South Korea: My top five hikes

Having spent quite a bit of my time in Korea on top of mountains, I thought it fitting to write a brief post about my favourite hikes. Starting with;

Muedungsan national park (Gwangju) Saeinbong – This was one of my first hikes away from Suwon and Seoul. At this point I wasn’t exactly physically fit, so making it to the major peak would have been slightly ambitious. However, this peak made up for not being able to get to the precipice with a nostalgic reminder of the Lion King. My only regret, not having the circle of life on my iPod to blast out loud.

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Worthy of Simba

Dobongsan (Seoul) – located to the northeast of Bukhansan National Park in Seoul, it’s known for the magnificent rock formations of the Manjangbong. This had to make it on the list as it is easily accessible, not too difficult, and a pleasantly refreshing getaway from the bustling streets of Seoul.

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Nature in Seoul’s backyard

Gwanaksan (Seoul) – This was one of my go to hikes and home to the most impractical temples, although one of my favourites, that you can’t enter as it’s situated on the edge of a cliff. I recommend doing this hike in spring. It’s the perfect time for this hike.

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Someones idea of an ideal home

Cheongyesan to Gwanggyosan (Seoul/Suwon) – This is a bit of a cheat as it involves more than one mountain. It’s 5 mountains and 4 peaks, taking between 7-9 hours across the distance of 26km (16 miles). I’m a bit biased on this one as it involved my backyard hike of Gwanggyosan. However, it is definitely worth it as you get to see the whole of Seoul.

I started this hike at Cheongyesan in Seoul, but you can start it from Suwon and finish in Seoul. The route is now advertised on the Shinbudang subway line (red line).

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Two hours in, two hours of sweat

Seoraksan national park (Sokcho) – Again I’m cheating on this one as it contains multiple hikes, but it is an absolutely stunning park and was probably my favourite place in Korea. If you’re only going there for a leisurely hike I’d recommend going to see the Biryong falls. However, if you want more of a challenge you can either do Ulsanbawi or the infamous Dinosaur ridge.

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A bridge to nowhere (well actually, the bridge to Biryong Falls)


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