoul city walls, surrounded by lush foliage and historic sites. They provide some of the best views of Seoul.
Right in the heart of downtown Seoul, Seonjeongneung is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of two royal tombs: Seolleung Royal Tomb and Jeongneung Royal Tomb. On these grounds, you'll find the burial sites of King Seongjeong, Queen Jeonghyeon, and King Jungjong from the Joseon Dynasty. With their stone paths, sculptures, and tombs, the burial grounds make for both an interesting visit and a quick Korean history lesson. The surrounding grounds also have plenty of foliage, hills, and benches to explore, making this a wonderful place for a quiet escape.
Built to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup, co-hosted by Korea and Japan in 2002, this immense park was once a landfill filled with over 92 million tons of waste! The garbage was painstakingly removed over the course of six years, and the grounds were then stabilized and cleaned before the park was built. Today, the sprawling site is divided into five smaller parks which feature trails, playgrounds, ponds, a stream, forests and more! Created as an eco-park, World Cup Park exhibits an obvious emphasis on being nature-friendly, with plenty of environmentally friendly elements such as wind turbines and solar panels.
Seoul Forest opened in 2005 and consists of five differently themed parks, including forests, a wetland, and ponds. More than 420,000 trees of 104 different varieties were planted here, making it a welcome natural refuge from metropolitan city life. The park also serves as a habitat for local deer, elk, ducks, and other wildlife.
At 338 meters high, Inwangsan (or Mount Inwang) is a historically significant rocky mountain that's very popular with local hikers. Winding along the remnants of the stone city walls, the mountain paths take you past historic fortresses and the historic Buddhist temple, Inwangsa, while the peak offers great views of Seoul city on clear days. The rocky mountain is also known for its many unique boulders and formations, which have been given names such as ´hat rock´, ´eagle rock´, ´crouching tiger rock´, and others.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is seldom explored by tourists but offers a tranquil scene that combines both history and nature. Jeongneung is the royal tomb of Queen Consort Sindeok, who was the second wife of King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. Due to political turmoil, the tomb was moved to its current location and then neglected for centuries before finally being restored. The site is simple, with just a few ancient stone figures to explore, but is still an important example of the tomb style favored during the early Joseon Dynasty period. The surrounding forest and greenery also provide a tranquil setting, making it popular with locals.
This enormous cemetery is one of Korea's two national cemeteries and is where the majority of the country's leaders, patriots, martyrs, and other significant figures have been interred. For this reason, it is also one of Korea's most revered and respected sites. Notable individuals buried at Korean National Cemetery include President Syngman Rhee, President Park Chung Hee and his wife, and President Kim Dae Jung. Various monuments, memorials, and other sites of respect are scattered around its enormous grounds, which cover some 343 acres of land. The cemetery is surrounded by mountain ridges, thick forests, and the Han River.
Mt. Dobong (or Dobongsan) is famed for both its dramatic look and for its grand rock formations. Its jagged formation and large peaks are extremely popular with mountain climbers and hikers, and it's considered by avid climbers to be one of the best and most rewarding climbs in Seoul - some say even all of Korea! Some 60 temples can also be found around the mountain top, including the famed Cheonchuksa, the oldest temple in the region.
The fourth largest park in Seoul, Dream Forest is surrounded by forested mountains and is very popular among local Gangbuk residents. The park features a large pond, botanical garden, gallery, deer garden, and the Changnyeongwigung Ancestral Shrine - built during the Joseon Dynasty for Princess Bokwon, the shrine makes for a memorable visit. The park's observatory, which stands at 139 meters, is also popular due to its scenic views.
Located in southern Seoul, Yangjae Citizens' Park features more than 10,000 trees from over 70 different species. The park contains a number of trails, including an acupuncture path where visitors can walk barefoot on a special path designed to stimulate the different acupuncture points. Yangjaecheon (or Yangjae) stream nearby is home to fish, birds, and other wildlife, with plenty of walking and biking paths also available.
This mountain in southern Seoul gets its name from its resemblance in shape to the "gat" - the traditional Korean hat worn by men. It has an elevation of 632 meters (2,073 ft) and is a local favorite for both relaxation and exercise. The scenery is beautiful, while the views of Seoul from the summit (on clear days) are excellent.
The former site of the Korean Air Force Academy, these park grounds took the name of the young hawk (Boramae) - the symbol of the Korean Air Force - when they were converted. In addition to walking and cycling paths, the park also has a pond, climbing wall, badminton courts, an X-game court, and more.
Located by Seorae Village, the "Little France" of Seoul, Montmartre Park is a small but peaceful hilltop site in the Seocho area. The park is popular for strolls and picnics in the warmer seasons, and the silkworm bridge at its edge offers great views.
This small mountain in northern Seoul has an elevation of 507 meters (1,663 ft). Made of sandstone, it has fewer trees compared to other mountains in Seoul, but it is still regarded highly for its beautiful natural curves. Mt. Buram is a popular place for hikers as well as rock climbers, and is home to a few royal tombs and even a heliport on its second peak.
Because of its accessibility, gentler slopes, and stunning views, this small mountain is extremely popular with locals. Achasan Mountain used to be a hill fortress during Korea's Three Kingdoms Era (AD 57-668), and as such it features a number of ancient fortifications and mounds.