Guknyeongsa Temple – The golden Buddha in Bukhansan Park

Perfect tip for family hiking  - forest, mountain, waterfalls and 24 metres high golden statue of Buddha at Guknyeongsa Temple

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Last week-end we returned to Bukhansan National Park and explored another part of this hikers paradise.

We started from the Bukhansanseong Information Center, one of the park’s main entrances. After about 200 meters, we had to choose between the forest trail or the paved road (actually both trails are going the same way so it’s completely up to you). We picked up the easiest paved road which is even strollers friendly – at least at the beginning ;-).  Past  the Daeseomun Gate, we continued in the direction of Daenammun Gate and Bukhansan Shelter. When the pavement road finishes and you continue on the hiking trail just don’t miss the intersection after a small bridge. The main hike continues straight but as the sign for 국녕사 indicates, you have to turn right pass through a small house and continue up the hill until the Guknyeongsa temple.

Arriving up the hill, we’ve been just amazed by this monumental statue and the beauty of all this magic site.

After spending some time to contemplate and take plenty of pictures we decided to continue up to the peak of the Mountain. This section is a much more demanding hike so we don’t really recommend it with little kids.

On the other hand if you can make it, it is really worth all the efforts. The views over the temple and the city from the top are very impressive.

How to get there:

  • Gupabal station, Exit 1.   Take bus #34, #704 or #8772 to Bukhansanseong Information Centre.

For localisation go to Seoul Map for kids and families

Address:

서울특별시 은평구 진관동 산3도로명주소 서울특별시 은평구 대서문길 42-3

Tel: 02-359-9824

Cosmos flowers paradise at Guri Hangang River Citizen Park

For a few more days still, the weather remains very mild and the Autumn colors absolutely gorgeous… The best time to head East of Seoul to the neighbouring town of Guri. On the Northern bank of Han river, come run and take family pictures amid huge beautiful fields of Cosmos flowers

Fields of cosmos flowers in Fall, Seoul, Guri Citizen's Hangang River Park

Eastbound past the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill hotel, you may connect to the Achasan mountain park and the blacksmith village if you’re in a mood for hiking. But if you just want to relax on a park’s lawn, have a picnic or get a glimpse at the thousands cosmos flowers in full bloom, then just keep going along the Han river for a couple of kilometres more.

Until early November, you may still enjoy a variety of autumn flowers in full bloom. There are a dozen different garden areas or fields seeded with beautiful purple-pink-and-white cosmos flowers, sunflowers or eulalia golden grass. You may also find a pumpkin alley, small wooden observation huts, a couple of step-stone bridges over a gentle stream, sport fields and more.

This is also Heaven for bike-riders with dedicated bike lanes running along the Han river and connecting to the other Hangang park sections.

We visited on a sunny yet a bit windy Sunday and had great fun watching a few local Ajeoshis manoeuvring with great skills their beautiful kites. Don’t miss this on a Sunday afternoon.

Directions:
Drive East on the Gangbyeon expressway, Past Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel – Exit “Guri Hangang Flower Park”
829 Topyeong-dong, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 구리시 토평동 829
Tel. 031-550-2107

For localisation, check Seoul Map for Kids and Families

Parking fee: 3,000 KRW fixed.

Admissions: No entrance fee like all other Hangang River Park sections. 

Autumn in Seoul, Guri Citizen's Hangang River Park

More about Hangang River Park sections: Yeouido, Gwangnaru, Oksu to Seoul Forest bike riding.

Farmer for a day at Jinju Farm

A fun farming experience for the whole family at the beautiful Jinju Farm, nested West of Suwon. Book the Farm Experience program to enjoy a comprehensive immersion into farming life. Unforgettable for both kids and parents!

Jinju Farm, Korea

We had already visited the surrounding Ansan area and even stopped by Jinju farm once before. However we wanted to come back during the beautiful Autumn season and enjoy the full array of activities offered by the farm’s management. Lucky we were… as we truly had a blast! The program is a bit pricey yet worth it as we all enjoyed a day full of attractions and our kids couldn’t be happier.

The experience started with a short introduction about Jinju farm and the program schedule. We then jumped on a big tractor for a tour of the facilities, stables, barns and orchards.

This was followed by four consecutive stations.

Station 1. Feeding and milking the cows ^^: in the main barn, kids will love to feed and pet the cows. Right after, the Farm’s team might show you how to milk a cow… and then it’s your turn if you dare!

Station 2. String-Cheese making: you will also be guided by the nice Farm’s team members on how to produce yummy string cheese. This was a fun hands-on experience where we had to work out the raw cheese with a few easy-to-follow steps. And don’t worry: the kind farm’s helpers will always assist you and help children to make sure your cheese production will be good enough! Not only was it fun but we also made, baked and ate a delicious pizza using our self-made cheese.

Station 3. Ice cream making: the tour continued with another dairy production workshop. This time we made real ice-cream right from the fresh milk. Kids got to chose their own favorite taste: chocolate or strawberry!

Station 4. Milk-feeding calves: finally we were taken through a beautiful pear-tree orchard to a smaller barn. There 2-week calves were just waiting for our kids to milk-feed them! What a fantastic time and memory for everyone!

There is an intermission in the middle of the program around noon for lunch time. The best way to enjoy is certainly to do like all other Korean families: bring a picnic and relax, watching cows and horses or playing games on the lawn!

Also at the end of the program and seasonally adjustable, you may participate to a couple of additional farming activities. When we visited, we could pick up huge fresh pears from the orchard or crop sweet potatoes. There is an extra charge for this activity depending on your fruits/vegetables harvest.

Admissions:
Available Sundays only, the program starts at 10 AM. It is advisable to book in advance. This is a truly local activity and therefore you should have some Korean language basic knowledge to understand instructions. Alternatively it is advisable to plan the trip with some Korean friends.

March-November: full program 25,000 KRW per person
Dec-Feb: Winter program 14,000 KRW per person

Directions:
Highway 15, Exit Bibong – then turn right after the tollgate and first right turn again.

Jingo Farm, Gyeonggi-do Hwaseong-si Bibongmyeon Gupori 941-42
진주목장, 경기도 화성시 비봉면 구포리 941-42
Tel : 031-356-0073

For more information, check Jinju Farm website (Korean only).

For localisation, check Seoul Map for Kids & Families.

Jinju Farm, Korea