Where to see the golden forests of Asia this autumn
IT seems like only yesterday the cherry blossoms of Japan were filling Instagram feeds with shades of white, pink, and purple.
But spring has sprung into summer and turned those pink leaves bronze-green and soon enough autumn will transform forests into golden landscapes.
Alongside golden forests, autumn brings cooler temperatures and an excuse to play in mounds of fallen leaves.
Autumn also means putting your photography skills to good use and capturing the changing charm of nature.
Although autumn doesn’t officially start in Asia until the end of September, start thinking about where you want to see autumn’s magnificent display.
You can get an early deal and save money to spend on a camera film, warm jumpers, and hot chocolate.
Here is a scattering of forests in Asia which come to life in their final days of being dressed in leaves.
Fragrant Hills Park, China
A short ride on metro line four from Beijing will bring you to Beigongmen Station where a regular bus service will take you to Fragrant Hills Park.
The 160-acre imperial garden is the best place to see autumn’s leafy display.
Tourists and locals flock to the area after the year’s first frost to see the changing colors of the maple trees.
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If you’ve got a car, this is the best place to see rows upon rows of golden and orange trees in Taiwan.
If you take the old scenic country road 118 from Taipei, you’ll see every tree along the road exhibiting a different color from the last.
Road 118 will then lead you to the Shihme Resivior where you can cozy up with a blanket, breathe the freshest air, and watch the beautiful autumnal foliage sway in the breeze.
Autumn comes later to Taiwan so you enjoy the colors of fall until early December.
Namiseom Island, South Korea
Seoul isn’t short of a park or two, but the best place to see autumn’s glory is on the half-moon-shaped Namiseom Island about 65km from the capital.
Clusters of maple, gingko, and rosewood trees fill the island and burnt orange, crimson red and golden leaves can be admired from late October until early November.
Namiseom Island is a car-free zone, which helps to preserve its natural beauty. The best way to get there is by train from Seoul to Gapyeong wharf and then take a ferry to the island.
While cherry blossoms take center stage here in spring, any seasoned traveler will know autumn delivers another spectacular sight.
In mid-November, the forested Takao village bursts with orange and milk chocolate-colored leaves.
A little further out of Kyoto is the serene gardens of Sanzen-in Temple where the moss-covered ground draws a vibrant contrast to the orange leaves.
Kyoto is easy to get to from Tokyo, just jump on one of the bullet trains which go between the two cities.
Then arrange local transport to visit Takai village and Sanzen-in Temple.
Tomaya Prefecture, Japan
If there was ever a place that oozed autumn, it is the view from Kurobe Gorge Railway in Tomaya Prefecture.
The gorge is the largest of its kind in Japan and it dramatically changes with every season.
Tomaya can be reached via domestic and international flights, train, and car.
From the center of Toyama, you can take an hour-long train ride to the Kurobe Gorge Railway.
Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam
Fewer golden leaves and more cascades of yellow and green can be found in the rice paddy fields at Mu Cang Chai.
The rural northwest region of Vietnam thrives on agriculture and by the time autumn arrives, the rice paddy fields are ready to be harvested.
The steep fields change from vibrant green into a warm yellow color which is most magnificent at sunset.
Get there via a five-hour train ride from Hanoi to Yen Bai and then a short bus to Mu Cang Chai.
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com