South Korea // Chungcheong //

Songnisan National Park

SONGNISAN NATIONAL PARK (속리산 국립 공원) is justly one of the most popular parks in Korea, partly owing to its position in the centre of the country, but also thanks to its temple and the visually arresting 33m-high bronze Buddha, the tallest such figure in the world. Songnisan’s myriad trails are a joy to hike, the paths winding uphill alongside gentle streams to heady 1000m-high peaks, but though the park’s name translates as “mountains far from the ordinary world”, the area between the bus terminal and the main park entrance couldn’t be more typical of a Korean tourist hotspot, with more souvenir shops, restaurants and karaoke rooms than you’d expect to find in the midst of such tranquil environs.