New items have appeared on the packing lists of hikers and travelers
headed to Korea's national parks this summer. On forest trails and
mountain clearings that appear otherwise untouched by the spoils of
modern gadgetry, smartphones and smart tablets have become a common sight.
According to the Korea National Park Service,
this new trend has emerged following the expansion of the Park
Service's IT network and SNS channels. From Twitter to Facebook,
real-time updates currently provide useful information for travelers to
parks across the country.
Comprehensive updates on local weather
conditions are just one part of the extensive offerings now available
at your fingertips. The SNS channels also provide plenty of photos and
previews of the park's best vistas, along with maps and guides for
hiking routes. Live updates on trail conditions and repairs at Jirisan and Sobaeksan mountains, for example, are invaluable when traveling in less–than-ideal weather conditions.
national parks offer picturesque views of some of the country's most
beautiful mountains, including (clockwise from top left) Jirisan,
Bukhansan, Deogyusan, and Gayasan (photos courtesy of the Korea National
With Internet access provided
throughout the parks, travelers can also get customized information
about local wildlife by uploading their own pictures and videos to the
park service SNS channels. Inquiries are forwarded to the relevant
organizations, where employees help curious travelers to identify the
unknown flower, plant, or insect.
With smart networking no longer the domain of cities and urban administration, a daytrip to a popular site such as Seoul's Bukhansan can be made easily and enjoyable by veteran travelers and first-timers alike.
example, a quick download of the Bukhansan Dulle-gil smartphone app
gives access to information about the history, culture, and natural
wildlife along each mountain trail in a fun storytelling format.
Information about mountain safety is also provided, and a new one-touch
emergency button alerts Park Services to the hiker's location,
minimizing response time to accidents.
Visitors to Korea's national parks can learn about local wildlife, including Aconitum jaluense species (top left) of Sobaeksan, Fabriciana nerippe
butterflies (left) of Jirisan, and various unique kinds of mushrooms.
For help with identifying unknown species, visitors can send pictures
taken with their smartphones to the National Park Service SNS channels
(photo courtesy of the Korea National Park Service).
can also share their personal impressions via SNS channels, taking
snapshots or videos to alert park services and other visitors about
potentially unsafe areas. Reports of environmental pollution, roadkill,
or in the Jirisan area, sightings of the bandal-gom (half-moon bears),
can contribute to more effective management and safer and more enjoyable
travels for all.
In the years to come, the Korea National Park
Service plans to introduce an innovative avatar program that will enable
those with mobility disabilities to experience through digital
technology the excitement of a nature trek.
More information on Korea's national parks can be found at the website of the Korea National Park Service.
By Kwon Jungyun
Korea.net Staff Writer