There are many ways to spend time with others, but there aren’t many that are as good as walking through a relaxing trail in the midst of pleasant conversation. With nature by your side, this experience itself leaves its mark. There is a place where parents, children and the whole family can walk together and feel the relaxing mood of nature, and that place is Bukhansan Dulle-gil.
Gangbuk-gu, a district that intertwines with the Bukhansan Mountain area, has many places for families to enjoy a pleasant walk. Around 20 walking trails, or dulle-gils, are established around the border of Bukhansan Mountain, with section 2 offering one of the more relaxing walking paths. It begins near the Pine Forest Park located close to the April 19th National Cemetery Station of the newly-established Ui-LRT Line. A green forest trail begins as you enter this dulle-gil, which will give you a peace of mind as you walk through the quiet, soothing forest path under the warm sunlight.
This dulle-gil is also referred to as a pilgrimage route, or sullye-gil, and it is easy to understand why it has attained this name as you walk through the area. The section is home to the graves of 12 Korean independence movement patriots, including Yi Jun, special envoy of the Hague Secret Emissary Affair, and Yi Si-yeong, the first vice president of South Korea, as well as an observatory that presents an overlook of the April 19th National Cemetery. Walking through this path with your children will present a valuable opportunity for younger generations to feel the spirit and passion of the martyrs and patriots of modern Korean history.
There is another interesting element that adds some fun to walking the Bukhansan Mountain Dulle-gil, which is the “You & I & Us Stamp Tour.” This stamp tour is run by the Gangbuk-gu district office and is intended to enhance the experience of history, culture, and nature as you tour through the cultural heritage sites of Korean modern and contemporary history included in sections 1 and 2 of the Bukhansan Mountain Dulle-gil. The stamp tour can either begin at the Museum of Modern History of Korea or Ui-dong Meeting Square, and participants will receive stamps at four points: the Museum of Modern History of Korea, April 19th Observatory, Pine Tree Shelter, and Ui-dong Meeting Square. Stamp tour sheets are given at the starting points and participants can obtain stamps in the designated areas. The course is designed to be fun and easy to complete for all family members, and participants can also take part in many programs, such as basic health exams, exercise counseling, CPR classes, and more, during the course. Those who complete the stamp tour are given small prizes and can also choose between receiving a discount offer from an affiliated business or the Ui-dong family campsite.
The Ui-dong family campsite is only a 10-minute walk from the Bukhansan Ui Station of the Ui-LRT Line in Gangbuk-gu and is close to the downtown area. Normally, camping outdoors requires a lot of equipment, but the Ui-dong Family Camping Ground provides not only deck areas but also glamping facilities that already equipped with the basic amenities. Thus, campers do not have the burden of having to bring their own equipment and can simply enjoy the camping atmosphere by visiting the site. The breathtaking view of Bukhansan Mountain can be seen from all sites within the Ui-dong Family Camping Ground, and there are also shops and washing facilities, so that campers can better enjoy their camping and glamping experience. Also, take note that pets are not allowed in the campsite, the use of fire is restricted except for designated areas, and campfires are prohibited on-site.
The Ui-dong Family Camping Ground is located within the Bukhansan National Park and is worth visiting for taking a nice walk or simply enjoying the mood of the mountain in a spacious area.
While the stamp tour and camping are things you can enjoy with your kids, there is another part of Bukhansan Mountain waiting for you and your parents. The Daedongmun Course is a trail recommended for a walk with your parents, and spans a short 2.7 km distance that starts from Baeknyeon Park Protection Area, passes through Baeknyeonsa Temple and Jindallae (Azalea)Ridge, before finally reaching Daedongmun Gate. This 1.5 hour course is ideal for a light, pleasant walk, but is more than enough to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Seoul from the summit. In addition, the Baeknyeonsa Temple, located in the middle of the course, provides a sense of quietness and tranquility. The path from Jindallae Ridge to Daedongmun Gate offers a panoramic view of the major peaks of Bukhansan Mountain, which are Mangyeongdae Peak, Baegundae Peak, and Insubong Peak, and is also a place where people can enjoy picturesque scenery when the Azaleas come into full bloom.
If you have enjoyed an active tour or camping at Bukhansan Mountain with your kids, then how about staying at a hotel for a more comfortable, relaxing visit with your parents? Located in Ui-dong at the entrance of Bukhansan Mountain, Paraspara Hotel is a place that parent generations would love, as it is situated in Seoul, but provides the atmosphere of traveling in the mountains. Although the Paraspara Hotel has just opened, it has won the grand prize in the resort category of the 2022 Korean Consumer Appraisal Brand, proving the high satisfaction rate of its visitors. The interior design of the hotel uses a lot of wood materials, giving it a calm and luxurious feel with a toned-down atmosphere. Furthermore, the beautiful landscape offers a pleasant walking path in the premise. Paraspara Hotel is famous for its fascinating infinity pool overlooking the woods, but they also have a Jacuzzi that visitors can use throughout all four seasons in harmony with the stunning landscape. After taking in some fresh air with a walk around the hotel and warming up in the jacuzzi, now it is time for some food. At Paraspara, there is Woody Plate, a restaurant that serves a dining buffet along with the beautiful scenery of Bukhansan Mountain. Woody Plate provides more than 200 seats with a trendy menu, fit to satisfy anyone’s taste buds.
Paraspara Hotel, blending well into the nature of Bukhansan Mountain, provides diverse amenities including a fitness, sauna, rooftop jacuzzi, indoor swimming pool, and gallery to meet the various needs of its visitors, which will surely offer a joyous time for both parents and the whole family.
After a luxurious vacation at the hotel, take time to visit a calm and peaceful hanok café called Café Sunwoongak. The café is located in Ui-dong and is the largest private hanok in Seoul while being only a 5-minute drive from the Paraspara Hotel. The café is quite large and is in fact a popular venue for Hanok weddings and various events and was also the filming location for several famous K-dramas, including Mr. Sunshine and The World of the Married. The exterior is a perfect reproduction of a stylish Hanok while the interior is very modern, and thus visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds.
The ultimate attraction of Café Sunwoongak is the rooftop area on the second floor. When you go up to the rooftop after ordering a drink, a stunning panoramic view of Bukhansan Mountain will unfold in front of you. You will enjoy a sense of healing just by observing the magnificent nature that surrounds you. This café is a wonderful place to enjoy not only the majestic view of Bukhansan Mountain, but also the elegant features of a hanok inside the cafe.