Gwanaksan (Gwanak mountain) - Seoul, Korea

Gwanaksan (629m) is one of most popular mountain in Korea. It is not so high, not take a long time to go up and down, easy to access from the subway, and, most of all, it is very beautiful mountain. Lots of people hikes this mountain in every season, so you don't worry about the lost or wrong trail. There are many access points to Gwanaksan but four points are most popular, starting from Anayng sport stadium, Gwacheon subway station, Seoul national university and Sadang subway station.

This story begins at Anyang sport stadium. To go to Anayang stadium point, you need to take a bus or taxi, no subway.

This is my favorite restaurant. They serve local vegetable food.

A fountain. People loves to get water from here.

 The trail starts with gentle path and autumn leaves.

Gwanaksan is also a typical granitic mountain as most mountains in Korea are.
Thus, the trail is not boring.

You can easily find a sole hiker in this mountain. "Hello!"

At some height, you can see one of the peak in Gwanaksan is smiling under autumn sky.

The reed is missing graceful water in the valley, so it looks lonely.

You can't easily find the trail sometimes due to the rock. But don't worry, just go up! 

 Then the mountain gives you a beautiful present.

Whenever I see this view, I feel very comfortable and relaxed. 

The first target is ahead, the peak of national flag(Gukkibong).  

Sitting down on the rock, I look down my path which I taken.
The faint buildings over the ridge are in Anyang city.

The peak of national flag. It has 5 peaks which has the national flag on the top. 
There is some people who tracks those peaks.

 The second national flag peak I passed.

The temple "Yeonjuam". This temple provide a free meal if you get there on time, noon.

The top of Gwanaksan. The tower and dome are for weather checking and TV broadcasting.  
For those people who work here, there is a cable car from Gwacheon, but not allowed to the hiker.

Junction to Gwacheon and Seoul national university. There also some bad people who sell some alcohol and food. It is prohibited by law anyway.

Yeonjudae. This is very small temple but what the location!


The roof of Gwanaksan we can go up.
The real top occupied by the tower. This is one giant piece of granite.

The opposite side of the peak is very dangerous.  

 Also there's always heavy traffic.

Passing through the tunnel like path, the final destination is so far.

Finishing the trail, I look over the mountain again.
It is gleaming like my faint memory.

Gwanaksan in other seasons.

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Cheongpyeongsa (Cheongpyeong temple) at Obongsan

This temple was typical of the temples constructed during the Joseon Dynasty period. The Buddhist monk, Yeonghyeonseonsa constructed it as the Baekam Zen Buddhist temple in 973 A.D. It was substantially repaired by the government official, Yi Ui of Chuniudogamchangsa in 1068 A.D. and renamed Bohyeonwon. It was repaired for a third time by the retired government official, Yi Jahyeon in 1089 A.D. and renamed Munsuwon. During the reign of King Myeongiong of the Joseon Dynasty period, the Buddhist monk Bouseonsa repaired the temple once again and changed its name to Cheongpyeongsa. Ongoing repairs have been made since that time.
This temple became fundamental in the revival of Geosa Buddhism during the Goryeo Dynasty period and King Yeiong and King Injong sent Yi Jahyeon Goesa some incense and clothes. Naonghwasang practiced his 'religious virtue for a long time in this temple and Kim Siseup retired to the House of Seohyangwon here during the Joseon Dynasty period.
Paradise Hall was designated National Treasure No. 115, but the other buildings are newly reconstructed.
Some parts of the Hoejeonmun, the turning door and stone embankment have preserved their original features. The decorations and the harmony between the waterfalls and stone turtles give a good indication of the unique garden culture of the Goryeo Dynasty period. A three storied stone pagoda (Gongiutap), ruins of eight small temples, four stupa around the Hall of Hwanjeokdang, and stones carved with Chinese characters are left in the site.

This 3.08 meter three storied stone pagoda was constructed on a big rock on Hwanhuiryeong mountain pass. This pass is an old route to Cheongpyeongsa Temple. The roof stone of the third story was found in the valley, and the pagoda was restored for the second time in 1995. The pagoda is original except for the body stone of the third story.
This pagoda is Silla Kingdom in style with its three stories standing on a double podium. Corner and prop pillars are carved on the upper and lower part of the podium at a ratio of 2 : 1. Corner pillars are carved on the body stone of each story and the three roof stones have four step props. A Chaliu hole can be seen on the surface of the roof stone of the third story.
The body and roof of each story is made of one stone. The eaves are slightly uplifted. Pines, waterfalls, and rocks surround the pagoda and add to its beauty. Pagodas were usually constructed inside the temple grounds, but this pagoda was constructed in front of the temple. Legend says that the pagoda was named Princess Pagoda because the Pyeongyang Princess from China was cured of lovesickness by donating clothes to the Buddhist monks in Cheongpyeongsa Temple.

If you like to visit Obongsan and Cheongpyeongsa with a professional guide, please feel free contact to I am linving in Korea.


Obongsan (Obong mountain) - Hwacheon, Kangwon, Korea

Locating between Chuncheon and Hwacheon in Kangwondo, Obongsan (779M) usually known as a mountain at inland island. Due to the Soyang dam, the best way to visit this mountain was to take a boat. But the road has constructed and we can visit there by car, of course, the boat is still nice to take, no question.

Obongsan has a beautiful and long history temple named Cheongpyungsa, as well as fantastic trail and rocks. The tracking takes 3~4hours from the parking lot. So it will take a day to back and fourths from Seoul.

The trail map of Obongsan. The blue line was we have taken.  

 Obongsan trail starts with Soyang lake. It was not rain but was cloudy and dark.
Leaves which could not forget the autumn leads us to the winter, so calm.

 The valley also is preparing the winter coming.
In the valley, there's statue of a princess and a snake. There's a legend about this.  
A guy who lived in Dang dynasty of China loved the princess but the love could be happened due to the class. Then he died and turned into a snake. The snake visited the princess and tied her with its body. The princess couldn't escape at all and finally visited to Silla (Korea) to get a cure.
Once she arrived the Cheongpyungsa temple, she asked to the snake "please leave me alone while I pray" then the snake left for a while from her body.
She went to the temple and prayed, but the snake worried about if she was trying to escape. So the snake tried to find her and got into the temple. All of sudden, there was a thunder and the snake died.

It looks like a turtle, so we call it Turtle rock. 

A waterfall named Gusong Water fall. Gusong means nine pine trees. There was nine pine trees near to the water fall.

The tiny little cave called Gongjugul known as the place where the princess slept. 

 The main trail starts from the back yard of Cheonpyungsa. Obongsan is the typical rocky mountain.
 All dangerous place had ropes and holders.

After finishing some rocks, the Cheongpyungsa appears with its entire picture.  

 Trail goes on.

Life is something, I always feel about it. Even on the impossible cliff, there's a life. 

Tons of beautiful pine trees are in Korea. 

Expecting something around the corner, took a very careful step. 

After the corner, the top of Obongsan has shown up. It looks like there's a god is staying.  

The candlestick of god.  

 By the way, I am not the god.

You can see a mountain on the other side, Buyongsan. 

Before the top, you need to pass this narrow hole, called it Gumeong rock. 
There's heavy traffic here on the weekend and holiday. 

How to pass the Gumeong rock. 

 On the top of the Gumeong rock, Soyang lake gives a fairy tale view.
 And got the top finally.

 After the top, there's no more rocks and dangerous place. The trail is very gentle and very nice to walk and enjoy the season.
There's another peak, Kyungwunsan. It doesn't look like a peak.

On the peak, you can see the Bukhan river flows to the cloudy field. 

Back to the starting point, the cloud has gone and it gave us a clear view of Obongsan. 

What you can do after the tracking?
1. Enjoy the Soyang lake.
2. Visit Chuncheon city.
One of the activity you could take is visiting Chugok Yaksu.
It takes 15 mins driving from Obongsan to Chugok Yaksu. Chugok Yaksu is a fountain which the carbonic acid water comes out. This water known as a cure for stomach disease.

 The entrance of Chugok Yaksu.

One of funny things is the phone number of a restaurant. Can you read the phone number made by the Korean gambling card?
It says   011-9243-7576 and 033-243-X516! Don't believe? Try!

The fountain of carbonic acid water. It taste like the sprite without sugar!
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