Boeun- Songnisan aka Songni Mountain
One of the advantages of the expat community was that everyone always shared what they were doing, where they traveled, what they ate, etc. over the weekend. We were lucky enough to never bring work home with us and the convenient transportation in a small country gave us the flexibility to travel whenever we wanted.
I wasn’t too sure about heading out to Boeun (“What’s in Boeun?), but since it was in the same province as Cheongju (where I was living at the time), I figured I’d regret not checking out an area that was so close.
It was cold and slushy when we arrived but the walk is all flat and no one was around, due to the bad weather. I’ll take bad weather over no people any day, to be honest. It was peaceful to be at the temple and see the biggest Buddha I’ve ever seen in my life, but it was a tad too cold to hang out there for much longer. Worth the visit!
*Be careful of missing your bus!
Gangwon Province (Gangwondo)- Seoraksan aka Seorak Mountain
I look back on this trip and wonder if I would’ve done everything differently…a group of us went on an overnight trip organized by WINK. None of us had experience with WINK or travel groups in Korea in general so we went in with no expectations.
The pick-up time was very late at night in Seoul. This was okay because a few of us rode up to Seoul together past the rush hour and just hung out. Sleeping on the bus was another story, but I mean……it’s a bus. No luxury z’s, right? The brutal thing was waking up at 4 something am, grabbing a Costco muffin and hiking all the way up. I have never hiked up a Korean mountain before and oh man, this was was all rocky and steep hills. Hiking with minimal sleep and not donning the appropriate footwear….how did we manage?
I have been to other mountains since, and I will say that this is one of the harder climbs. We beat the early morning rush of ajummas and met them on the way down. Their energy level and capacity to imbibe on soju while hiking daze me.
The view of the autumn leaves was beautiful.
OH! I almost forgot about this…..maybe my brain consciously blocked it out for me for a reason…… Since we were up for HOURS, we were looking forward to heading to our pension (aka motels in Korea). A few days earlier we were worried about cleanliness and all that jazz but our exhaustion got the better of us. We eagerly arrived and……in the bathroom, we saw a used loofah and a dirty ass bra hanging on the shower rod. Blankets with cigarette stains AND a condom. We were mortified.
*Not all pensions are like this!!