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One World in One Lifetime

Posts Tagged ‘Hike’

Wow, You Have 5 Friends!?

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

September 14, 2008

All Pictures

Happy to be back in Korea

Back Again

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.

picking a trail to hike

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…

David: Lord of the Hike

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.

“David is giving us dirty looks again; we better get back to the trail.”

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.

We only took this photo so we could sit without David yelling at us.

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.

All that hiking made me hungry.

And for the record, I hiked up Dobongsan twice!

Here’s another great shot of us sitting.

All Pictures


 

South Korea
(대한민국)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • 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.


Dobongsan
(도봉산)

How to get there:

  • 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.

Website:

Cost:

  • Free

Notes:

  • 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).

Map:

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Posted in Dobong, Seoul, South Korea, Uijeongbu | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happiness is on a Mountain

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

April 26 – 27, 2008

All Pictures

Again, happy before a hike.

One Last Hike Before I Go

This was to be the last trip I took in Korea. Well, that’s what I thought. The plan was to leave the following week on a boat to China, travel around Asia and Europe for a bit, then get a real job back in the states.

What actually ended up happening was that I missed the boat to China and stayed in Korea for an extra 4 days. Then, while on the boat I began to miss Korea so badly that I almost cried. Then while stuck in Mongolia because my flight was delayed for 2 days I started to look for a job in Korea.

Within 5 months I would be back in Korea and loving it. But at the time of this trip, I was saying my farewells and getting all nostalgic.

Made it to one waterfall

How many restaurants?

I like hiking in Korea even though I’m not that into showing off my being out of shape. The mountains are where all the happy Koreans go. The people you find there are mostly retired and love to socialize, especially when you go on a weekday.

This was another trip where I talked yet another co-worker into hiking with me. On the first day my friend and I wanted to see a waterfall or two. We left our backpacks at the left luggage by the information center. It would have been cheaper and easier to leave them in the building with the cable car, but we didn’t know that then.

I have come to realize that in Korea the difficulty of a hike is directly related to the amount of restaurants you pass on your climb up. Bukhansan had a lot of restaurants, maybe 50 or 60 total, all in little clusters along the mountain. The hike to the waterfall here is only a 2 restaurant hike.

river of rocks

Back for more!?

The next day we went back to the park early in the morning. We ate breakfast in the park. Lucky for us, they had one picture menu with some basic English. I had lived in Seoul for almost a year and I could read Hangeul, but I still couldn’t recognize most dishes by just their names.

We took the cable car to the top of Gwon-Geunseong. There was a plethora of perms and visors as the ajimmas pushed and shoved their way on and off the cable car. They giggled and gasped as the car swayed back and forth a bit before coming to a stop.

It’s pretty far up!

After we rested for a few minutes we hiked up to Ulsanbawi (울산바위). I think it took us about 4 hours to get up and back down. We passed about 4 or 5 restaurants on the way up to the top. Once at the top there was a guy selling photos, key chains, and snacks. Think of the commute that poor guy has every day!

at the top

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • 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.


Sokcho
(속초)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 38°12’25.1″N 128°35’31.7″E
  • Express Bus Terminal has buses that go to Sokcho.
  • Most cities in South Korea has a bus station called “Express Bus Terminal” that have buses to Sokcho.
  • From Seoul it is a 4 hours bus ride.
  • There are no trains to Sokcho.

Website:

Notes:

The DMZ is an hour bus ride from this town.


Seoraksan
(설악산)

in the

Taebaek mountain range
(태백산맥)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 38°06’40.8″N 128°25’51.2″E

From the bus terminal at Sokcho

  • Cross the street
  • Take the number 7 or 7-1.
  • The national park is the last stop for both buses.

Phone:

  • +82-033-636-8355
  • Korean Tourist Information +82-33-1330

Website:

e-mail: sorak@knps.or.kr

Notes:

  • There are camping facilities here.
  • The building with the cable car has the better and cheaper lockers for your stuff.

Map:

Posted in Sokcho, South Korea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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