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Hiking through Korea’s Stunning Mountain Scenery

Korea’s mountainous landscape provides some of the world’s best hiking terrain and the views are a definite visual treat for the eyes. Almost 70% of this country offers unparalleled walking routes and along the way you can view cloud-covered peaks, city views and spectacular national parks.

Sturdy hiking boots for women and men will be required on these treks around one of the world’s most beautiful countries.

Amazing Sunset View in Busan – Hwangnyeong Mountain

One of the things I love about Korea, maybe my favorite thing, is that even after living here for more than 4 years, I can still find amazing places and new adventures in my own backyard. Korean people are very active, and unlike most Americans, they go out almost every weekend to explore their own country. I think this is awesome, and it makes me wish I did more exploring of my own back in the US! There’s still time for that though.

Last time I was in the US, I had to go alone. While I was gone, Evan did a lot of exploring with his new camera, looking for good places to take night pictures of Busan. After some reading online in photography groups, he drove to Hwangnyeongsan (황령산), near Geumyeonsan station in Busan. We’re not avid hikers, so it’s always nice when we find mountains we can drive up to for great views!

Waiting for sunset

Waiting for sunset

Winter Hiking in South Korea: Part 4 표충사, 재약산, 천황산 and 능농산 (Pyochungsa, Jaeyaksan, Cheonhwangsan and Neungnongsan)

Looking over Jaeyaksan's cliff edge

In what has come to be quite a mini series for December/January I now present you with my final hiking blog until I return from Malaysia. I have really enjoyed the previous three hikes and it certainly gives me a great amount of satisfaction to do something I enjoy outside of the football season (Which incidentally I have decided to abstain from next season). The hike on Christmas Day was fantastic, more mountain climbing than hiking, but definitely an adventure. With that in mind I spent some time researching other mountains in the Yeongnam Alps and I planned a route that would take me to another famous temple and over three big peaks.

Winter Hiking in South Korea: Part 2 통도사, 비로엄, 영축산 and 신불산 (Tongdosa, Biroam, Yeongchuksan and Sinbulsan)

Geumjeong Mountain – Amazing views of Busan!

Because Korea is almost completely covered in mountains, there are countless places to go for a breath-taking view! We recently checked out a mountain view fairly close to us in North Busan. I heard about the Geumjeong mountain cable car from my co-teacher in my first year in Yangsan, but we didnt make it there until now! Like we’ve been saying a lot lately, we should have gone a lot sooner!

Galmaetgil Trails 갈매길


Layout 1

The Galmaetgil trails span across Busan, about half of them wind along the extensive coastline, giving them the name “Seagull Path” in Hangeul. They explore all the best that this wonderful city of ours has to offer, the whole shebang covers around 270km, so where to start? Here’s your super awesome and helpful guide to help you out in this tricky conundrum.

Course Two: The most popular course among the locals, and the most ‘famous’ according to Busanites.

The shortest course end to end.

Exploring Busan Part 1: Cherry Blossom Hike!

This weekend I decided to explore my new city. My friend told me about a path that bridged Haundae beach (super close to me) and Songjeong Beach and went straight through where I’m living, Jangsan. She also assured me that it’s ripe with cherry blossoms at the moment. Needing no further convincing, we set out straight away!

The cherry blossom trail begins!

The cherry blossom trail begins!

Galmaetgil Course Two: Part 2 –Gwangalli Beach to Oryukdo


By Laura Teague

imageThis is definitely a walk to test your hamstrings and calves. It’s a nice flat 3km away from Gwangalli beach around the coast, and then a grueling 5km of stairs up and down all the way to Oryukdo Cruise Wharf.

Continuing on from where Part 1 finished, this walk starts on Gwangalli Beach.

It’s your party, but please learn to hike first.

With about 70% of the Korean peninsula covered with mountains, the hiking culture dominates the the Land of Kimchi. I went for a short hike up Mt. Dobongsan near my home a few weeks ago. I have a ways to go if I want to start calling myself a “hiker”, but here are my thoughts thus far…

Hiking in Korea is reminiscent of attending an epic college party.

It is imperative that you…

pre-game. (Who wants some morning makgeolli?)

Hiking through Igidae Park

Hiking Gear

The mountains and hills of Busan are easily its best feature, both helping to confine the city’s sprawl and offering parks and natural refuges for residents to escape the stress of everyday life. Among Busan’s wide range of nature walks, the one spanning Igidae Park is among the most popular. We hiked along its 5.2 kilometer coastal trail on a recent sunny afternoon.

Guarding the DMZ

seokbulsa, stone buddha temple

there are more temples here in busan than i could ever muster enough interest to visit in my year-long stint here. most people just hit the big ones, yonggungsa and beomeosa and rave about the particular beauty of the beach temple. any visit to either of these places, you can expect to see a lot of other people, hear a lot of chanting and smell a lot of incense. they’re immersive cultural experiences, to be sure, but lonely planet had it right when they named seokbulsa, the stone buddha temple, as their #1 place to visit in busan. yesterday, i hiked with a few friends from school up a mountain in oncheonjang to see it for ourselves.

Rural Korea on the Jirisan Trail

Click to view slideshow.

This article has gotten quite a few downloads so I’ve decided to write a post about it here. The Jirisan Trail in this article is not the same trail that runs up Jirisan Mtn. It is a newer trail that runs through the villages around the national park.

You can read the online version of this article I wrote and photographed for the NOV 2009 issue of 10 Magazine, or take a look at the tear sheets and PDF version below.

Pancake breakfast and hike to Chungyulsa

Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 10:00

Pancake Breakfast /Hike to Chungyulsa : May 30, 10am-1pm (We've had to delay it from the 23rd many places are forecasting rain for Sunday). Please RSVP so we can make sure there is enough for all to eat :)  Our location is near Myun-nyun-dong subway station/Dongnae area.

We'll have a pancake breakfast with blueberry syrup, hash browns/eggs/veggies with Cajun seasoning, juice, etc. at 10am that will for sure fill you up (basically all you can eat within reason) for our scenic hike to Chungyulsa Shrine stopping along the way a couple times to enjoy the nice views of Busan, see a small park with demonstrations of ancient Korean scientific innovations and end at Chungyulsa which is one of the most interesting memorials in Busan Along the way is also one of the best rock climbing walls I've seen in Busan (see it here here: It's free, but climbing shoes are required.)

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