Once you arrive at the gate of the royal tomb, you have to pay 1,000 won for admission. The tomb is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March to October.
Jeongneung sits on the east, while Seolleung sits on the west.
Outside the Seonjeongneung, you can head back home by taking Subway Line No. 2 at Seolleung Station Exit 8.
For more information of the Bongeun Temple and Seonjeongneung, visit www.bongeunsa.org and seonjeong.cha.go.kr or call the temple at (02) 511-6070 and the tomb office at (02) 568-1291. Yangjae Stream
Yangjae Stream, or Yangjaecheon in Korean, is a 15.6-kilometer-long stream that courses down from Mount Gwanak through Mount Cheonggye to the southern Gangnam district.
The stream has become walker-friendly to citizens since it underwent a five-year restoration from 1995 to 2000.
Especially in spring, walking paths along with the stream are filled with cherry blossoms, forsythias and azaleas. The Yangjae Stream was picked as one of the 30 best ecological and cultural walking courses by Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2010.
The path can be divided into six walking sections, with the first section stretching from the west area one block away from Maebong Station on Subway Line No. 3. The sixth section ends at the east area near Hakyeoul Station.
There are two major entrances ― a 700-meter walk from Maebong Station, Exit 4 and a 500-meter walk from Dogok Station, Exit 3.
From section to section, there are ecological parks, trails for walking and cycling, rest areas, a bird observatory deck and even some rice paddies for education of children.
For more information, call (02) 2104-2180 or visit ypark.gangnam.go.kr.Uiryeong Pass of Mount Bukhan Dullegil
Mount Bukhan is one of the top five famous mountains in Korea, offering 13 gently-sloped walking courses for Seoulites. Out of the 70-kilometer pass from Mount Bukhan to Mount Dobong, a 44-kilometer trail has been open to the public since late last August. The remaining trail could open as early as later this year.
Out of the 13 courses, the 6.8-kilometer Uiryeong Pass offers well-preserved nature. The pass is also called “soguigogae,” which was closed off for 41 years since January in 1968, when armed North Korean agents infiltrated close to the Blue House.
As much of it was shut off for more than four decades, you will see a dense pine forest undisturbed by the outside world.
Take Subway Line No. 3 and get off at Gupabal Station, Exit No. 1. Get on bus No. 704 or No. 34 and get off at Seokgulam Station.
If you’re getting off at Suyu Station on Line No. 4, Exit 3, take the bus No. 120 or 153 and get off at the last station.
Once you’re at the entrance of the Uiryeong Pass, you can walk up about 1 kilometer and find an army guard post. Behind the post is the forest.
Right below the Uiryeong course is Pine Forest Pass, which is also recommended. The trail is only 2.9 kilometers. Since the pass is wide and the slope is gentle, it is good for a stroll.
One thing you should note before you head to the Uiryeong Pass, is that Korea National Park allows only 1,000 visitors to enter the Uiryeong Pass per day. Unless you make reservations in advance, you cannot enter.
You can make reservations from 15 days to one day before the hiking date at ecotour.knps.or.kr/reservation/Uir.aspx. Phone reservations are available at (02) 900-8085 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
By Kim Yoon-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org