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Day trip near Seoul for Forest Healing :: Wondae-ri Birch Forest

Day trip near Seoul for Forest Healing :: Wondae-ri Birch Forest

Day trip near Seoul for Forest Healing :: Wondae-ri Birch Forest


The temperature might be plunging to subzero levels – but that’s no excuse to shut up shop and stay home for the winter. The coldest months of the year also provide opportunities to witness some of the bleak yet beautiful natural sights Korea has to offer. So put your jacket and beanie on, pack a thermos of coffee, and spend a day exploring the snow covered wonders of the Wondae-ri Birch Forest.

The Wondae-ri Birch Forest (or 인제 자작나무숲 in Korean) is located close to the east coast in Gangwon-do province. It’s easily accessible by car, but for those of us who lack that means of transportation there are dedicated tour companies that take the hassle out of organizing everything yourself. One such company is Parangsae Tour (파랑새 투어), who provide regular services to the forest throughout the year. For about ₩25,000 per person you can climb aboard their comfortable buses at either Seoul or Jamsil Stations, and they will ferry you around from place to place all day, before returning you to your chosen station at the end of the day. Tours run from 7am sharp until around 7pm by the time you arrive back in Seoul. You can find a link to this tour on their website below:

– please note that it is in Korean so you may need the help of our friendly Kimchee Guesthouse staff to assist with the booking process.

After a couple of hours on the road you’ll be about ready to step into a Winter Wonderland. To reach the birch forest requires a moderate hike along a wide, well-marked path. It takes around an hour and is a gentle uphill climb, which makes coming down all the sweeter. The scene is truly breathtaking when you reach the top and catch your first glimpse of the snow-dusted mountainside, covered with birch forest as far as the eye can see.

The white of the trees and the gleam of the snow look like something out of a Disney movie. A gentle descent into the forest provides ample opportunity to play in the snow and capture some truly Instagram-worthy snaps. Take your time to thoroughly enjoy the majestic beauty and eerie calm as you wander amongst the forest. If you’ve brought snacks there is a small pavilion where you can sit down and sup amongst a backdrop of wintery tranquility. When you’re ready, another path will lead you back down towards the car park where you’ll pass frozen streams and sharp icicles.


You’ll find ample facilities along the way and in the neighboring areas to keep you satisfied. There is a restaurant at the entrance to the forest trail, along with locals selling fresh produce and other snacks. At the top of the trail there is even a small stall where you can buy drinks, ramyeon, and other tasty treats. The bus makes a pit stop on both legs of the journey where you can jump off and grab a quick bite to eat. You’ll also visit a local village where there are several options for lunch.

This winter there’s no excuse to hibernate inside and watch the world pass you by as you gaze longingly out of the window. The Wondae-ri Birch Forest is easily accessible from Seoul and provides an opportunity to witness the dazzling beauty of the coldest months.

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