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Newer Page 130 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Seoul Hiking Cheonggyesan

3 April 2019

Great hike with a crap view

Hiking over Cheonggyesan via Maebong from Cheonggyesan station

Another day, another day of hiking. I have to make hay while the sun shines. Who knows when the sun might stop shining and be replaced with a flood, or I might succumb to swine flu, or North Korea might invade, or the USA might dress up as North Koreans and invade to get funding to attack Mexico.

Todays hike was actually one I had penciled in for when I am back in Seoul in a few days time, but due to the above reasons, I brought it forward. It is South of the city, and I will be staying in the South of the city when I come back, but right now I am staying in the North of the city. Regardless of your grasp of basic yet completely redundant geography, the important thing is that the place was called Cheonggyesan. Koreans love words with double g's. The new Korean era is called Reiggwagg. Right now I know because it is timely that the previous sentence is making fun of the new Japanese era called Reiwa, but I doubt even in 6 months time I will remember what that means, so I added this sentence for explanation purposes. If you have to explain the joke, its not funny.
While I am questioning the sanity of the Romanization of Korean, I should make special mention of the double t, this occurs even at the start of a word, such as tteokbokki (which is delicious), but no, you dont pronounce it with a stutter so it makes zero sense. I have gone off on a pretty large tangent here.

The hike was actually fantastic. Once I got to the main peak called Maebong, I had to decide if I should back track or press on into the unknown. That was an easy decision. This being Korea there were lots of people, even on a Wednesday, and lots and lots of trails, too many choices. I did not pay too much attention to which one to follow, I just decided to stay on the ridge until I decided it as time to head back down, knowing that I would find a road and then follow that to a station. And that is precisely what I did, although I came out right in between two stations and had about a 3km walk along a road.

The hike itself was great, but the scenery was brown, grey, obscured by trees, obscured by pollution and generally reminiscent of a nuclear winter, something that may yet become a reality in Seoul!

Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Wherever you go hiking in Korea, you will always experience the same, first there will be stalls such as these set up by the local Ajummas (Aunties),

Wherever you go hiking in Korea, you will always experience the same, first there will be stalls such as these set up by the local Ajummas (Aunties), who will be trying to sell you things no one has needed for the last 20 years, and also flavorless rice crispy squares they made some time last year.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - The next thing you will see is an entire street full of hiking stores, more on this later, the main street to the start of the hike has all the big br

The next thing you will see is an entire street full of hiking stores, more on this later, the main street to the start of the hike has all the big brands, and these are the only actual shops anywhere in Korea that open before 11AM. I started todays hike completely naked and purchased everything I needed from these stores, very convenient, my new trousers even have a dedicated rice crispy square pocket.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - For the start of this hike, they have rolled out a carpet. Seriously, large parts of todays hike had this hessian carpet. I love it! The parts that di

For the start of this hike, they have rolled out a carpet. Seriously, large parts of todays hike had this hessian carpet. I love it! The parts that didnt were sometimes a muddy bog where my entire foot became submerged and I was worried my shoe would come off.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Because of the mud, Korea has kindly provided some shoe cleaning stations at the entry/exit point of every major trail. Generally everyone has brand n

Because of the mud, Korea has kindly provided some shoe cleaning stations at the entry/exit point of every major trail. Generally everyone has brand new shoes they purchased from one of the stores leading to the start of the trail, you are expected to wash them properly before throwing them out so that they can be recycled into hessian hiking carpet more easily. Is more easily correct English? Correctt Engglish?


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - The lower sections of this hike had some nicer looking forest and purple flowers to appreciate, it would not last.

The lower sections of this hike had some nicer looking forest and purple flowers to appreciate, it would not last.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - This forest cat was not interested in waking up to attack me.

This forest cat was not interested in waking up to attack me.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - In addition to the surprise carpet, parts of the trail had a manicured hedge, although it looks largely dead here at the start of spring.

In addition to the surprise carpet, parts of the trail had a manicured hedge, although it looks largely dead here at the start of spring.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Another feature of mountains in Korea, the helicopter landing areas, to rescue the old folks who's hearts have given up mid hike. I see a lot of helic

Another feature of mountains in Korea, the helicopter landing areas, to rescue the old folks who's hearts have given up mid hike. I see a lot of helicopters and could hear them most of the day, but those were military Chinook double rotor death traps.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Near the main peak there were some nice rocks to look at / climb over / urinate from.

Near the main peak there were some nice rocks to look at / climb over / urinate from.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - And there it is, Maebong peak. The clearest view I could get of it anyway.

And there it is, Maebong peak. The clearest view I could get of it anyway.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Right by the peak is a memorial for an airborne trainee paratrooper unit who all died (55 of them) in 1982 when their plane flew into the mountain. I

Right by the peak is a memorial for an airborne trainee paratrooper unit who all died (55 of them) in 1982 when their plane flew into the mountain. I think that is about 5 mountains in total I have climbed up that planes have flown into.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Seoul, beautifully framed by dead brown leaves and a layer of brownish smog.

Seoul, beautifully framed by dead brown leaves and a layer of brownish smog.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - The view in the other direction has a bit of green, and plenty of smog.

The view in the other direction has a bit of green, and plenty of smog.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - A surprise at what was perhaps the most remote part of the hike, a sun lounge. I sunned myself for a while.

A surprise at what was perhaps the most remote part of the hike, a sun lounge. I sunned myself for a while.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - If you squint really hard at the middle of this shot you can see the Lotte tower, where I went on the morning I arrived here after not sleeping on my

If you squint really hard at the middle of this shot you can see the Lotte tower, where I went on the morning I arrived here after not sleeping on my flights. If you believe you can see it, you will!


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - This is a clearing by the gate of a mountain top military base. I would continue along those ridges.

This is a clearing by the gate of a mountain top military base. I would continue along those ridges.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - The path went along the fence of the military base, there were actually a lot of soldiers inside this one doing stuff, I passed 2 others that seemed t

The path went along the fence of the military base, there were actually a lot of soldiers inside this one doing stuff, I passed 2 others that seemed to have no one.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Remember this faded plastic child from the other day? Here he is again, at a random spot on the trail. I have no idea why!

Remember this faded plastic child from the other day? Here he is again, at a random spot on the trail. I have no idea why!


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - This part of the trail was particular nucular wintery (nuclear spelled incorrectly deliberately, and god dammit (damnit) I want to say spelt not spell

This part of the trail was particular nucular wintery (nuclear spelled incorrectly deliberately, and god dammit (damnit) I want to say spelt not spelled). Hey hey! Brackets within brackets, achievement unlocked.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - By this time I was being water boarded by grey and brown scenery, so the first sign of color I pounced on. Behold, YELLOW! I switched my camera to man

By this time I was being water boarded by grey and brown scenery, so the first sign of color I pounced on. Behold, YELLOW! I switched my camera to manual focus for this so you better appreciate it!


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - As I got down a bit lower, a bit more purple returned.

As I got down a bit lower, a bit more purple returned.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - I think that clump of buildings is where I want to be, but I have descended far from there, oh well, I like walking.

I think that clump of buildings is where I want to be, but I have descended far from there, oh well, I like walking.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - I presume the owner of this stall went to the forest.

I presume the owner of this stall went to the forest.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - Its a police car! Actually I took this photo to show the various peaks I had been over. Not a great shot of them but everywhere else the view was comp

Its a police car! Actually I took this photo to show the various peaks I had been over. Not a great shot of them but everywhere else the view was completely obscured.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - If you recall the hiking gear shops earlier, here is another, on the wrong side of the highway. Thats why its a knock off brand 'the red face' instead

If you recall the hiking gear shops earlier, here is another, on the wrong side of the highway. Thats why its a knock off brand 'the red face' instead of 'the north face', they even stole their basic logo design.


Korea-Seoul-Hiking-Cheonggyesan - And for my final pic of the day, something special. This is a small house you lock your dog in, with a special microwave emitting blue light that slow

And for my final pic of the day, something special. This is a small house you lock your dog in, with a special microwave emitting blue light that slowly cooks your dog to the point of killing all the fleas and dust mites he might be harboring. What a fantastic idea! Also as with all Korean advertising, they have chosen to use a non Korean model. Seriously I never see a Korean modeling Korean products.


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