Korea Day 3 Itinerary (Seoul) - Travel Blog

5:47:00 PM

Another day in Seoul, and this is one of my favourites. For those who are interested in day 2, here is the link for it Korea Day 2. Today is a day dedicated to mountain hiking, a sport that I fell in love with ever since my climb in Three Sisters, Sydney. So without further ado, here's how it went. 

We planned this even before booking the tickets, as it's something that I thoroughly enjoy. I would say that we were fairly adventurous, without preparing anything and just eager to hike. We literally went with pairs of Nike, which is not recommended at any cost. 

We also thought that the use of the hiking stick was pointless, and thus proceed with pride without them. Little did we know.... 

Anyway, the day started off at a bakery - a bloody famous one at that. They can be found throughout Seoul, and could be annoying at times. Paris Baguette, a French stereotypical name for a bakery that offers a variety of breads and pastry. Bought some bread for breakfast cause we needed the energy, and also we had no time to prepare. Though I would highly recommend eating something else. 

Look at the amount of hikers on board! We look so unprepared!

We hopped on the train and headed to Gireum Station (Exit 3), and proceed to take Bus 143. The bus will take you directly to the base of Mount Bukhansan and if you do not know whether or not you've arrived, no worries, just follow the old folks. Yes, there will be plenty of them going for a hike, some older than you can imagine. 

There's also a electronic sign on the bus, so you can just follow that. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted with plenty of old folks in full-on hiking gear, ready with their sticks and everything. Do not look down on them as they might pass you faster than scream 'wtf'. Anyway, be prepared to be humiliated countless times as Koreans do take their hiking seriously. No joke. 

Be reminded that Mount Bukhansan has several starting point, ours is just one of the many - or perhaps the most commonly used one.

Here comes the next part - getting a stick. If you've not prep that in your itinerary, then I highly suggest you to get one now. It's not gonna cost a lot - mostly priced at KRW5000 per stick on average. The stick isn't necessary going up, but it truly helps coming back down - that is if you plan to hike to the peak. 

Also, I recommend bringing some warm food such as Kimbab or toppoki, kept in a container or aluminium foil. Bread too is alright, but I personally think that the former are better. Also, if you enjoy drinking, do bring a bottle of Soju or Makgeoli to celebrate when you reach the peak. 

Tissues - wet and dry are important as there will not be any when you go up. A bladder check is also recommended - especially if you plan on taking a shit. There will not be any toilet, or rather, civilised toilet above ground. What you'll find is several huts with a hole dug, and that's where both your poop and pee will go. Technically, I could see the previous person's shit right below. It is disgusting, but I would say it's part of the experience. 

So the basics apart, you should head to the tourist counter, where you can purchase a map for only KRW1000. It's a good buy and it does help in terms of setting the course. Phone signals will be weak so do not rely on them so much. The counter lady, or at least the one we encountered, could speak a little English, where she recommends us to hike the 3rd or 4th tallest peak - not the main one as we aren't prepared. 

The journey was expected to last 3 hours and 30 minutes, including decline but it took us well over 5 hours due to our freshness and lack of proper gear. So without further ado, here is a long list of photos!

We were headed for Daeseongun Gate, which is 3.0KM away. Do not be fooled by the number, it's actually a pretty long journey. 

Watch out for forest fire - a cute sign. 

The beginning was very easy. It's merely steps of stones one after another so we were fairly confident about it. Here is a photo of us proving how easy it was.

Drinkable water nearing the first pit stop - a temple. 

Beginning to ponder why on earth did we do this.

Arrival of the first temple stop. 

A beautiful sanctuary indeed. The place was peaceful and quiet, with plenty of other hikers gathered to rest. There's hot tea and water for you to drink, along with free food. Yes, free!

It's vegetarian, but this bowl of noodles really helped us regained some energy. The light kimchi broth was both sour and flavourful. 

The journey continues with more stairs. 

Look at these people, sitting at one edge of the rocks as if it's nothing. 

Some friendly uncles asked us if we wanted to take a photo, which was really kind of them. For some reason they were really friendly, and even asked where we're from, then proceed onto taking more photos. They even cheered us on which was really something haha. 

Arrival of the first gate - Deoseongmun Gate. 

The weather here was really pleasant - though a little cold. The wind was also strong and my hands were pretty much freezing. The beginning of the hike was a little warm as there were little wind, but at higher altitude, things start to shift. 

Here was where it got really bad. I really wanted to pee but there wasn't any toilet around. Thankfully, there was a toilet after the first gate. This temple is past the second gate, so technically, there wasn't any toilet from the first temple till here. So good luck to those who have weak bladder. 

On top of the second gate, estimated to be 1km away from the peak.

Finally. The top! The peak that we were going for is called Yeoseongbong Peak - which is 727m high. 

After spending a good 30 minutes freezing on top, we finally decide to get the hell down. After all, it's gonna be dark soon and I do not wish to be stuck up here when the sun sets. 

Her trusty stick. 

At the base of the mountain, on the other side.

More sakura.

Even after getting down, we were required to walk at least 30 minutes to the nearest bus stop - followed by another 15 minutes bus ride to the nearest train station. 

For dinner, we had some dakgalbi.  I can't recall where this was located, but it was fairly delicious. 

That would be all for day 3! Hope you guys look forward to day 4!

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  1. Eh the hill climb like quite easy weyh, got steps wan, so nice. Unlike here where its all muddy and wet :/

    1. ahaha.because all the difficult to climb parts (which is most of them) i couldn't take photo ma...difficult to climb ahahah! but yeah, if no rain right, the terrain all quite dry lah, so no mud and shit haha