Sombre palaces, tombs swathed in fall colors
Now is a perfect time to visit royal palaces and tombs as several trails and tombs normally closed to the public are open for a few weeks in autumn when leaves change colors.
While the peak foliage season varies from year to year and in different locations, this year, the leaves are expected to be at their most colorful and vibrant through early November.
The eight forest trails of the Joseon royal tombs, including some that are usually closed to the public, which opened on Sept. 28, will remain open until Nov. 30, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration's Royal Palaces and Tombs Center.
The royal tombs where forest trails are open for the season include Donggureung in Guri, Gyeonggi Province; Gwangneung and Sareung in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province; Taereung and Gangneung in northern Seoul; Samneung and Jangneung in Paju, Gyeonggi Province; Yungneung and Geolleung in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and Yeongneung in Yeoju.
The total length of all eight forest trails measures 16.82 kilometers. The trails are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At Donggureung, a nature learning center gives families and children an opportunity to observe the flowers and the wetland plants of the region.
In northern Seoul, a 1.8-kilometer path starts from Gangneung, the royal tombs of Joseon King Myeongjong and Queen Consort Insun, and leads to Taereung.