Nature Photography from places all over South Korea likeJeju-do, Seorak-san, Mudeung-san, Busan, & Boseong using both my Canon A590 and EOS D60 digital cameras
Tagged: National Parks in Korea
It’s only 50 minutes by bus from Gwangju to Yeongam. From here you can simply hop in a cab and point to the obvious mountain in the distance and they’ll take you to the park entrance for 5000 KRW. The open faced summit and lack of trees give this range of mountains a striking resemblance to the Seoraksan National Park area. The climb was filled with stairs, something I’ve gotten used to here in Korea, but the summit is only 800 meters. Find more information about my day hike in Jeollanam-do.
Nearly all Korean hagwon teachers get 6 days off for Summer vacation during July. We spent ours in (or on) Jeju-do. For the second time, I stayed at the Tae Gong Gak located above the Seogwipo Harbor. One of the owners even remembered me from when I went to Jeju for the Chuseok holiday last October. “Hey, I know your face. You were here with a girl last time. Where is she?” She stayed in the Hyatt Hotel in the Jungmun Resort area, which is a 30 minute ride away on the number 600 Bus.
After a day or two of drinking Chivas Regal and chatting it up with fellow vacationers by the pool at the Hyatt Hotel, we woke up early for a hike to the summit of Halla mountain in Hallasan National Park. Although this is the tallest mountain in South Korea, the incline is gradual and substantially easier to summit than the #2 mountain in Korea, Jiri-san, or the #3, Seorak-san — both of which I hiked earlier this year. Of the several routes to take, we chose the Yeongshil trail for it’s epic scenery. Unfortunately, the weather was anything but fabulous; Yeongshil ended up being a cloud maze and we couldn’t see shit. We came down through the Orimok valley which was a kilometer longer, had more stairs, and was less interesting to maneuver.
Moon’s Guide to South Korea recommended hiking the small peak of Songak-san, located on a small peninsula at Jeju’s West end and supposedly offering some of the most splendid views of Halla-san and the adjacent mound of rock called Sanbang-san. I set out the next day in search of glory and got lost in a bumfuck beach town called Moseulpo, but soon found my way to Songak-san Park via taxi for 5000 KRW. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a small black sand beach and several sea caves dug into the massive cliffs. During World War II, the Japanese forced Jeju residents to build these caves for use in suicide attacks against the Allied forces. It was a creepy area to explore. Having to worry about the collapsing hillside and look out for scurrying centipedes, crabs, and spiders, I did not dare venture into any of the caves. Probably not worth the risk anyways. As was the situation the previous day, the weather affording no magnificent view atop Songak-san. Bummer, dude.
Crossed another one off the TO-DO list in hiking Cheonwangbong (천왕봉) on Jirisan (지리산) this past weekend. At 1910 meters, 천왕봉 is the tallest peak on mainland South Korea. It is also the tallest mountain I’ve personally ever hiked, and there were a few mental / physical road blocks on the way to the top. But if it were easy, it wouldn’t mean anything. Read more about it on Tripwolf.
I’ve posted on Tripwolf my experiences hiking Seoraksan in December. From what I remember of this, it was cold. I’m from Maine and it was definitely really fucking cold there last December. The restaurant bodega mart just outside the park entrance was at least open at 6 a.m. — serving fresh hot coffee, tea, corn dogs, and chicken sticks. Very warming, indeed. If you brave the cold and go hiking in Seorak, you’ll find that the high winds and frigid haze take very little away from the pure rock outcropping spectaculation that is Seoraksan National Park.