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Newer Page 54 of 1040 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Seoul Hiking Bukhansan

20 May 2022

I hit a wall

Hiking across Bukhansan National Park from Bulgwang to Bukhansan Ui

Lets get going with this.
The main National Park within the suburbs of Seoul is Bukhansan. It is huge. There are lots of subway stations for hikers and too many trails, really too many, it is easy to get lost. I am using the excellent Naver app on my phone which is Korean google maps but also has all hiking trails with elevation data and distance markers, because every retired or unemployed Korean person must go hiking by law every single day of their lives.

So it took me all of about 10 minutes to get to the start of the hike, about 5 stops on the subway to Bulgwang station. It is then just a short walk after stocking up on water at the 7-eleven before you start the hunt for the actual start of the hiking trail, there is no sign, as you will see below, just some random steps.

The actual hike took longer than I expected, I hit a wall about half way, after which it got easier, read on to find out how hitting the wall is a hilarious pun, intended. Oh and get ready to scroll past a huge number of boring shots of mountains. Also since it was requested, it was about 22 degrees, no humidity, but lots of pollution, too much, China is shut down and yet still there is pollution, everyone is surprised pikachu.

Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - On my way to the subway I passed this nail house, still here wedged in between shiny glass buildings, the tenants probably pay a fortune to rent a pla

On my way to the subway I passed this nail house, still here wedged in between shiny glass buildings, the tenants probably pay a fortune to rent a place that looks this shittily trendy.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - I mentioned it above, here is the completely un-signposted start of the hike, between 2 residential apartment complexes.

I mentioned it above, here is the completely un-signposted start of the hike, between 2 residential apartment complexes.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Finally, after 2.5 years, a chance to twist my ankles on jagged rocks.

Finally, after 2.5 years, a chance to twist my ankles on jagged rocks.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Oh look, it is the apartments between which I located the start of the hiking path that I discussed way too much already. Also, lots of pollution. A g

Oh look, it is the apartments between which I located the start of the hiking path that I discussed way too much already. Also, lots of pollution. A great thing about Asian cities is you go from density to mountain, immediately, no rural bullshit hobby farms for 25km, no urban sprawl with people that need room to park 3 boats, just steps between 2 x tall apartment buildings to the start of a 6 hour hike across mountains.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - The view starts as soon as the hike does. The pollution was causing a bit of a twilight glow, causing these rocks to look orange.

The view starts as soon as the hike does. The pollution was causing a bit of a twilight glow, causing these rocks to look orange.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - The first couple of hours were very technical, not much progress was made due to very rocky terrain. I had to use my hands a lot, if my test had not c

The first couple of hours were very technical, not much progress was made due to very rocky terrain. I had to use my hands a lot, if my test had not come back negative I could have been spreading COVID all over every rock I touched. I still do not know if I am supposed to capitalize COVID or put a z or an s in capitalise.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Here is the first summit of sorts, I do not even know what it is called, something Korean probably. I got lost here and wasted a lot of time, I tried

Here is the first summit of sorts, I do not even know what it is called, something Korean probably. I got lost here and wasted a lot of time, I tried to find a path down the other side, as it turns out I was not even supposed to climb up here, it is a dead end unless you want to abseil.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Nice view of the upcoming journey, but no way down, I looked everywhere. The other people on the summit looked concerned.

Nice view of the upcoming journey, but no way down, I looked everywhere. The other people on the summit looked concerned.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Old grey beard makes his first appearance. I keep my hair long and straggly to fend off the Korean girls who otherwise would think I was a US marine a

Old grey beard makes his first appearance. I keep my hair long and straggly to fend off the Korean girls who otherwise would think I was a US marine and be no doubt clamouring all over me to turn me into a baby daddy and extort me for those mega dollars the US pays meatheads. One previous trip I got into a lot of trouble for something I wrote about Korea, this comment may be the equivalent for this trip. NO FILTER.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - OK, back to business, here you can see across the way, the peak I tried to find a path down. I was trying to find a path down that sheer rock face. No

OK, back to business, here you can see across the way, the peak I tried to find a path down. I was trying to find a path down that sheer rock face. No wonder everyone looked concerned. I probably wasted half an hour.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Next I have to get up there. The path was just follow the rock flow, or, follow this guy with his hiking poles who has been here before.

Next I have to get up there. The path was just follow the rock flow, or, follow this guy with his hiking poles who has been here before.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - The top has some nice rocks to try and push over.

The top has some nice rocks to try and push over.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - A view of pollution and some other mountains dotting around the Seoul skyline. I have climbed most of them.

A view of pollution and some other mountains dotting around the Seoul skyline. I have climbed most of them.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - An opportunity to get crushed by a precariously placed boulder.

An opportunity to get crushed by a precariously placed boulder.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - That is the direction I am going, but I have to go down to get up again, that was a feature of today, up down up down rinse repeat, I didnt slide onto

That is the direction I am going, but I have to go down to get up again, that was a feature of today, up down up down rinse repeat, I didnt slide onto my ass at any point though which is surprising.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - A gate to a castle, but no castle.

A gate to a castle, but no castle.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Bonus shot similar to the one above, but a bit clearer. Everything is rocky.

Bonus shot similar to the one above, but a bit clearer. Everything is rocky.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - This one was taken inside the rest hut, someone planted a different tree to make the view slightly more interesting. There was a lot of shade on today

This one was taken inside the rest hut, someone planted a different tree to make the view slightly more interesting. There was a lot of shade on today's hike but as I type this I am deciding if my eyelids are burnt even though I wore sunscreen.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - And then I hit the wall.

And then I hit the wall.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - More wall, I appreciated the sections with the hessian mats, this made progress much faster. Despite there being people all day, this area with the wa

More wall, I appreciated the sections with the hessian mats, this made progress much faster. Despite there being people all day, this area with the wall is right in the middle of the park and the furthest from any entrance and has the least people.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - There were a number of these gates through the wall at different points, I estimate the wall was about 3km total length. It looks new, and other bits

There were a number of these gates through the wall at different points, I estimate the wall was about 3km total length. It looks new, and other bits closer to the city are bright white and very new, however the scaffolding is here because the wooden tiles are falling off the roof, suggesting it is not as new as I might have thought, either that or Hyundai made it in the 80's before they became the worlds most reliable car company.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - The second half was much quicker than the first half of the hike, not so much up and down, no chance of getting lost, once I exited the park there was

The second half was much quicker than the first half of the hike, not so much up and down, no chance of getting lost, once I exited the park there was this place, I dont think its open to the public, might be for weddings and functions, cosplay parties, dance rehearsal, that kind of thing.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Bukhansan - Last pic of the day, those are some of the peaks in the background, squint to see through the pollution. The street leading up the entrance is full of

Last pic of the day, those are some of the peaks in the background, squint to see through the pollution. The street leading up the entrance is full of hiking gear shops, a common feature at all national parks in Korea.


NewerPage 54 of 1040OlderFull Trip Report