South Korea may be one of the most fast-paced, technological and modern countries on the planet, but what many don’t realize is that it also boasts a very well-developed camping culture. In fact, it’s gorgeous mountainous landscapes, picturesque rivers and sandy beaches provide the perfect setting for an outdoor retreat. Read on to learn more about some of the best campsites and glampsites the country has to offer.
You don’t need to travel outside Seoul to experience Korea’s camping culture. In fact, there are plenty of camping facilities right in the middle of the metropolis. Among them, the Nanji Hangang Park on the Han River is the largest, with the capacity to accommodate up to 2,000 people in a total of 165 camping pitches. Either bring your own tent, or rent one of the campground’s for a small fee. Convenience stores provide grills, tables, charcoal, meat and other sundries. Multi-lingual reservation service is available.
Songjeong Camp Site
Songjeong Beach in Busan is a well-known as a great surfing spot, but it is also touted as a perfect family beach, as children can safely swim in the shallow waters. Furthermore, people head to the locale to take advantage of the designated camping area, which boasts a tropical vibe with the ocean as the backdrop. During the day, go for a swim, enjoy a friendly game of volleyball or simply soak up the sun. When night falls, gaze up at the star-filled night skies while listening to the sounds of the waves – or a performance at the on-site stage.
Raventree Glamping Resort
For a truly luxurious glamping experience, make your way to the pristine facilities of Raventree Glamping Resort in Gapyeong. This comfortable resort destination is equipped with all the facilities you could possibly need to get the full experience of the great outdoors without sacrificing any creature comforts. Your double-decker tent not only provides a private deck, underfloor heating, cooking facilities and a living room, but staff will hand deliver your BBQ dinner (for a fee) and ensure that your campfire stays ignited throughout the evening. Perched on the side of a mountain overlooking a picturesque valley, Raventree is without a doubt the best place to relax in style.
Samnak Ecological Park Camping Ground
As the first campsite for vehicle camping in Busan, the Samnak Ecological Park Camping Ground located on the banks of the Nakdonggang River boasts some 60 RV pitches, 50 tent pitches, restrooms, shower facilities and communal kitchens. Campers can fully immerse themselves in nature, and enjoy all the park has to offer, including a marsh, bird feeding site, wildflower field and biking path. The park is particularly popular among bird-watchers in winter, when migratory birds settle here to pass the cooler months.
Seoul Grand Park Campground
Situated among the crystal clear streams and verdant forest of Cheonggyesan Mountain, Seoul Grand Park Campground is home to some 150 camping pitches. Camping equipment is available for rental for the convenience of visitors. The pitches are also available for day rental only, perfect for those wanting to barbecue and enjoy the great outdoors without having to spend the night in a tent. There are also plenty of nearby attractions people of all ages can enjoy, including the Seoul Grand Zoo, Seoul Land Theme Park and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Families looking to get their glamping on should head to Florance Glamping in Gapyeong. Although slightly off the beaten path (it’s recommended you take a car, if possible), the site provides spacious tents equipped with all the necessities such as dining utensils, an electric cooking range and, in the colder months, underfloor heating. Each tent has its own private deck and campfire area. Firewood costs extra, but the magical campfire feeling that’ll last through the night is well worth it. Don’t forget the marshmallows!
Noeul Park Campground
Escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul without escaping at all at Noeul Park Campground near World Cup Stadium. The park’s pasture is covered with eulalias and wild flowers, that abound with butterflies, crickets and other wildlife. The former landfill site boasts more than 20 lookouts that offer breathtaking views of Seoul, including the N Seoul Tower, Bukhansan Mountain, and the Han River. The park is also home to more than 100 all-inclusive camp sites, each equipped with its own grill and table. Bring your own food and drinks, but enjoy a memorable time with your friends, right in the center of Korea’s capital city.
Sanjeong Lake Glamping
Nestled on Pocheon’s serene Sanjeong Lake, this glamping site is just a stone’s throw from attractions such as Nakcheonji Falls, the site of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung’s former villa, Myeongseongsan Mountain hiking trails and Jainsa Temple. With modern facilities, fully equipped tents, private decks and incredible views, Sanjeong Lake Glamping is the perfect setting for getting back in touch with nature and culture.
Not only are the sunsets beautiful, but the pine trees that border the shore of Yulpo Beach add a sense of remoteness to the 1.2 kilometer (0.74 mile) stretch of sand. Just a short drive from Boseong’s picturesque green tea plantations, Yulpo is a great spot to camp out for the night after a long day of sightseeing. Reservations are not available – camping pitches are available to those with tents on a first come, first served basis. While facilities are limited, this small campsite is within walking distance to public restrooms, convenience stores, cafes and a jjimjilbang (public sauna) where you can shower off and freshen up.
The small island of Muuido just off the coast of Incheon is just as enjoyable as the country’s better-known coastal destinations and is the perfect place to waste away a lazy spring or summer weekend. Boasting two beaches, a number of great seafood restaurants, trekking trails and even a zip line, Muuido is a great spot for the active camper. Hanaggae Beach offers tent camping with basic facilities for 10,000 won per tent (about $9 USD). Or, visitors can opt to stay in one of the bare-bones beach huts for around 35,000 won (about $26 USD).