Every fall I see stunning photos from the Korean countryside and I always find myself wishing that I could witness these spectacular views in person.
This weekend, I finally got the chance to see some of this breathtaking scenery in person. Thanks to Trazy.com who sponsored this trip of their fall foliage 1-day tours to mountains and national parks from Seoul.
Trazy is a website that provides a large variety of tours and experiences within Asia. They have a massive variety of different experiences within not only Seoul, but all of Korea. If you are interested in exploring what Korea has to offer, make sure to check them out!
Important: If you are interested in taking a fall foliage tour in Korea make sure to book as early as possible. These trips are very popular and quickly become full.
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Daedunsan Fall Foliage Tour
There are a variety of different fall foliage tours that you can choose from. While all of these tours will show you the autumnal colours of Korea, I picked Daedunsan for one reason. That reason is the stunning mountaintop view!
The tours run from October 10th to November 20th – the fall foliage season in Korea. While the exact fall foliage season differs each year, you can generally expect late October and early November to be your best bet.
2019 fall foliage map. Map from Visitkorea.com. While the 2019 season is nearly over, 2020 will have similar dates which can be found online!
Tours will run every day within this season. However, I would not recommend visiting on a weekend if you can avoid it. There are magnificent views no matter when you visit, however, the weekends tend to be far more crowded.
All of the tours run from Seoul and begin in the early morning from your choice of the pickup location. You can pick from Hong-Ik University (Hongdae), Myeongdong and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park.
The tour to Daedunsan begins in the early morning – for us that meant 6:40 am at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. We reached the mountain just before 10 am and the ride was probably the most comfortable bus ride I have ever had.
The ride was around three hours long each way. It is worth keeping in mind that the trip back can take considerably longer due to the traffic that Seoul has in the evening. The bus is easy to sleep on though!
Not only was some light breakfast (bread) and water provided, but the bus also had WiFi and USB chargers on every seat. Considering how reliant we are on batteries these days, this was a big relief!
Daedunsan also has a cable car that takes you about ⅔ of the way up the mountain. The tour provided tickets for use of the cable car and this provided a far quicker way to get up the mountain.
The climb to the top of Daedunsan was surprisingly difficult. This isn’t due to the length of the tracks but rather is due to how steep they are. The mountain is very steep. While initially, we were going to take the cable car up, we decided to walk in the end.
The walk to the top of the cable car took us about 40 minutes. However, the walk was not easy. It was very steep and is definitely intended for fit people. The good news is that there is a cable car ticket included in the package and you can choose to use this instead.
The cable car takes only about 5 minutes and provides some stunning views over the forest below. Make sure that you are ready to take some photos before getting on the cable car!
From the top of the cable car, there is a further 40 minute (or so) walk to the peak. This is reachable within the (around) two hours of free time that you get before the bus leaves.
From the cable car station is it only a 5-minute walk to the famous Cloud Bridge. Even if you don’t think you will be able to make it to the top of the mountain, I highly recommend at least walking to the bridge. This is what makes the mountain so unique after all!
After the bridge, you will have a (very direct) walk to the peak. This walk has a few standout features such as an insane staircase straight up a cliff-face, as well as some breathtaking vistas at some lookout platforms.
There are many areas near the top of the mountain to sit down and relax also. Many people even brought food and drinks to sit down and enjoy! Just make sure that you have enough time.
If a picnic isn’t your thing, then you can always enjoy some of the restaurants on the mountain! They are located on the path to the peak and have a variety of traditional Korean food. I’ve never seen restaurants on the mountainside like at Daedunsan. If you want to try the food, remember to bring cash!
Even if you don’t get to reach the top of the mountain you will get to see some views that you will never forget. While I do think that the mountain peak has the best views, there are some great lookouts on the path up.
The Cloud Bridge
The Daedunsan Cloud Bridge is Daedunsan’s claim to fame. This bridge is very iconic and if you’ve seen photos of the fall foliage in Korea, you’ve probably already seen it!
The bridge itself is around 50 metres long and over 80 metres high! If you are scared of heights this probably isn’t the attraction for you, however, even just seeing it is a sight to behold.
The Daedunsan Stairway is another very iconic landmark on Daedunsan. This time though, it is a staircase that leads right up a cliff face on the side of the mountain.
Not only does the staircase make for some stunning photos, but it also speeds up the hike to the peak. If the staircase is something you would prefer to avoid, then you can. While the other path is one-way (intended for hikers going down), it is possible to go that way if it isn’t busy.
However, the Daedunsan Stairway is truly unique and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Best Fall Foliage in Korea?
When I first saw pictures from Daedunsan I knew that it was a place I REALLY wanted to visit. There aren’t many places that I feel such a strong desire to visit. In fact, the last time I felt this way was when I saw photos from the Seoul Botanic Park.
While there are still quite a few fall foliage locations in Korea that I haven’t had the chance to visit, I have also had the pleasure of visiting quite a few by now. From my experiences, I can confidently say that I think Daedunsan has some of the most beautiful and colourful fall foliage in Korea!
Book Your Own Tour Now!
Trazy.com not only has tours to Daedunsan, but also to many of the other mountains located around the country. If you are interested in seeing some of this stunning scenery for yourself then make sure to check out fall foliage 1-day tours to mountains and national parks from Seoul.
Disclaimer: As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it was sponsored by Trazy.com. However, all opinions in this post are my own and I am free to express my own views and experiences. I had a great experience on this tour and am happy to recommend it!