Tag Archives: Hike

A-Hiking We Will Go!

One of the many, many, things that I adore about Korea is the endless mountain trails that you can hike. If you have followed our blog up until this point, you know that we have hiked some beautiful places in various parts of Korea.

I feel like hiking is taken to another level in Korea. To be considered a serious hiker, you need to dress the part. I am talking dressing to the nines. Matching hiking boots, hiking pants, hiking jacket, hat, sunglasses, gloves, backpack, and walking poles or stick. PS. your backpack better come packed with the essential makgeolli or soju too. These people know how to have a good ol’ time while they get their hike on. As you can see…I am not a serious hiker. I mean come on, what tee-shirt am I wearing? “Lettuce, Turnip, the beets” ha-ha-ha!

Back to the topic of actually hiking, some of my co-workers and I woke up bright and early and hit the trails near our home this morning. I struggled getting out of bed so early knowing it was a Saturday. The snooze button may or may not have been hit a handful of times. Once I got up, grabbed a cup of joe and a banana, I was good to go!

The sun was shining! Birds were chirping! The air was so fresh! Bits of greens and flowers were starting to peak from the earth! The endorphins were pumping! Plus we beat the Korean billy-goat crowds! It was an absolutely wonderful morning and great time getting to know one another more outside of the office.

How did you spend your Saturday morning? Hope it was just as beautiful for you too!


Mt. Seorak

After a weekend of scuba diving, Mr. B surprised me with a night/day away taking in the beautiful sights of Seoraksan. This has been a destination on my list of places to see before we’d ever leave Korea. Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea, perhaps one of the most picturesque too. The highest peak of the mountain reaches 5,603 feet! We didn’t quite make it that far, almost! No way, just kidding. Unfortunately we bees don’t have the billy goat gene in us.

We took a chance on the Mt. Seoraksan Tourist Hotel. The location is right inside of the national park. You literately walk out the lobby door and straight onto any hike you’d like. It was perfect! We lucked out and were able to grab a room too. The cost was 50,000 Won a person. Ohh but the views, wait until you see what we got to lay in bed and admire in the morning. We recommend the hotel and plan on staying there again if we go back.

As the sun set over the park, I kept thinking how much this place reminded me of a Harry Potter movie. I don’t know if it was the darkness settling in for the night, with all of the large overhanging trees? Whatever the case the feeling of being at Hogwarts. I know I am being silly, but it was just so much fun!

The next morning we woke up grabbed a small bite to eat at the hotel’s coffee shop. Fresh homemade yogurt. YUM!

And we were off!

First stop was to take the cable car up the side of the mountain.

We all piled into this bright yellow car….

HAHA! No just kidding again..

You could hardly tell that you were in a cable car. The ride was smooth. I wasn’t sure what i’d think or how i’d take it going so high. But, I loved every minute of it. Even after Mr. B read the sign before getting onto the car that said, “If the weather changed while we were at the top we’d be responsible for ourselves to get back down”. Now that leaves one feeling confident about their decision to board the car, right?

Once we got to the top we were just in total awe. This mountain was a total refresher to the soul. Some of the tree tops were starting to turn vibrant reds and you could see the ocean and the city of Sokcho glisten out into the distance. I could have stayed up there for days daydreaming about the views.

After the observatory area at the cable car, we followed a path that took you up into the side of the mountain. Unsure of what we were to find but very eager for the adventure.

Once we got to the end of the path, we found ourselves on the side of a mountain peak. The only real place to go was up. So up is where we went. We straddled some serious rocks along the way up. My knees were shaking, Mr. B kept telling me, “three points of contact”. One, two, three, kept going over and over in my mind.

We made it! We survived the climb at Mt. Seorak!

Of course we expected to find this at the top of the steep climb!

Too funny! How about a personal engraved souvenir? You’ve got to appreciate the Korean way of life.

So how about those hiking outfits? This is serious business dressing the part. They even carry ski pole looking walking sticks. Just watch you don’t accidently get stabbed by one. Next time we hike Soyo mountain near our place I think we need a fun colorful outfit too. What do you say Mr. B?

I don’t think I can even put into words the view from that climb. I will continue to try..

Nope.. I still can’t. Just look at the photos and imagine endless blue sky.

Secretly I kept trying to postpone the climb back down. I knew it was going to involve a lot of butt sliding and rope gripping. Thankfully with a wish and a few prayers we made it safely back down.

After the hike back down, I said to Mr. B, the one thing I love so much about Korea is that you get to experience these amazingly awesome things like that trechorous climb. The cliffs and trails are not all fenced up, there are no forms or waivers that you must sign your life away on due to the unsafe risks involved. No, for the most part, there are no railings. Just remember three points of contact and you will be fine.

After the cable car ride down we strolled around a bit, ate lunch and got back on the road.

What an amazing place!

Until we meet again Mt. Seorak.


Grab the map coordinates here


Today we woke up at 4AM so that we could get everything together and be out the door for the East Coast. Well, I’m not quite what you would call a morning person. I move…mmmm… what’s another word for slow? Snail speed, ah yes! Lets go with that.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was the cause of our lateness today. Oops..sorry Mr. B.

Once we got to the Rest stop to meet up with our group, I decided on my first ever grown up drink. Coffee! What were you thinking? Again, much to early for anything else. I ordered a Carmel macchiato. I have had a few sips here or there from the coffee aficionado, Mr. B, but never my own full cup. Growing up my family never enjoyed or appreciated a good cup of joe. The fresh brew just wasn’t part of our morning routines. I always thought of coffee as the crazy man’s drink. You drink it, you get hooked, you can’t function in the morning without it, repeat routine. I assume this is why I too never got excited for the stuff. Well, whatever the case, today marked an adult milestone for me. Did I cross over? Does this mean, I too am finally a “grown up”? Look out Mr. B!

We got back on the road fairly quick and departed for the coast.

Once we arrived, Mr. B set up his scuba gear, while I parked it on a beachfront park bench and Skyped with my grandparents.


Afterwards, I followed my bliss…

If you couldn’t guess…my bliss involves my two feet on land and my camera.


Hope you had a blissful Saturday afternoon too!

Soyosan on Sunday

2012_03_11 Sunday Soyo Hike

2012_03_11 Sunday Soyo HikeMar 11, 2012Photos: 10

Sunday we decided to take a stroll up Soyosan to the buddhist temple. The last time we had hiked up there, the temple grounds had seen better days. Yes, the flooding from the heavy rains last year really did a number.

The air was quite brisk, but the sun was actually shining through the bare tree branches keeping us warm on our hike.

Once on the hiking path, we were glad to see that the grounds were in full swing of repair. The park crew already had water runoffs dug alongside of the roadway leading up to the base of the mountain.

Now…all we need is the beautiful spring weather! We just might get our request later this week!


Woot-Woot!! Check out that weather forecast!! Okay, don’t look at the snow folks..it’s the 50’s we are digging!

Hiking Soyosan

The weather in South Korea has been changing ever so quickly. Each morning and evening seems just a littler cooler then the day prior. We Bee’s are originally from Central Pennsylvania so we are used to experiencing four seasons. To us there is nothing like being able to go to sleep in the evening with crisp cool fall air creeping in through your bedroom windows. In all the places we have lived or traveled to, we both agree that Pennsylvania has some of the most breathtaking fall scenery. However, we are giving Korea a fair chance and will await to see when the leaves start to turn on the mountains what it has to offer up.

With that being said, today we woke up to another cool September morning here in Dongducheon. We decided that we were going to take advantage of the weather and try to hike our way up and over Soyo mountain located only a few minutes away from our apartment. The weatherman was calling for showers but the sun was still peeking through the clouds and really didn’t look like it was going rain. We decided to take our chances and just go for it.

What we both like about Soyosan is that you park and have to walk up a beautifully tree lined paved road until you reach the base on the mountain. A few posts back you can see where we messed around with the camera and snapped some pictures of us together on this road at night. Along the tree lined road runs a crystal clear stream. During the spring and summer months it is a very popular location for Korean’s to be picnicking and dipping their feet in the water to cool off. Today, as we mentioned is a bit cooler so there were not as many people spotted along the stream.

Before you can continue walking to the very base of the mountain where you begin your hike you have to pay a 3,000 won admission fee. Unless that is, you have have a Dongducheon Korean license, then the admission is FREE!

As you know from prior blog posts we have visited Soyosan numerous times. However, we have never actually hiked the whole trail.Typically we only go up to the Buddhist Jajaeam Temple snap some pictures and turn around. This time…we were ready!

Looking back on the hike we determined that depending on your physical physique you can basically reach the top of the first peak within 30-45 minutes. Now we took our good old sweet time, snapped a ton of pictures, rested for about 45 minutes, and ate some snacks along the trail, so it took us roughly an hour and a half to reach the first peak.

As we mentioned, we snapped tons of pictures and they are included within the post at the top. We also snapped pictures for various Korean couples along the way too! We met a sweet couple that insisted we try their Korean cake. Mr’s B enjoyed it but Mr. B was not a fan. We encountered many couples and each tried to share whatever they had with us including Makkoli the Korean-rice wine. Uhhhh yeahhhh we didn’t tell you that we were very bad and didn’t start the morning off right with a nice hearty breakfast… wine would have made that hike really interesting.

After reaching the first peak we were pumped and moved fairly quickly to the next two peaks. Along the way in between each peak there are areas where you have to crawl over some rocks, use a rope to guide you along narrow stretches of trail, and go up or down a lot of stairs.

Because of the time and our plans to host dinner for some friends we had to get a move on it and truck it back down the mountain, and unfortunately that meant missing the last peak. Again, looking back we should have just hiked the last peak because the path we took to get back down the mountain was insane! The path was totally washed out from all the rain and flooding South Korea experienced in July and the trail was full of rocks that just tumbled down the side of the mountain. We were part of the way down and there wasn’t a person in sight. Ms. B started to say what in the world were we thinking?! How did we get ourselves into the mess… It was a bit to late to turn back so we just had to commit to the rest of the hike down. It ended up taking us a little over a hour just to get down because of the unstableness of the rocks and lack of actual tail. At last we spotted some Korean hikers climbing their way up the path and we heard a family not to far behind us. Okay, we were not the only crazy people on this trail…Mrs. B’s feeling better. Well, that was until Mr. B said make sure you are watching for snakes! Snakes?! Ah! that’s not even a thought that crossed my mind as I was crawling down the rocks (Mr’s B.) Luckily, no snakes were spotted, the rocks didn’t crumble down and crush us, and we eventually made it. Mr. B would like to think this is all due to his advise of “three points of contact”. Mrs. B would like to think it is due to her uncanny direction capabilities ha ha! Nevertheless, WE MADE IT! In one piece… well, not quite, Mrs. B ended up falling due to sliding on the steep slick dirt and catching herself by putting all her weight on her arm and shoulder (she’s a bit sore). Mr. B’s knee gave out a few times on the rocks (needless to say he will definitely be feeling that in the morning). But again, WE MADE IT and that is all that matters!

We understand if you are dreading the initial thought of a hike or might be unsure about trying it after reading over our post. In all seriousness we had a blast and we promises that the picturesque views overlooking the US Army base Camp Casey are worth the hike alone! Not to mention spotting multiple Korean war era bunkers (how cool is that!)!

Cheers to all the baked ziti with sausage and caprese that we will consume tonight without feeling guilty!