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Odaesan National Park/South Korea

Introducing Odaesan National Park

Like Seoraksan, Odaesan (Five Peaks Mountain) is a high-altitude massif. The park (332 6417; adult/youth/child W2800/1300/700; 9am-7pm) has great hiking possibilities, superb views and two prominent Buddhist temples: Woljeongsa and Sang·wonsa. Near the southern entrance, the Korea Botanical Garden (332 7069; www.kbotanic.co.kr; adult/youth/child W5000/3000/2000; 9am-6pm) is 1.7km down a lane and has over 1000 native plants, orchids and a café.

Birobong (1563m) is the highest peak in the park. From Sang·wonsa you can hike it (it’s steep and not for the faint-hearted) and continue along a ridge to Sang·wangbong(1493m), then back down to the road and along to the temple (five hours). If you have the stamina, continue along the ridge to Durobong (1422m) and Dongdaesan (1433m) before heading down to Hwy 446.

As with Seoraksan, the best times to visit are late spring and early to mid-autumn when the hillside colours are prettiest, but it’s pretty any time of year.