Fall Hiking on the Cloud Bridge in Wochulsan National Park

This fall season in Korea has been a cold and rainy one. So when you finally get a clear day and not-so freezing temperatures, on the weekend ESPECIALLY, you go out and seize the day! And that is exactly what we did. Late morning on Saturday, my friend Claire and I set off to hike one of Korea’s National Parks- Wochulsan mountain! About a 40 minute bus ride from my town, Mokpo.

Some fall colours still hangin in there- but slowly disappeared the higher we trekked.

SNOW! Lots the higher we climbed.

 Fresh mountain water

View of the cloud bridge! We first hiked to the main peak- Cheonhwangbong, then hiked back “down” (no shortage of uphill moments along the way) to the cloud bridge. Definitely some challenging parts on this trail, especially in the snowier areas which made it pretty slippery.

The best part was being able to see this view almost all the way up. A very “open” mountain range and trail.

About three hours later, we made it to the top!

One of the many times we were stopped and asked to take photos. It happens often here, so it has become pretty normal.

Cloud Bridge!

We could have hiked back down right after we reached the peak, but we both really wanted to see the cloud bridge. A little detour on the way back down, definitely worth it! The way down was probably the hardest part. You always think it will be easier than the way up, but it’s definitely more challenging in a different way. This hike was pretty steep and slippery, requiring major concentration on your footing. I’m definitely feeling it in my legs and knees today!

Post hike reward!

The whole hike took about 5 hours, at a pretty leisurely pace. We started around 12:00, and were back down before 5:00PM. We then treated ourselves to a DELICIOUS Korean meal at the base of the mountain. I wish I had taken pictures of the restaurant. It was a gorgeous; a circular, log cabin style restaurant. Wooden sculptures, and local art covering the walls.

To eat, we had: ramen (noodles/broth), kimchi stir fried rice, and the best pajeon (one giant, crispy, savoury Korean pancake) I’ve ever had. And also the best green tea I’ve ever had! The perfect way to end a Saturday well spent.

And in the spirit of American Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my health, and my two legs for getting me up that mountain. It really is amazing what the human body can do. Dear body: I promise to take good care of you, just like you take good care of me! Thank you.

Sending lots of love to friends and family back home with the holidays approaching. I love you all and cannot wait to come home for a visit in less than 2 months!

-Laura

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