Sunday, August 5, 2012

A new perspective on Seoul

This past Saturday began my unofficial vacation from school.  I say unofficial because although classes are finished for the semester, I still have two more days of school/deskwarming before my real vacation starts on Wednesday.  Nevertheless, I was super excited when school let out last Friday.  

To start off my summer holidays, DH and I decided to trek up Bukhansan, the "mountain north of the Han River".  The mountain is visible from many a districts in Seoul and is considered a pretty important landmark of the city.  Despite the 36 C (96.8 F) degrees weather at 66% humidity, we hit the trails at around 7:30am and managed to reach the top by around 10:30, with generous breaks.

There are a lot of good blogs out there with information about hiking up to Jaunbong (the peak of Bukhansan) like this onethis one or even this one.  If you want more specifics, those would be good places to look.  There doesn't seem much sense in repeating what is out there dozens and dozens of times already, but what I would add is that our experience differed from those previous hikers/bloggers due mostly to the time period we chose to hike it.  The insane Korean summers seem to keep hikers to a low so the climb up was relatively empty.

While the temperature was high, we found the hike totally manageable for two reasons 1) we started early (7:30) (we left Bangwha at 5:30) and 2) the mountain trail is almost entirely shaded by trees.  Ironically, the heat became unbearable only when we had to walk from the foot of the mountain through the city back to the subway station.

Overall an amazing hike with incredible views of the city and its surrounding area.  It is an experience I definitely recommend to all Seoul-dwellers who have the time to get there.

At Dongbongsan Station around 7am, our 'we're ready to take on this mountain' picture.

A view from the bottom.

About 2/3 up the mountain, an amazing viewing point where lots of hikers could rest and take in the sights of Seoul and the surrounding mountains. 

Our sights on the goal, Jaunbong peak.
Towards the end, we were climbing pretty steep inclines, we were literally climbing with our hands to keep our balance.

Heed the warnings of the bears.  Signs like these told us what to look out for.
You can't tell from this picture, but the only way to reach the peak is to pull yourself up on railings and ropes.  There are no stairs there and the incline was steeper than it appears.

But the view was worth it,  Seoul from the top.
A proud David with an incredible backdrop.

Who would have guessed that this is still Seoul?
Proof we made it !

No comments:

Post a Comment