Songnisan National Park
Songnisan is a national park deep in the mountainous central interior, roughly equidistant between Seoul to the north and Daegu to the south. In the late 1990s the area was rather dubiously dubbed ‘the Chungbuk Alps’, while the original name translates more evocatively as ‘Mountain Remote from the Ordinary World’. Songnisan, like Seoraksan National Park to the East, is a craggy, hilly area with rich forests and contains a variety of treks to suit all difficulties. A trek to the peak of Munjandae takes around 3 hours, while a climb to the higher-still Cheonwangdong may take nearer 5. The star attraction however, is the impressive Beopjusa temple complex – the largest in central Korea – which dates back to the Silla dynasty and sprawls across the mountainside. Temple stays are offered in Beopjusa (a memorable, but typically 'monastic' experience!) or those looking for more home comforts can stay in a modern local hotel.