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Hikers enjoy Seoraksan Mountain's beauty while following fall virus prevention guidelines Updated: 2020-10-15 10:08:14 KST

Nothing captures the essence of October like the leaves changing color.
During this time of the year, millions of hikers visit national parks across South Korea.

"Here on Seoraksan Mountain, which showed the first signs of autumn in late September, over 80 percent of trees are expected to turn yellow and orange this coming weekend."

But due to COVID-19, the government is advising people not to visit parks to see the autumn leaves. Instead, it is promoting the national park service's Youtube channel where viewers can tour parks virtually.

"But for those going anyway, it's recommended to wear masks and keep a two meter distance between each other while trekking."

And from this Saturday until mid-November, group tour buses won't be able to park at some public parking lots directly run by the Korea National Park Service.
Some of Seoraksan's most popular attractions are also out of bounds.

"Along with the Towangseong Falls Observatory, Ulsanbawi, one of Seoraksan Mountain's primary attractions, will be closed to visitors indefinitely until the health crisis comes to an end."

The national park said that the gigantic, six-peak rock formation doesn't have enough space on its summit for hikers to keep their distance from each other.

"You can see the East Coast from Ulsanbawi and the view's breathtaking. So it's a shame we couldn't go this time."

Restrictions apply to the Seorak Cable Car as well.
The vehicle is currently operating at only 50 percent capacity and passengers must wear masks while keeping a safe distance from others.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News, Seoraksan Mountain.
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