Healing bamboo featured

Healing Bamboo Forest Trails in Korea – Goseong’s Namsan Park

Address: 274, Sunam-ri, Goseong-eup, Goseong-gun, Gyeongnam

Have you heard of the concept of “healing bamboo”, “healing forest”, or “forest bathing“? Did you know bamboo emits phytoncides which reportedly have health-boosting effects?

A tall forest of bamboo stalks and leaves

This was all new to me. I noticed and appreciated the bamboo growing in the thicket off the trails of Namsan Park since first coming to Goseong in 2018. Now in 2021, a KRW 60 million project has resulted in a series of trails about 1km through what was once abandoned slopes and thickets of bamboo.

The “healing” part comes from the phytoncides which are compounds emitted from certain plants, such as bamboo. The phytoncides’ health benefits are reported to include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, insecticidal, boosted immune system, and stress control.

On an average day, bamboo forests produce a phytoncide concentration of 3.1μg per cubic meter, which is considered high, whereas regular pine forests produce 2.5μg.

Around the large swing at Namsan Park, a sign points to one of the healing bamboo trails with wooden logs forming steps down the hill.

It takes you down the small mountainside a decent ways.

You soon find yourself exploring trails through bamboo stalks.

Sunlight shining through a healing bamboo forest with a path running through it

It is well-shaded and it is nice having the woven material on the path to walk comfortably among the bamboo swaying in the wind.

Bamboo railings along a path through a bamboo forest

The trail runs through different terrain along the small mountainside that makes up Namsan Park. Here, a small bridge was installed over a little ravine.

Some signs here and there point the way along the trails. The terrain is not mostly flat, so that keeps it interesting but also gives you a good workout.

It is cool to see how thick some of the bamboo can get.

Alice and I took Noah here in the spring before they actually finished the healing bamboo trails. This section is actually kind of a standalone area of bamboo not really connected to the main bamboo trail.

Nate holding baby Noah in a healing bamboo forest

I had an encounter with a boar in this park back in 2018, so they are here, but they’re usually active at night, which is when I encountered it.

One of the main trails ends (or starts) near a little area around a fence where there used to be a small pavilion. This is around where the white bridge crosses the highway and leads down to the coastal trail of Haejigae Bridge.

I backtracked through the bamboo and went back up the many steps to the normal area of Namsan Park.

Many wooden logs used as steps up a small mountainside

I hope it was interesting to learn something about healing bamboo. You may not get a chance to come here but hopefully this gave you a taste of the experience.

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