Odaesan National Park Travel Guide

Explore Odaesan National Park in South Korea with our comprehensive travel guide. Learn about the best things to do, places to visit, food and drink scene, local culture, transportation, and more.

Introduction to Odaesan National Park

Odaesan National Park is a mesmerizing destination located in the Gangwon province of South Korea. The national park spans over 300 square kilometers and features breathtaking landscapes, scenic views, and an abundance of wildlife. Odaesan is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers. In this travel guide, we will take you through different sections of the park, including must-visit places, hiking and biking routes, the best activities to do, where to stay, what to eat, local culture and customs, and much more.

List of Places to Visit in Odaesan National Park

When visiting Odaesan National Park, there are several places of interest that you should include in your itinerary. We have categorized these into cultural attractions and natural attractions.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

If you’re a history buff, the following museums and historical landmarks are a must-visit during your trip.

  • Woljeongsa: One of the most popular temples in South Korea, Woljeongsa is nestled deep within the forests of Odaesan National Park. The temple dates back to the 7th century and is home to numerous cultural artifacts and treasures.
  • Odaesan Cheoigwangjang Market: Enjoy shopping at traditional Korean markets like Odaesan Cheoigwangjang Market. This market features traditional Korean crafts, souvenirs, and famous local snacks to buy and take back home.

Natural Attractions of Odaesan National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

The natural beauty of Odaesan National Park is what draws most visitors. From hiking trails to waterfalls, below are some must-visit natural attractions.

  • Birobong Peak: The highest peak in the park, Birobong Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the park and beyond. The summit can be reached by hiking trails from the entrance or Woljeongsa.
  • Sangwonsa Temple: Located on the banks of the Hantan River, Sangwonsa Temple offers beautiful views of the surrounding forest and valley. The temple also has the largest statue of the Buddha in the entire park.
  • Sogongwon: Sogongwon is the central hub of Odaesan National Park and is home to various hiking trails, scenic views, and historic landmarks.
  • Dongdaesan: Another popular destination in the park, the Dongdaesan region is known for its dense forests, waterfalls, rock formations, and beautiful trails.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Odaesan National Park

Hiking and biking are popular activities in the park. Here are some hiking and biking routes to explore:

  • Woljeongsa Temple to Birobong Peak: A popular route that takes you from the temple through dense forests and up to Birobong Peak. It is a difficult hike but worth the effort.
  • Sangwonsa Temple to Dongdaesan: This hiking route passes through dense forests, along rivers, and features magnificent views of the park. The route is relatively easy and perfect for beginner hikers.
  • Odaesan Mountain Biking Trail: This biking route takes you through the heart of the park. The trail is well marked and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and forest.

Best Things to Do in Odaesan National Park: Activities and Tours

Apart from hiking and biking, there are other activities and tours that you can enjoy in Odaesan National Park. Here are some of the best things to do:

  • Rafting and Kayaking: The nearby Hantan River offers excellent rafting and kayaking opportunities for adventure seekers.
  • Cultural Tours: Take a cultural tour to one of the oldest temples in Korea, Woljeongsa Temple, and explore its rich history and architecture.
  • Horse Riding: Horseback riding is a unique way to explore Odaesan National Park, and several stables offer guided tours.

Week-Long Itinerary for Odaesan National Park

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Odaesan National Park, here is a suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Explore Woljeongsa Temple and its surroundings.
  • Day 3-4: Hike from Sangwonsa Temple to Dongdaesan and enjoy picnic lunches.
  • Day 5-6: Go rafting/kayaking on the Hantan River, and visit Odaesan Cheoigwangjang Market.
  • Day 7: Relax and enjoy a day in Sogongwon.

Food and Drink Scene of Odaesan National Park

No trip to Odaesan National Park is complete without trying out the local food and beverage scene. Here is what you must try:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Gangwon-style Dakgalbi: A stir-fried chicken dish unique to the region, Dakgalbi is a must-try when visiting Odaesan National Park.
  • Hwangtae-gui: Grilled dried fish, Hwangtae-gui is a delicious snack that can be found in traditional markets and restaurants.

Local Beverages

  • Gangwon-do Buckwheat Makgeolli: Makgeolli is a traditional Korean rice wine that is brewed from fermented rice. The Gangwon-do Buckwheat Makgeolli is a unique version of the traditional drink that uses buckwheat instead of rice.

Where to Stay in Odaesan National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Odaesan National Park offers several accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some popular options:

  • Intercontinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort: This luxury hotel is located near the entrance of the park and offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
  • Odaesan Pension: This affordable guesthouse is located in a tranquil setting and is perfect for those on a budget.
  • Birchhill Pension: This family-friendly guesthouse is located close to the park entrance and features fully equipped kitchenettes in all rooms.

What to Buy in Odaesan National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Don’t forget to take home some souvenirs and local products to remember your trip to Odaesan National Park. Here are some must-buy items:

  • Handmade Crafts: Traditional Korean crafts, including pottery and woven baskets, are popular souvenirs.
  • Food Products: Stock up on local snacks, such as Hwangtae and Makgeolli, to relive your trip to Odaesan National Park.

Local Culture and Customs of Odaesan National Park

Odaesan National Park is a place of rich cultural heritage, and there are some customs that you should know before visiting:

  • Respect: It is essential to show respect to the local culture and customs and be aware of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
  • Dress Code: When visiting cultural landmarks such as temples, visitors should dress modestly, with covered shoulders and knees.
  • Shoes: Shoes should be removed before entering any temple or holy site.

Best Time to Visit Odaesan National Park

The best time to visit Odaesan National Park is during the autumn months when the trees turn a vibrant shade of red, orange, and yellow. Spring is also an excellent time to go when the flowers are in full bloom.

Do’s and Don’ts of Odaesan National Park

Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting:


  • Respect the locals and their customs
  • Stay on designated trails while hiking
  • Carry enough water and snacks during hikes


  • Litter
  • Take any plants or animals from the park
  • Play loud music or disturb other visitors during hikes

Safety and Health

Odaesan National Park is generally safe for visitors. However, here are some things to keep in mind:

Safety in Odaesan National Park

  • Stay on designated trails while hiking
  • Carry appropriate hiking gear depending on the season
  • Follow the instructions of guides during any outdoor activity

Health in Odaesan National Park

  • Avoid consuming untreated water, carry a filter and bottled water
  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs

Getting to Odaesan National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Odaesan National Park is well connected to major cities in South Korea. Here are some transportation options:

Airports Near Odaesan National Park

  • Yangyang International Airport: The nearest airport, located 19 kilometers from Odaesan National Park.

Bus Stations Near Odaesan National Park

  • Gangneung Express Bus Terminal: Connects to major cities in South Korea, including Seoul and Busan.

Other Options

  • Car Hire: Renting a car is an excellent option for visitors who wish to explore the park at their own pace.

How to Get Around in Odaesan National Park

The best way to get around Odaesan National Park is on foot. However, visitors can also rent bicycles or use the park shuttle bus.

Where to Go Next from Odaesan National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some nearby destinations and excursions to explore after visiting Odaesan National Park:

  • Seoraksan National Park: A popular destination for hiking and scenic views
  • Pyeongchang: Host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Gangneung: A historic coastal city with numerous cultural landmarks and museums.


Odaesan National Park is a stunning destination, and there is a lot to explore and experience. This travel guide has provided some essential information on the best places to visit, hiking and biking routes, where to stay, what to eat, and much more. We hope this guide helps you plan the perfect trip to Odaesan National Park.