Pink is the most sought-after autumn color in South Korea right now. Do an Instagram search for #pinkmuhly and you’ll get an idea of what’s going on. There are over 300,000 posts, many showing couples, children and young women posing in picturesque gardens full of pink grass. Surreal displays of pink and purple inflorescences, floating above tall grass like soft clouds, have popped up in so many cities and towns that they are difficult to keep track of: Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Ulsan, Yeoju, Gyeongju, Andong, Daejeon, Hampyeong, Pocheon, and Suncheon are just a few.
Providing the perfect backdrop for that once-in-a-lifetime photo, these gardens are expected to draw large crowds again this fall. The plant, Muhlenbergia capillaris, more commonly known as the hairawn muhly, is a perennial native to North America. Heat- and drought-resistant and suitable for almost any type of soil, it grows about 30-90 centimeters tall and blooms from September to November. It is believed to have made its debut in Korea just five years ago: A private park on the southern island of Jeju claims to have started the nation’s first pink garden in 2014. Since then, several cities and districts have had muhly seeds flown in from overseas and planted them along riverbanks, fields, parks, and roads.
There are beautiful pink muhly spots in Busan and Jeju Island, as well, but it can be hard for tourists with limited time to visit cities other than Seoul. I would like to introduce some hot spots where you can enjoy pink muhly, which can only be enjoyed in October, and November! If you are planning to visit a pink muhly attraction in Seoul, keep in mind that there will be a lot of people(more than you can imagine). It is not too much to say that visitors see people more than pink muhly, especially on weekends.
121-250 95 Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Haneul Park is the most popular of the five parks situated in World Cup Park which was built to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup. Like its name Haneul, which means “sky” in Korean, the park is situated on the highest part of World Cup Park and offers breathtaking views of Seoul. Once a landfill, Haneul Park is an incredible example of ecological and urban regeneration. The annual Silver Grass Festival at Haneul Park is one of the city’s most popular events. It is held each October when the silver grass is in bloom. Silver grass is also known as Eulalia or pampas grass. The park can be reached by climbing up a wooden stairway that boasts 291 steps or by taking a ride on the park’s electric tram.
Haneul Park can be easily reached by Subway from Seoul city center. Just get off at World Cup Stadium Station (Seoul Subway Line 6) and take Exit 1. It takes about 15~20 min from the station to the entrance of Haneul park by walk. On the way to Haneul park from the station, you can stop by other beautiful parks nearby. World Cup Park is located near Seoul World Cup Stadium and is made up of five smaller parks: Pyeonghwa (Peace) Park, Haneul (Sky) Park, Noeul (Sunset) Park, Nanjicheon Park, and Nanji Hangang Park. Surprisingly, the World Cup Park was once a 15-year-old landfill that held over 92 million tons of garbage.
Originally, this place was a low flatland where peanuts and sorghum grew. However, it eventually became an enormous mountain of garbage. After it reached capacity and finally stopped operation in 1993, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to turn this area into an ecological park. Haneul Park is a good example that shows how a barren disposal site can be transformed into a beautiful place when nature is allowed to reclaim the land. Like its name Haneul, which means sky in Korean, Haneul Park is situated at World Cup Park’s highest point where visitors can enjoy fantastic views of Seoul and Han river. Haneul Park has 22 lookout points offering breathtaking views of Seoul’s main landmark, including the N Seoul Tower, Bukhansan Mountain, and Hangang River.
Once you arrive at Haneul Park, you can just explore the park and stroll around to enjoy the silver grass field since it’s very beautiful and dramatic. You’ll feel like drowning in a dreamy land which covered with Eulalia and wildflowers in their most natural state. There are 5 windmills spin slowly and quietly among the silver grass field. They’re actually the wind-powered generators that provide power to the park and the park’s maintenance office. Another great spot is the observation platform. It offers a stunning aerial view of the whole park covered with silver grass and Seoul city view. While enjoying the views, you can relax in cozy rest areas at the edge of the park. There are some bench and viewing points that facing Han River and Seoul city.
For the best experience, I strongly recommend you to come here in the afternoon because when the sunset shines on the Miscanthus, the golden sprinkles are absolutely amazing and it truly reflects the soul of autumn.
424 Olympic-ro, Oryun-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Seoul Olympic Park is home to the largest stadium in South Korea, and it is said that one would require roughly 3 hours to explore the entire park. This huge park is further divided into smaller parks, namely the Leisure Sports Park, Cultural Art Park, History Experience Park, and the Environment Eco-park. The park is located in Jamsil, a place famous for all things Lotte, with Lotte World and Lotte Tower being the main attractions in this area. In Autumn, Seoul Olympic Park comes to life with flowers in full bloom. The fields are painted in a sea of orange, pink and a variety of colors, with locals heading down to witness this amazing natural phenomenon. Seoul Olympic Park is the perfect place for those who want to escape from the city, relax and experience nature’s beauty.
In June 2010, Olympic Park Rose Square was opened with a total of 200 or so varieties of roses that decorate the area every year in June and October. Moreover, Rose Square was created with the concept of the ancient Olympics and current Olympics meet for the ’12 gods of Olympus’ garden,’ creating unique scenery.
Olympic Park Rose Square was created with the concept of the Ancient Olympics meets Present-day Olympics and is separated into 12 gardens each named after an Olympian god. Walking towards Rose Square, the first garden to be approached is the garden of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love who is said to have first made the rose. The colorful road leads to the gardens of Hera, Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Ares, Hephaestus and Zeus, which is set in a circular format. Throughout the garden are fancy photo zones of an arch tunnel made of roses, a heart-shaped topiary, and a pavilion. While taking pictures and going around Rose Square, you’ll fall for the variety of roses that have different colors, scents, and shapes.
Olympic Park has pink muhly as well as roses. Because of the pink muhly’s growing popularity, it was added to the space that was originally not there. Although Haneul Park is the most famous park in Seoul for pink muhly, you can still enjoy pink muhly in Olympic park in less crowded space!
Jamwon Hangang Park
221-124 Jamwon-ro, Sinsa-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Pink muhly and another 25 species of perennial plants are in full bloom in “Grass Garden,” a garden of about 6,000 ㎡ was built in Jamwon Hangang Park, Seoul. Han River’s “Grass Garden” is an unusual garden made up of various colors of grass, different from the usual flower gardens that can easily be seen. It offers a variety of landscapes over the seasons with its perennial plants that change colors and textures. Unlike the usual silver grass, this particular “Pink Muhly” theme garden is coated in a uniform layer of pink. The “Pink Muhly” theme garden newly unveiled itself by the Hangang River and is known for its beautiful atmosphere. It is a perfect spot to take pictures in autumn and is expected to attract the attention of both domestic and foreign tourists.
The grass garden is located near the outdoor swimming pool of Jamwon Hangang( River) Park. You can enter Hangang Park by using Exit 6 of Apgujeong Station on Subway Line 3 or Exit 5 of Shinsa Station on Line 3. Unlike Haneul Park or Olympic Park, it’s located at the center of Gangnam, which makes your trip efficient. Jamwon station is really close to Garosu-gil area which is famous for shopping and cafes. You can enjoy some city vibe in Garosu-gil and then move to Jamwon Hangang park for enjoying beautiful nature.