The Korea Tourism Organization has selected 100 summer tourist spots to escape the summer heat while being safe from COVID-19. The venues were chosen based on criteria such as suitability for solo or family trips, outdoor travel or social distancing. Of these “100 non-contact tourist destinations,” this article will feature five.

By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae
Photos = Korea Tourism Organization

Hanbat Arboretum
An outdoor picnic is a popular way in Korea of seeking brief respite from the stifling nature of life amid COVID-19. After a temporary shutdown, this plant paradise was reopened on July 6. Located in the downtown Dunsan area of Daejeon, Hanbat is the largest artificial arboretum in the country with about 1,700 plants that make holding a picnic ideal. Visitors, however, must wear masks and follow the government’s “distancing in daily life” rules. Admission is free.


Beoryeong-ri Metasequoia Trail
Located in Yeonghae-myeon Township of Yeongdeok-gun County, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, the Beoryeong-ri Metasequoia Trail is great for relaxing mind and body amid the pandemic. Though private property, the trail is open to the public free of charge. The road leading to the trail is unpaved, so going there by car is advised instead of using public transportation. Pythoncide, an organic compound emitted from trees that is often used in aromatherapy and holistic medicine, is an attraction of this site.


Hwangnyeongsan Mountain
As disruption to daily life and the implementation of social distancing have become routine in the COVID-19 era, outdoor activities rather than indoor sports are growing popular among Koreans. This mountain surrounds the downtown area of Busan and is safe enough to offer relief from the pandemic. Even those not used to hiking can reach the peak after about two hours. The beacon fire station and the observatory at the top offer a spectacular 360-degree view of the city.


Gosalli Forest Trail
Not that well known in Korea, this trail on Jeju Island offers a quiet and peaceful place for strolling. Located in the village of Namwon-eup in Seogwipo, this area has kept its natural beauty fully intact. Slowly covering the 2-km trail takes about two hours, so visitors seeking quiet and relaxation will find this path soothing.


Baramsae Village Picnic Garden
Opened in 2013, this garden in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do Province, is a waterfront park in full harmony with nature. Divided into four theme sections including rainbow and light parks, the venue features unique scenery and distinct night views to allow visitors to fully interact with nature. Admission is free.

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