'Tis the Season To Frolic in the Leaves, Delight In Fall's ColorsThe autumn leaves that started to mature in mid-October on Mount Pukhan were expected to reach their full glory this week, according to the Korea Meteorological Center. Seoul, too, is the beneficiary of this autumnal tide of color that sweeps down the nation. The 250,000 trees planted around the city will soon transform with the season. As well as the yellow ginkgo leaves dancing brightly against the sky, the streets will soon be covered in leaves as red as the cheeks of a blushing maiden.
To help give residents a greater sense of autumnal beauty, Seoul City officials designated 98 kilometers of asphalt "Maple Leaf Roads." Leaves will be allowed to pile up until the end of the season, giving people a chance to view the beauty and dream away the afternoon. Bring the family and listen to the children rolling in the crackling leaves.
And don't forget the pathways to Deoksugung Palace and Changgyeongung Palace, scattered with golden-yellow ginkgo leaves. If you need a special setting to hold the hand of someone you love, this is the spot to choose － after all, such areas are unforgettable for the lovers who have trod them in the past.
Soweol Alley, between the Hilton Hotel and Hannam-dong Apartments, is also noted for its ginkgo trees. Just take one look at the more than 650 roadside trees and you'll see what I mean.
Walker Hill Road, from Kuui to the Walker Hill Hotel, covers just one kilometer, but more than a thousand trees line the road on either side. Four kinds of trees － including cherry trees － give it the appearance of a forest. The riverbank road that runs along the Jungrang and Mukdong streams features 1,400 trees and a new promenade for people to stroll amid the beauty.
Or take a drive along Hwarang Avenue up to Samyook University and revel in the breathtaking beauty of more than a thousand sycamore trees - that is, if you're lucky enough to avoid a traffic jam.
If you have a chance, venture along Tongil Avenue and enjoy the rows of ginkgo trees between the Nokpun and Kupabal subway stations.
All right, so you don't like exhaust fumes. But don't get annoyed. All those drivers may simply be heading for the park close to Yangjae-dong, with 4.4 kilometers of walking paths. The abundance of autumn foliage will clear the city smoke from your mind.
The cherry and maple trees in Children's Grand Park are also ready to be enjoyed. Wuiryesung Road, reminiscent of the old Paekchae Kingdom, has its own graceful air.
Let us rejoice in the rich scenery that the season affords. Winter, with the promise of barren trees and biting winds will undoubtedly help you appreciate this season's particular splendor. Grab your mountain boots and take off for the nearest hills. Even the access road to Mt. Chonggye and Mt. Kwanak is ablaze with red, yellow and brown.
by Lee Hyun-sang