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Archive for November, 2005

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Songnisan National Park: Songni Valley; Beopjusa

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

This year I’ve been to the Songni Valley twice: in Spring blossom time and in Autumn leaves time.

This from my April diary:

I got an early bus from Cheongju and got off at the tourist village below Popchusa, a very ornate Buddhist temple in Songnisan National Park. Had a bowl of seollangtang with rice and panchan to start out the hike, then headed up the valley. Stopped briefly at the temple (I had visited here in 2003, so didn’t stay long this time.) Farther along, the trail headed steeply up with no switchbacks and continued in that vein till I’d climbed over 2000 feet. Today was the first really warm day of the year, hot even in the mountains. Near the top I met folks on an English-immersion field trip. They were studying at a teachers’ college and were conversing among themselves in English. We climbed together to the summit of the mountain, Munjangdae, Wind was very heavy, but we stayed long enough to take photos of each other. When down at the saddle again, they returned down toward Popchusa and I headed east into Kyeongsang buk-do. This section of trail feature sections of stairs lined with rubber door mats – this made walking down easier on the feet. It was after 5 p.m. when I got down to the main valley. I walked a mile or so south to Hwabuk, the main village in that area (though a very small one.) There was a bus stop but no schedule posted. Finally, a bus came along going the wrong way. He said he was going farther up the valley and then returning. I waited quite a while longer till he came back, and rode down to Sangju. Then another bus took me north again to Jeomchon and home.

Sanae-ri is the quite large tourist village below the temple. It has all the yeogwans, minbaks, restaurants and souvenir shops you’d want. There’s a little tourist office in a corner of the bus station, and spring water from a fountain right outside.

[read on]

Jung-do Park, Chuncheon

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Jung-do is an island in the lake on the west side of Chuncheon. There are a couple of restaurants, and there’s cabins for rent. The south end is wooded, farther north there’s a maintained lawn.

We stayed in one of the cabins. They run about 50,000 won a night. Ours had a kitchen with utensils, bath, refrigerator, TV, Korean-style sleeping arrangements, a picnic table outside. You want to cook, you need to bring food from the mainland, though.

Access to the island is by ferry. They run every half hour in the warmer season.

[read on]

Mungyeong SaeJae Provincial Park

Friday, November 4th, 2005
I took the local bus to the tourist village at the South end of the park. Mungyeong SaeJae is a Provincial Park located right on the western border of Mungyeong-shi, in Gyeongsang buk-do. I walked up through the ... [Continue reading this entry]