Juwangsan National Park

National Park in Gyeongsangbuk-do

Beautifully situated among the Baekdu mountains, this 106-sq-km national park is most notable for its sublime limestone pinnacles, verdant valleys, splendid gorges, caves, ancient temples and waterfalls. Lying just within the entrance to the park is temple of Daejeon-sa, which originally dates to the 7th century. Most visitors reach the park by bus from Andong (₩8600 to ₩11,200, 1½ hours, six per day) via the town of Cheongsong (₩6800, 20 minutes, every 30 minutes).

The popular hike from Daejeon-sa to the 720m peak of Juwang-san (주왕산) takes around 1¼ hours and can be followed by a 15-minute trek along the ridge to Kaldeunggogae (732m), from where you can make your way back down to Daejeon-sa (about 1¾ hours) via Hurimaegi (50 minutes), a picturesque valley of trees and a creek straddled by a wooden bridge. You can detour on the way down to Juwanggul Cave, accessed via a path that passes the hermitage of Juwang-am.

Other temples and hermitages in the park include Gwangam-sa and Juwang-am. Cave enthusiasts can eke out Mujanggul Cave and Yeonhwagul Cave.

Naewonmaeul, in the park, is a tiny village where craftspeople perform woodworking.

Hiking within the park is prohibited at night. If you want to overnight at Juwangsan, the minbak village (minbakchon) opposite the Juwangsan bus terminal has a large number of accommodation options, but quality varies, so hunt about first. Room rates can double on weekends and in July, August and October. There's also a wide choice of restaurants in the minbak village and the main road leading to the park entrance.