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Campsites in Seoul bring nature and humans closer

Although it might not be evident amidst the forest of high rise buildings and tangle of roads, nature is always evident, even in the most urban parts of Seoul.  From the Han River running through the very center of the city to its many mountains, streams, forests and parks, Seoul has plenty of natural beauty to share.  People don’t even have to leave the city to find places to enjoy the wonders of nature through camping, even in the heart of town.

Many campsites are just reopening after closing for the winter, and have used the off season to expand their sites and offerings.  Families and friends who want to enjoy the outdoors can now camp again in the comfort of the city.

Trail at Nanji Campground (Photo courtesy Nanji Campground)

Nanji Campground in Nanji Hangang Park in Mapo-gu has 194 campsites, making it one of the largest campgrounds in Seoul. Located right by the Han River, Nanji Campground offers a convenience store, showers, grills and field kitchens, tents and other necessities, and is conveniently located near sports fields, swimming pools and leisure facilities. Admission to the campground is 3,750 won, and camping sites can be reserved for 15,000 won for groups of up to four people.  Advanced reservations are needed for campsites, and tents and equipment can be rented at the campground. For more information, please visit http://www.nanjicamping.co.kr (Korean)

Nanji Campground (Photo courtesy Nanji Campground)

Jungnang Camping Forest opened in 2010 to cater to families looking for a nature retreat in the middle of the city. Unlike other campsites in Seoul, the campground’s parking sites are located next to individual campsites, saving people from carrying equipment over long distances. Located in the Jungnang district, it offers four different areas for exploration:  a Family Camp Zone, Culture Zone, Eco-learning Zone and Forest Experience Zone. With everything from reading rooms to hiking trails, the camp seeks to engage family members of all ages and interests, and is equipped with barbecue grills and tables, electrical outlets, shower rooms, educational facilities and even a spa.  Camping fees start at 25,000 won and tents and other equipment are available for rent. Advanced reservations are necessary, especially during the summer high season. For more information, please visit http://parks.seoul.go.kr/template/common/park_info/park_intro.jsp?park_id=JungnangCampGround (Korean)

Spa and cafe at Jungnang Camping Forest (Photo courtesy Jungnang Camping Forest)

Open from March to November, Gangdong Greenway Family Campground in Iljasan Park is ideal for novice campers, since the sites are already equipped with tents. The admission fee of 20,000 won includes the use of everything people need for camping, including a tent and sleeping mats.  It also has communal kitchens and washrooms, and is a perfect place to start exploration of hiking trails around nearby Ilja Mountain. Reservations are highly recommended during the high season, which starts in May. For more information, please visit http://www.gdfamilycamp.or.kr/ (Korean)

Gangdong Greenway Family Campground (Photo courtesy Gangdong Greenway Family Campground)
Seoul Grand Park offers campsites, in addition to its amusement park, zoo and art museum. Visitors can enjoy a walk through its woods to observe the nearly 500 different plants and animals living in the area before settling down to spend a night communing with nature. Admission to the campground is 2,000 won and tent rental and campsite reservation costs 15,000 won. For more information, please visit http://grandpark.seoul.go.kr/html/wellbeing/0101_camp_introduction.jsp (Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese)

To learn more about other camping facilities within Seoul, please visit http://parks.seoul.go.kr/park/ for more information. (Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese)

By Jessica Seoyoung Choi
Korea.net Staff Writer

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