I admit that while there is a ton of hiking here in Korea, I have only made it up a mountain once. The weeks go by so fast, with every week day being busy till late, and weekends having activities littered here and there. It’s so different being at the mercy of a bus schedule. the mountain is only about 7 miles away from our house, but via bus it is around an hr. trip one way, so to hike requires a several hour allotment of time. anyway excuses over.
Daegu lies at the base of Mt. Palgongsan. There are several main mountains around, but Palgongsan is supposed to be the “mother of the city’ or something like that. On top most all the mountains and hills around there are various temples, shrines and more strangely grave sites. Seriously graves are everywhere in the hills. walking in the middle of no where and “oh look, a old grave”. most the graves are just circular mounds of dirt (Koreans used to be buried standing up) here and there. many times no markings, just mounds.
Many people hike up to the temples a few times of year to pay homage and many people also bring these cement/stone slats that have writing on them. I’m not sure of the meaning behind these, but they’re everywhere. But in case you had sticky fingers and wanted to bring one home, think again. CCTV, just like everywhere in korea, is also keeping it watchful eye on the temples.
There are many places to go up mt. Palgongsan, we just took the first one google maps told us to take, and it was a simple several mile trail (Treacherous and steep at some points. Korean trails are not very manicured) There are other routes however, one that includes a cable car, and others that have hot springs and jimjilbang. Jimjilbangs are Korean bath houses where you basically bath in hot pools, all together, naked. they’re quite the thing here (boys and girls separated of course)
Walking up the trail some of the temples are very, very old. one was 400 years old, and the other was maybe 1000. there are many rock formations built up all over and quite a few beautiful tombstones from some priests dead and gone.
the temples were pretty, but not what I went to see. I was more infatuated with the beauty of Gods creation. The leaves were at the fall peak, and the air was warm with only a mild chill. It felt so great to get out of the city and into nature. I keep meaning to go on another hike but its gotten super cold and rainy, and our free days have been not-so-free… excuses excuses lol 🙂