This is a guest blog from Michelle and Aubrey - expats living in Seoul - about their hiking adventure:
Seoraksan is the 3rd highest mountain in South Korea. Hiking to the summit is a common challenge for Korean hiking enthusiasts. From Seoul, we started our journey with an overnight bus. We arrived in the valley under cover of darkness and started hiking around 3:30am. We didn't have flashlights but we were able to make out the trail from the light off other people's headlamps. It's better to bring your own though because other times it was pitch black and we just hoped we wouldn't trip or fall. While hiking in the pitch black, it was eerie to hear the stream underneath us.
Thousands of trees fill the valley, all decorated in beautiful fall foliage. The stream that leads through the valley which creates numerous waterfalls of various sizes.
It took us about 4 1/2 hours to reach the peak. It was pretty steep on the way up and the continuous ascent was pretty strenuous. Fall is the busiest season because of the dramatic leaves change so our progress was halted from time to time. When the sun rose we could see the red, orange and yellow leaves covering the trees on our way up. We lucked out with a glorious, clear day.
The peak was packed with people but we found a patch to sit and enjoy the view. Aubrey tried to cut past the line of Koreans waiting to take their photo by the rock at the top but she was struck in the leg by a hiking pole. Once we sat and admired views of the mountain from all directions, iIt was all very peaceful. Exhausted from the sleep deprivation, we were tempted to just get off the trail and take a nap on a rock. We even saw some people having picnics (Koreans do hiking picnics the best) . The descent took about another 4 -5 hours. Even though there were signs in English, we had to ask a few people to confirm we were on the correct path down. Before the end we passed a temple and a large Buddha statue.
We were happy to conquer the summit in fall so that we could enjoy such vivid scenery!
Check out Aubrey and Michelle's Borneo diving adventure!
Expat Adventure Blog