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Newer Page 144 of 980 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Seoul Hiking Inwangsan

2 April 2019

The great new ancient Seoul wall of Korea

Hiking over Ingwangsan from Muakjae station and along the wall

More mountains! Actually more of a large hill, but an important hill. Todays mountain is called Inwangsan, and it is right in the city itself, overlooking not only the blue house where the president lives, but also the main palace. That will become an important bit of info shortly.
Because of its location, this hill was closed to the public until a few years ago, and there is still a large military presence on all the hills all around here, just in case. This particular hill is now open to everyone and the entire wall is lit up at night, there is another hill a bit closer to the blue house that you can apply to climb up, but its a lot of red tape and forms and passports and no photos are allowed. Anyway, once I climbed up this hill, there was an old man, who wanted to practice his English, then things got weird.

Our conversation started off as they all do, first he tells me he speaks English, then he asks me where I am from, then I am delivered a lecture on how as a westerner I would not possibly be able to climb up the hill without dying, only a real Korean senior citizen would possess the physical stamina to attempt such an amazing feat. I told him I would give it a shot anyway, you know, since its about 15 minutes to the top.
Then he told me that until recently, the mountains were closed due to the failed assassination attempt of the South Korean president by American CIA operatives pretending to be North Koreans. He also added that he wish they had been successful. I pretended to be in agreeance with his theories.
Then after another long pause, he decided a different strategy was required, and asked me if I knew about the tigers that still roamed this hill. Oh really? I asked him if he meant 200 years ago perhaps. No. He assured me that I must be very careful or I will be eaten by a tiger. I again pretended to be interested, and said I would keep a close eye out for tigers. He told me to not be so confident, his brother was eaten by a tiger in this very spot, last year!

Obviously because I have typed this, I made it back without being eaten!

Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - I have a made a conscious effort to not just take mountain photos. So here is a public toilet to start the day. It is a nice public toilet, heated, sp

I have a made a conscious effort to not just take mountain photos. So here is a public toilet to start the day. It is a nice public toilet, heated, spotlessly clean, and playing music.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Now its time to get climbing. Although this hill is easy to climb up if you use the main path along the wall (which you shall see soon), I had selecte

Now its time to get climbing. Although this hill is easy to climb up if you use the main path along the wall (which you shall see soon), I had selected a route up over the back to make it a bit more challenging. I tend to do that, then complain that I get lost.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Korea loves to make their buildings out of bright white concrete. Today was a very high contrast day, tricky for photos.

Korea loves to make their buildings out of bright white concrete. Today was a very high contrast day, tricky for photos.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Up there is my destination, it is really not far.

Up there is my destination, it is really not far.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Of course, because I am in Seoul, theres another mountain in every single direction, leaving me to question if I had chosen the best one, or was the n

Of course, because I am in Seoul, theres another mountain in every single direction, leaving me to question if I had chosen the best one, or was the next one over better? Mountain FOMO, its a real thing. I am raising money for it. Actually later in the day I got attacked by some guys from South America collecting money to save Mongolia.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - The path up was actually really challenging. Generally I dont find going up to be too dangerous, but I was glad I would not be coming down this path.

The path up was actually really challenging. Generally I dont find going up to be too dangerous, but I was glad I would not be coming down this path. A couple of times one of the rocks came loose and caused a small landslide, destroying the nice public toilet below.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Semi redundant photo, although here is the first view of the great wall of Seoul.

Semi redundant photo, although here is the first view of the great wall of Seoul.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Lots of trees around here have consumed the plastic bottles left by other hikers. Actually I dont really understand this at all, I assume its to water

Lots of trees around here have consumed the plastic bottles left by other hikers. Actually I dont really understand this at all, I assume its to water the tree, but how did they get in there, and wouldnt drilling into the tree do more harm than good?


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - And here it is, the new ancient wall, complete with LED lighting, and a lot of power lines and military observation posts. Its white color makes for a

And here it is, the new ancient wall, complete with LED lighting, and a lot of power lines and military observation posts. Its white color makes for a blinding experience, both for my eyeballs and my cameras digital eyeball.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Despite being a more polluted day than yesterday, the view was great, and easily accessible to all if you are lazy. Since they have installed lighting

Despite being a more polluted day than yesterday, the view was great, and easily accessible to all if you are lazy. Since they have installed lighting I believe you can come up here at night....maybe I will? You cannot go all the way to those far off mountains because of military check points.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Great view of the city, and more wall, and the Seoul tower where I was last night. There is actually an ancient city wall under this new wall, and it

Great view of the city, and more wall, and the Seoul tower where I was last night. There is actually an ancient city wall under this new wall, and it forms a loop around the city, including up to the top of the Seoul tower in the distance. Maps suggest you can walk the whole loop, but the internet tells me parts are off limits.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Here is a bit more wall, and Bukhansan National Park in the distance. A lot of the time today I couldnt decide if my photos were too dark or too brigh

Here is a bit more wall, and Bukhansan National Park in the distance. A lot of the time today I couldnt decide if my photos were too dark or too bright, which means too much contrast. I read about light and color a lot lately, it is a really boring subject.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Time to head back down the main route, along the wall, keeping an eye out for the tigers. Maybe this is photo of the day?

Time to head back down the main route, along the wall, keeping an eye out for the tigers. Maybe this is photo of the day?


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - I decided now was an opportunity to stick my big ugly head in the frame, hair blowing across my face, nostrils flaring. My nostrils are pre flared at

I decided now was an opportunity to stick my big ugly head in the frame, hair blowing across my face, nostrils flaring. My nostrils are pre flared at all times for maximum breathing efficiency.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Somehow this part of the wall was less brilliantly white. There were a lot of signs around warning me not to photograph any military stuff, and a lot

Somehow this part of the wall was less brilliantly white. There were a lot of signs around warning me not to photograph any military stuff, and a lot of cameras on poles. I made it out without being stopped and questioned, probably for the best since I do not carry my passport with me.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - The lower parts are a lot more colorful! I still dont know if blossoms are coming or nearly gone.

The lower parts are a lot more colorful! I still dont know if blossoms are coming or nearly gone.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Strangely right next to the main palace is an old suburb for homeless folks. Some of these buildings look like they would actually fall down if I brus

Strangely right next to the main palace is an old suburb for homeless folks. Some of these buildings look like they would actually fall down if I brushed against them as I went past. Also the road is ridiculously steep, a scooter coming up the hill delivering packages nearly flipped over backwards, the front wheel came off the ground!


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Back at the main street, an area from where I have taken photos on previous trips. You can see the palace in the distance, and the seated statue of so

Back at the main street, an area from where I have taken photos on previous trips. You can see the palace in the distance, and the seated statue of some sort of deity who brought Jesus to Korea. Also a crane.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - This statue celebrates the samurai, and the positive impact Japan has had on Korea.

This statue celebrates the samurai, and the positive impact Japan has had on Korea.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Here is the North Korean cheerleaders as seen at the winter Olympics. I do not know what they are doing in town.

Here is the North Korean cheerleaders as seen at the winter Olympics. I do not know what they are doing in town.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Along the main road there are a large number of crazy people looking for ways to not work. I think there are both pro and anti American military movem

Along the main road there are a large number of crazy people looking for ways to not work. I think there are both pro and anti American military movements setting up tents and riding ridiculous bikes such as this one.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - The key to getting support for your message is to have as many flags as possible, and the lowest quality yet loudest volume loud speaker. Last time I

The key to getting support for your message is to have as many flags as possible, and the lowest quality yet loudest volume loud speaker. Last time I was here the street had been barricaded off by students for a few weeks, who were copying the Hong Kong students. They all decided to end their protests when school holidays were over.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Now for a quick walk along the main sewer. Many Asian mega cities have decided to make their outdoor sewers a tourist attraction.

Now for a quick walk along the main sewer. Many Asian mega cities have decided to make their outdoor sewers a tourist attraction.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - I remember it being greener and having more trees on previous trips? The lunch time crowd was enjoying their lunch while hanging out at the sewer stre

I remember it being greener and having more trees on previous trips? The lunch time crowd was enjoying their lunch while hanging out at the sewer stream.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Inwangsan - Final pic of the day is my lunch. Because Seoul is so close to the mountains I can get back to town in time for lunch, on foot! Theres no need for a 2

Final pic of the day is my lunch. Because Seoul is so close to the mountains I can get back to town in time for lunch, on foot! Theres no need for a 2 hour plus train ride to get to a mountain. Anyway, todays lunch was cold noodles soaked in a sour red sauce, topped with random weeds and mystery meat. Those yellow pickled things served as a side dish are probably the highlight, I dont know what those are either but I like them.


NewerPage 144 of 980OlderFull Trip Report