Autumn is the time to see Seoul

World October 04, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

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While the trees shred their leaves to welcome a cool breeze, the Shilla Seoul Hotel’s concierge team is offering a list of top-five viewpoints for customers to admire a stunning collage of autumn colours.

Open throughout the year and located by the iconic Hangang River, Seoul Forest Park is popular with nature lovers, especially as the spring cherry blossoms make way for vibrant autumn leaves. Enhancing the serene ambience are willowy trees, quaint pathways, butterflies and a forest where deer, elk and chipmunks can be spotted.

Seoul is home to several Unesco World Heritage sites and Changdeok Palace is the best-preserved palace from Korea’s last dynasty. Its sprawling “secret garden” was a renowned recreational venue for the royal family and most of the original greenery has been retained, while striking pagodas and fountains are dotted throughout the space. 

The best time to visit is autumn, when the crimson leaves provide an ideal backdrop. 

Built by the Joseon emperor Sejong, who created the modern Korean alphabet, Changgyeonggung Palace boasts a greenhouse and two ponds at the rear, distinguished by arched bridges, each one decorated with carved goblins to ward off of evil spirits.

With a backdrop of mountain slopes, the main hall, Myeongjeongjeon, was traditionally the site for state meetings and royal banquets and was constructed on an elevated stone yard with low roofs, giving it a unique vantage. 

Another interesting sight is the Punggidae, an instrument once used to check the speed and direction of the wind. The palace is also notable for having weathered Korea’s turbulent political eras. 

During the Japanese colonial rule, the palace was converted into a zoo and botanical garden and was only restored to its former glory in 1983.

Deoksugung Stone Wall Road is the capital’s first urban space created from eco-friendly materials. Lined with trees and benches, this 900-metre road is famous for being littered with rich yellow gingko leaves during the autumn.

Deoksugung Palace offers a scenic backdrop of traditional royal architecture. A 500-year-old maple tree in the garden has featured in numerous Korean movie blockbusters. Visitors are now within close proximity to the Seoul Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art and Seoul Museum of History.

The Sculpture Park at the Shilla Seoul offers a 1.6-kilometre walking trail that winds through lush forest and 60-plus sculptures by celebrated Korean artists. 

The hotel offers an Urban Episode package all this month with room rates starting at US$293 (Bt9,500). Guests get two entry passes to Urban Island and breakfast at the Parkview. 

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