Best Fall Colors in South Korea: Hwadam Botanical Gardens (화담숲)

Around October and November, South Korea has some amazing places to see fall colors and one of the best places to see fall colors is at Hwadam Botanical Gardens (화담숲) in the city of Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province.

Just a short trip from Seoul, it is a location you will definitely want to put on your travel itinerary.

Hwadam Botanical Gardens

About Hwadam Botanical Gardens

Hwadam Botanical Gardens (also known as Hwadamsup), is a botanical garden that is managed by the LG Evergreen Foundation. It contains over 4,000 different types of plants and trees within different themed areas and covers quite a large section within the greater Konjiam Resort.

The botanical gardens are beautiful at any time of the year, but especially in the fall time, the many varieties of Maple Trees and other trees that change turn the area into a kaleidoscope of colors.


How to get to Hwadamsup

At less than an hour away from Seoul, it isn’t a long trip, however because of it’s location, it’s not the easiest place to get to by public transportation.

Car

If you are driving, it’s recommended to just input into your navigation device 화담숲. This will bring you to the Botanical Gardens within the Konjiam Resort area. You can see where it is located as well on the map below if you don’t have a navigation device on your phone or car.

Subway

It is possible to get there as well by using the Seoul Subway System, however, you will likely want to take a taxi from the subway station to save yourself some time.

So to get there, you would first want to get to Panggyo Station, and then from Panggyo station you would take the Gyeonggang Line to Gonjiam Station. After exiting the station, take a taxi to Hwadamsup. The taxi fee should be less than 10,000KRW and take around 20-25 minutes from the station. It is possible to take city bus as well from the subway station, however, it takes around 45 minutes so isn’t the fastest way.


Cost and Reservations

There is an entry fee to get into Hwadamsup, which I’ll detail below:

Adults: 10,000krw / Children: 8000KRW

Additional fees, but not required are for the monorail. There is a monorail which goes the whole way around the park and makes various stops. This is a great choice if you are short on time or just don’t feel like walking the whole time. The prices are below and are accurate as of this writing:

Round Trip: Adults 8000KRW / Children: 6000 (you can also just do various sections instead of round trip and these are cheaper.

Also, it is highly recommended that if you are going over the busy fall time, that you reserve a ticket in advance. Especially the final weeks in October to the first week in November, it will be sold out in advance over the weekends, so if you plan to go over that time, be sure to book ahead.

To reserve, you will need to know some Korean and have a way to pay online. The website is: https://www.hwadamsup.com/relay/main/main.do


What to do at Hwadamsup?

The main thing to do at Hwadam Botanical Gardens is to walk around and enjoy nature and the best fall colors that South Korea has to offer. The way through the park is very detailed and it’s easy to follow to enjoy every section.

Beautiful Fall Colors at Hwadamsup
Beautiful Fall Colors at Hwadamsup

It is recommended to spend a good hour or more just walking around the vast area to enjoy each section properly.

My personal favorite section was the white birch trees as they turn a beautiful yellow color and contrasted with the white bark made for some great photos.

White birch trees at Hwadamsup
The birch tree section in Hwadam Botanical Gardens

Also, at the beginning of the park, there is a heart bridge and from that bridge you can look down onto the monorail track and get some beautiful photos of the monorail with the beautiful colors of maple trees.

Monorail at Hwadamsup
Viewing the monorail from the heart bridge at Hwadam Botanical Gardens

Also, if you get tired or hungry, there are cafe’s and restaurants at the lower part of the park/gardens. So with all this, you can easily spend a few hours here and make it worth the entrance fee.

Restaurant and Cafe area at Hwadamsup
Restaurant and Cafe area of Hwadamsup

Hopefully this was helpful in introducing you to another beautiful place to enjoy some of the best fall colors here in South Korea. As always, if you have additional questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.