I somewhat regularly host a travel show in Korea that’s called Go Go Korea ( 고고코리아 황금발) and one of the perks of hosting it is that I get to travel around the country and visit places at the optimal time to tour!
This past weekend we went to Naejangsan National Park in Jeollabuk-do to film the fall foliage festival (내장산 단풍축제). It was absolutely spectacular! The leaves were beautiful and so colorful. They covered the mountains in a gorgeous tapestry of autumn colors.
Now, Koreans love hiking. I don’t think I can understate this. Koreans LOVE hiking. If you walk around Seoul, you’ll see that it seems to be a requirement that all Koreans of a certain age own professional outdoors gear to outfit themselves for hiking trips. Of course, true to Korean culture, when it comes to events, festivals, restaurants, hot cafes and bars, everyone and their brother needs to go to the best place at the best time. As a result, Naejangsan was swarming with people during the festival. Walking through the street at the bottom of the mountain was like walking through Gangnam on a normal day.
Nevertheless, I would highly recommend checking out the festival. There’s a reason the base of the mountain could give a person claustrophobia; the views were great!
I went with my friend Maha, who is from Morocco! She had never seen the fall leaves like this before, so it was especially great for her ^^
And, of course, we had to sample some of the local delicacies while we were in the area. What travel show would be complete without FOOD? Hahaha. Apparently Jeongup (정읍시) is quite well known for its beef galbi, so we got ourselves some tasty bbq ^^
Another thing the region is famous for is a medicinal drink that’s good to try if you’ve got a cold. It’s called Ssanghwatang (쌍화탕) and it’s a traditional oriental medicine drink. Although the drink is naturally bitter, chestnuts, dates, and pine nuts are added to it in order to give it a delicious, soothing flavor.