Korea is not a giant place. It’s roughly the scale of the state of Minnesota for my fellow Yankees.
But you understand what they are saying: nice issues usually come in small packages. One advantage of dwelling in such a geographically compact place is that you could go to nearly anyplace in the nation in a day or over the weekend.
If you are anticipating an outside journey however solely have a single day or weekend to spare, Chiaksan in Gangwon-do, Korea is a good selection. Read on for particulars and instructions!
A Mountain of Myth and Beauty
If we’re speaking mountain ranges in Korea the perfect identified are Jirisan and Seorraksan. These are lovely locations to go to and worthy of their reputations, however they’re usually crowded with hikers.
Chiaksan is not fairly as spectacular because it’s extra well-known brethren, nevertheless it nonetheless makes for a worthwhile vacation spot and — bonus! — it is much less crowded.
Chiaksan is situated in Gangwon-do about 30km from town of Wonju.
Like all however probably the most distant and deserted trailheads in Korea, the bottom of Chiaksan is a busy place. You’ll discover an array of shops and distributors promoting every little thing from reliquary beads and Buddhist trinkets to kimchi pancakes and rice wine.
It could be a good suggestion to gas up earlier than your hike and the kimchi pancakes scorching on griddles are certain to fulfill a hungry abdomen.
Once you make your manner by way of the distractions and scrumptious smells of this mountain bazaar you will arrive on the entrance to Chiaksan. The entry price to Chiaksan is 2,500 gained per particular person, money solely.
Not removed from the doorway is Guryeongsa Temple.
Guryeongsa Temple is a medium-sized temple complicated constructed throughout the Silla Dynasty. Built on the aspect of a steep hill, you enter the temple complicated by way of a pavillion, towering picket statues of the “Four Heavenly Guardians” trying down at you, after which climb a steep flight of stairs into Guryeongsa Temple.
As with most Korean temples, the air will doubtless be faint with incense and the rhythmic chanting of monks at their prayers will echo off of temple partitions. It’s a pleasing and enjoyable surroundings to spend a couple of minutes earlier than setting off in your journey.
Hiking the Trails
From Guryeongsa Temple it is a 5km hike to Birobong, the height of Chiaksan. For roughly half of that hike the path is easygoing — extra of a leisurely stroll than a hike, actually.
You can observe trails by way of forests of towering pine, by way of quiet bamboo groves, down into valleys the place the path runs alongisde a effervescent mountain stream, or criss-cross between the 2.
About 2km from the bottom of Chiak Mountain is Seryeong waterfall and from there the hike will get steep. I’m speaking a Jekyll and Hyde transformation from the sooner a part of the hike, so in the event you plan on trekking to the height of Chiaksan be sure to’re properly ready.
If you are lower than the problem there is a pretty botanical backyard situated between the Seryeong waterfall and Guryeongsa Temple. It’s a beautiful place to chill out and easily get pleasure from the fantastic thing about nature.
When you want a break from Seoul, or in the event you’re simply in the marketplace for your subsequent out of doors journey, head for Chiaksan. It’s a great thing about a mountain and one among Korea’s higher stored secrets and techniques.
Unless you’ve gotten entry to your personal transportation, Wonju goes to be your base of operation for a visit to Chiaksan.
Take a bus to Wonju. Exit out the entrance of Wonju Bus Terminal and take native bus quantity 2-1, 31, 33, or 35. Any one among these busses will take you to a cease known as “sanghanjuyooso”.
From “sanghanjuyooso” you will switch to both the 41 or 41-1. It’s about 10 mintue journey from Wonju Bus Terminal to the switch, and one other 30-35 minutes to get from the switch to Chiaksan.
Chiaksan is the ultimate cease for each the 41 and 41-1. Bus fare is 1,200 gained per journey, however your T-Money card (a public transit card out there from most comfort shops and at most bus and practice stations — important in the event you’re travelling in Korea!) will work as properly.