Namhansanseong Provincial Park is one of the most popular hiking destination located immediately to the southeast of Seoul. Especially during the weekends, there are many groups and families heading to the mountain, as all the park is very famous for its natural beauty in every season of the year.
Namhansanseong Fortress (남한산성) history dates back to Baekje period. In 672, a fortress called Jujangseong was built on the western edge of Mt. Namhansan to protect Silla from Tang China. The present fortifications were built during the Joseon period in the 17th century. In 1954, Namhansanseong was designated a national park and a good deal of repair work was done. The fortress area once accommodated nine temples, as well as various command posts and watch towers. Today a single command post, Seojangdae (西將台), and a single temple, Changgyeongsa, remain. There are other more recent temples on the path up to the south gate and fortress walls and the north, south and east gates have been restored.
Namhansanseong Park is an amazing place to visit. There are several hiking trails, some of them feasible even with young kids. To choose the right hiking course for you, check the korean version of Namhansanseong website with its interactive map.
- Sanseongjongno(Rotary) – The North Gate – The West Gate – Sueojangdae – Yeongchunjeong – The South Gate – Sanseongjongno(Rotary) (5km, take 1hr 45mins)
- Sanseongjongno(Rotary) – Yeongwoljeong – Sungyeoljeon – Sueojangdae – The West Gate – Gukcheongsa Temple – Sanseongjongno(Rotary) (4km, take1hr 20mins)
- Administration Office – Hyeonjeolsa Temple – Beolbong peak – Janggyeongsa Temple – Mangwonsa Temple – Jisudang – Administration Office (5km, 1hr 35mins)
- Sanseongjongno(Rotary) – The South Gate – Namjangdaeteo – The East Gate – Gaewonsa Temple – Sanseongjongno(Rotary) (4.5km, 1hr 30mins)
- Administration Office – The East Gate – Dongjangdaeteo – The North Gate – The West Gate – Sueojangdae – Yeongchunjeong – The South Gate – The East Gate (8km, 3hrs 5mins)
We tried the easy trail #1 with our 2 preschoolers and it was just fine. Take the slightly climbing paved road from the South Gate to the West Gate and you’ll be amazed by the beautiful views of Seoul. When you come down to the village (rotary area) stop by one of the delicious restaurants serving the very traditional Korean food or just wander in the streets watching all those beautiful and well restored old houses.
As there may be many visitors during the weekends, try to arrive early in the morning;-)
How to get there:
- Subway – Get off at Sanseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 8), Exit No. 2. Take City Bus No. 9, and get off at Namhansanseong bus stop. (Travel Time : 20 Min., Interval of Buses: 20 Min.)
- Bus – Take 13-2 bus at Dongseoul bus terminal Gangbeun station and transfer to 15-1 bus at the entrance of Namhansanseong, get off at the last stop.
For more information go to Namhansanseong Fortress website