Bukhansan National Park is located on the north side of the city. We hopped on a bus Monday morning and it took us about 40-minutes to get there.
The weather for Monday was predicted to be the nicest all week. Perfect for hiking and enjoying the view above the city. The bus ride to Bukhansan National Park was very simple and a great way to see a little bit of the city. We reached the the entrance to the park a little bit after 9 am. We stopped at the Ranger station to review our hiking route to the peak of Bukhan Mountain, Baegundae, and we were hiking by 9:30. Side note: San means mountain in Korean – Bukhansan means Bukhan Mountain. Here is our pre-hike selfie.
Please notice the cute lanterns hanging throughout the entrance to the park. They are lotus lanterns and placed in celebration of Buddha’s birthday on Tuesday. Also notice the recycled rubber matting placed on the wooden bridge. The rubber helps provide more secure footing when the bridge is wet and also reduces the wear on the wooden bridge. Brilliant!
The hike through the National Park was beautiful. The trail was very well maintained and included a lot of stairs to climb. Shortly after the entrance was a spot along the trail to wash your hands and bring good luck for your hike to the peak.
Before too long we reached a view point. Already we could tell this was going to be a perfect day for the hike. The tall building in the picture is the Lotte World Tower, the tallest building in Seoul.
Around the city of Seoul is a stone wall. Even though the city has spread beyond the wall, it remains part of Seoul’s history and continues to be maintained. Part of our hike today was along the wall.
The Seoul wall has several gates. We hiked past one as we were climbing up.
We continued our climb up countless stairs. The views as we reached the top became even more amazing.
Check out this huge rock. Laurie snapped my picture with it and then informed me that was the summit we were hiking towards! There are tiny specks on the right side of the mountain, those are people!
Clearly, we had more hiking to do and more stairs to climb. It’s hard to read the distance sign, it says .1km and it’s pointing straight up! The last part of the climb was pretty intense. There were chains to hang onto and use to hoist yourself to the top.
When we finally reached the summit, we were so excited and invigorated.
After enjoying the view, we were ready for lunch. We packed sandwiches and a Korean pear to enjoy. I think we had the best view in the city.
After lunch, we began the climb down the other side of the mountain. The path was less crowded on the way down. I was able to snap a few pictures of the chains. Hopefully, you can see the trail became pretty challenging at the end because of the smooth rock and vertical angles. We were both glad we had long legs to help us climb!
Going down was easier and harder at the same time. It was less exhausting and yet more tiresome on our legs. The pounding was painful. Our tired quads and calves were shaking by the time we reached flat ground.
We caught the train home, showered, and were ready for dinner. Laurie, Izzy, Maddy, and I went out for Korean Barbecue. At the restaurant, we had a hot pot placed in the center of the table. It was covered with a grate. On the grate, we were able to grill our meat. We made lettuce wasps with the meat and assortment of vegetables. After the long hike, the dinner and beer were delicious.
Perhaps the favorite part was dessert. Ice Cream! Maddy and Izzy enjoying their sweet treat.
As we walked back home, we caught a glimpse of sunset. It was a sweet ending to a fantastic day!