Wow, You Have 5 Friends!?
Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010
September 14, 2008
This was my first trip in Korea since my return. I had a new job and lots of new friends to go hiking with. I started work back on August 25 and this, when Korea celebrated Chusok, was our first long weekend. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving back in North America. Most importantly it is time away from work.
Have you notice that I don’t go hiking with the same people twice? I can only talk them into once.
My friends and I all worked in different schools around Seoul and therefore live in different districts. I met some of my friends at the station nearest to were I live, Chang-dong, and others at Dobong Staion.
On our hike up the mountian we passed one of Sarah’s new co-workers. They talked for a little while before Sarah introduced her to us. The lady looked amazed. “Sarah, you have 5 friends! How?”
We teased Sarah for the rest of the hike.
“Man Sarah, your co-worker was really shocked that you have 5 whole friends”
“One or two, maybe. But 5? How?”
I think I’ve explained before how Koreans like to ask foreigners, “How many friends do you have?” I still don’t understand it…
Do you need help?
We may have looked a bit lost and disorganized, but so what. Getting to the top is only part of what hiking is all about. I think just the fact that I woke up early in the morning and left my apartment is a big accomplishment.
But that didn’t sit well with on-looker “David”. He thought we needed a bit of guidance and motivation and he was just the man for the job.
Lord of the Hike
I’m out of shape, so I like to take breaks. Plus I really like being on mountains. The more breaks I take, the more time I can spend on the mountain. But “David” didn’t like that. He was always trying to get us going. He wouldn’t even sit down when we were sitting. He was really pushy for a guy we had just met only 30 minutes ago.
I think that eventually he just got fed up with us. Somewhere around the peak he disappeared. We just weren’t the type of lazy bums he wanted to practice his English with.
And for the record, I hiked up Dobongsan twice!
How to get there:
- You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
- Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
- People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
- To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.
- Useful Phone Numbers when in South Korea
- Tourist Complaint Center 02-735-0101
- Police 112
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Eat Your Kim Chi – Life in Korea as lived by 2 Canadians
- Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
- You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
- Use common sense and you will be okay.
- Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.
Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.
- Coordinates 37°42’01.3″N 127°00’56.5″E
- Take subway line 1 to Dobong Station.
- Then follow the herd of people in hiking gear.
- If you need any type of hiking equipment you can buy it along the walk to the base of this mountain.
- Dobongsan is a mountain in Bukhansan National Park (북한산국립공원).