Chiaksan National Park

National Park in Gangwon-do

Scenic and mountainous Chiaksan (the name means 'Pheasant Peak Mountain') National Park is home to the lovely Guryong-sa and a host of other temples, and is top-notch hiking territory. A popular route threads up from Guryong-sa to 1288m-high Biro-bong (three hours, 5km) past the waterfalls of Seryeom Pokbo, which can be extended by a further two hours down to Hwanggol (황골) where you can get the bus back to Wonju, the main access town. Parking at the park costs ₩2000.

There are also hiking trails from Geumdae-ri and Seongnam-ri – both accessible by bus from Wonju – which run about 6km to the peak Namdae-bong (1181m). The park is splashed with colour in spring as the azaleas flower, and offers gorgeous autumn hues later in the year before winter snow adds further allure.

To reach Guryong-sa, exit Wonju’s intercity bus terminal and either take bus 51 (₩1200) to Wonju train station, or grab a taxi (₩2500). Then take either bus 41 or 41-1 (₩2000, 40 minutes, every 25 minutes), which terminates at the car park near the park entrance. Guryong-sa is a very pleasant, scenic and shaded 800m walk alongside the river further ahead.

Bus 82 runs a loop service to Hwanggol (₩1200, 30 minutes, hourly) from the stop on Bonghwa-ro (perpendicular to and just west of Seowon Dae-ro), while buses 21, 23 or 24 run to Geumdae-ri, and 23 runs to Seongnam-ri (₩1200).

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