Night Hiking in the Fall – Seoul, South Korea

Its been an incredibly busy fall with my the last 4 of my masters classes crammed into this semester on top of normal teaching.  I’ve been fortunate enough to take a few hiking breaks in Seoul and even got out to Seoraksan National Park and hiked Dinosaur Ridge again for some much needed nature time to de-stress and look forward to putting out an ultimate guide to Seoraksan soon.  Until then enjoy these photos from my latest night hikes!

One of my favorite things to do in Seoul is night hiking!  Since the summer I’ve managed to get on 3 night hikes with my SHG buddy, Warren.  Ansan, Ungmyeonsan and Ingwansan have yielded completely different views but no matter where you hike it’ll surely be an enjoyable evening.

A temple near Ansan turned out to be more interesting then the hazy views we got one lonely Thursday.  Fall usually has the clearest skies but this night was a fluke.  Rather than be disappointed I changed my angle to capture some cool glows coming off the monastery.

_dsc7388_dsc7383

The clearest night came when hiking Ingwansan and we got a great view with both Lotte Tower and North Seoul Tower on Namsan.  Unfortunately I was late and missed Warren that time but was able to join up with a few stragglers to enjoy the clearest night I’ve ever seen in Seoul!

Trekking in South Korea

We met at Gyeongbukgung Station exit 1 and went straight for a block or two before veering right towards the mountain.  Ingwansan’s location near the Presidential Blue House & Royal Palaces give it a lot of military activity and Tuesday night was even more secure because of a national holiday.  We saw signs saying the trails were closed from 00:00 Monday until 00:00 Tuesday and figured that we were safe to hike since it was presently 19:00 on Tuesday.

_dsc8637

Skipping past the rope we started climbing and found an amazing vantage point!  Unfortunately in the middle of taking photos a military guard came down to tell us we couldn’t hike tonight.  He only spoke about 5 words of English so we apologized and said we wouldn’t go any further but weren’t ready to give up this perfect view.  Everyone in my small group had hiked a few mountains at night and we were all in awe at how clear the skies were.  The last few nights it rained and must have cleaned up all the pollution giving us a view well past Namsan tower all the way to the Lotte tower in Gangnam!

_dsc8638

10 minutes later the guard came back with a friend who spoke about 10 more words of English but context told us it was time to go.  We trekked back down disappointed that we couldn’t get a higher view on such a clear night.

South Korea Travel Guide

Ungmyeonsan is south of the Han River and gives a slightly different view from most of our usual mountains.  The city lights still light up in a beautiful array and you get a great view of Seoul’s massive boulevards with Namsan Tower in the distance._dsc7371

What to do in Seoul South Korea

Mike Still on FacebookMike Still on InstagramMike Still on PinterestMike Still on Twitter
Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded www.LiveTravelTeach.com as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

36 thoughts on “Night Hiking in the Fall – Seoul, South Korea

  1. What a view! I’ve never even thought about night hiking before, but if you get views like that – sign me up! Great that you have a group to go out with as well – always safety in numbers – and friends to encourage you when you’re over it!

    1. Half the fun is the group you’re with. I don’t think I’d enjoy it nearly as much without friends. But I’d still go for the photos haha

  2. That view is amazing, I don’t blame you for being disappointed that it was cut a bit too short! And that clear sky! We are avid hikers, but night hiking is something I’ve steered away from….but look what I’m missing!!

    1. You’ve gotta be careful on the trails but your eyes adjust pretty quickly. I always bring a headlamp but honestly don’t use it if I’m hiking near the city

  3. Cities look amazing during nights with all the lighting. Night hikes are amazing ways to enjoy the view of amazing skylines. Thanks for posting such amazing pics. I enjoyed going through the post.

  4. I didn’t know night hiking is a thing! Our goal when hiking is always to make it back before it gets dark, I didn’t realize people actually sought out night hiking. Makes a lot of sense why you would though after seeing your photos. What safety tips do you have for those who might want to try night hiking?

  5. Night hiking is always so much fun! We don’t get out to do it enough, but we always enjoy it when we do. That’s too bad you were turned away, but you definitely found some fantastic views before you head to make your way back down! Great pics!

  6. Night hiking- I need to try it. Feels like it might be an interesting experience, I imagine very different from hiking in the day, forcing you to pay more attention than you would normally, perhaps.

    1. You definitely have to pay more attention to the trail and bring a headlamp! But you get more immersed in nature and everything is quieter.

  7. I have done a few night hikes by accident and actually loved them. You have to be more careful but it’s a rush! Some places are more beautiful at night when they are lighted up and everything else is dark. Glad you enjoyed your night hikes!

  8. Night hiking seems to have its own charm. I have not done much of this kind but I know that the world assumes a totally different form in the night and a hike during this time can be really thrilling and interesting.

  9. I was really gutted to miss Seoul during my recent trip around Asia so it’s high on my list of places to go when I return. Will have to keep this in mind. Have only just started getting in to hiking and never thought about doing it at night!

    1. Claire,

      Seoul is a great launching point for the rest of Asia. Lots of flights in and out and there’s so much to do here! I hope you make it one day!

      Mike

  10. Your night hike looks fabulous. Love all the light pollution. 😉 Its beautiful. Did you use a tripod to take these pictures? I would love to know what kind of camera you used. My nighttime photography needs much work. ;(

    1. Melody,

      A tripod is an absolute must for night photography. You can get a decent one for under $100 that will work with any camera. I shoot with a nikon d90. Its an older model but I still love it!

      Mike

  11. With a view like that I would night hike any time! Might be a little concerned about a slick trail after the rain but well worth it to be able to get photo’s like yours!

    1. I wish I could hike every night and day! With the right boots you can even do it in the rain but night hiking here is so much better just after the rain because it clears away the pollution

    1. Thanks Lauren! Glad you like my photography. Its hard to get good photos with all the pollution here but occasionally you get lucky!

  12. Hi Mike,

    Awesome dude! Never heard of night hiking. In some cities I visit if you’re out too late in the surrounding wilderness ya gotta be packing LOL j/k. Gorgeous views and really neat idea too. I’d have listened to those guards too. After once maybe, twice definitely 😉 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

    1. Ryan

      Yeah I’m thinking its a more unique thing here in Korea. There is almost no crime and we didn’t keep hiking after the first guard came. He told us “no more” so we didn’t go any higher. It wasn’t until the next guy came that they actually asked us to leave. Plus that sign said it was only closed the day before!

Leave a Reply