Spending A Seoul Summer in the Shade
Try saying the title of this post 10 times fast. If that tires you out, you’ll be relaxed after reading about this lovely forest in Seoul.
The Yangjae Citizens’ Forest opened in 1986 in anticipation of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. At the time, it was the largest man-made forest in Seoul. Though it’s located in the city (in the southern part of Seocho-gu), this forest feels like a completely separate enclave of woods and nature.
Photo Credit: Exploring Korea
The forest is home to over 10,000 trees of 45 species including pine, maple and ash, and 52,000 shrubs and small trees of 15 different species like rhododendron and azalea. As you can imagine, this diversity brings unique colors and scents to each season.
The Yangjae Citizens’ Forest is not as well known as the Han River, but it offers more natural shade and a quieter vibe. (Except for the areas that are popular with children. See playground further down.)
Photo Credit: y2psh
There’s also an area where you can take off your shoes and walk barefoot on a wooden trail, pebble trail and red clay trail. Many visitors come for the “acupuncture path,” which is designed to work on different acupuncture spots on your feet.
The Yangjae Citizens’ Forest has something for everyone. Like the Han River, there are various sports facilities like badminton, tennis and volleyball courts. The forest even has a grilling area for families to picnic. Kids love to play by the fountain, at the children’s pool, the children’s nature observatory and playground.
Photo Credit: KidsFuninSeoul
It’s also a historical area, with a memorial and museum dedicated to Korean independence activist Yun Bong-gil. According to the Korea Herald, the area around the park used to be called “Maljukgeori,” or horse-feed street, as people on business trips stopped there to feed their horses and rest since early in the Joseon Dynasty.
Photo Credit: Life in Korea
If you’re in Korea or happen to visit, you can get to the Yangjae Citizens’ Forest by taking the orange line (line 3) on the Seoul subway to Yangjae Station and transferring to Yangjae Citizens’ Park on the new red line (Shin Bundang)