Enjoying Korea, by Hiking! (Foreigner’s viewpoint)

IMG_9447As a foreigner who stays shortly in South Korea, I think we should explore this country as many places as possible because every place in here is amazing. It has strong cultural value, delicious food, and also the beautiful scenery. It will give you a different meaning of each trip. Like my last holiday, I want to go somewhere I have never been to and I want to try something new. Since I come from a tropical country which has no winter season, I want to enjoy the snow as much as possible. So, I decide to go to Taebaek Mountain Snow Festival which located in Taebaek City, Gangwon Province. I want to enjoy the winter as well as try hiking in the cold temperature. As we may know, hiking is one of the Korean cultures which also becomes their lifestyle. It is good for our body health and it will clear our mind. Any kind of ages can enjoy this activity together.

20170211_093411Eventually, my friends and I arranged the trip to Taebaek Mountain. We reserved the train ticket, guest house, made an itinerary and did some workout before the hiking day. We expected it will be very cold, so we prepared a bunch of warm clothes for a comfortable hiking. When the day came, we took a train to Taebaek City and met in Taebaek Station. Our trip was not as smooth as it was, my friend was waiting for the train on the wrong platform so she missed the train and had to re-buy the tickets. While waiting for her, we tried to eat delicious local food here, a grilled fish restaurant. We found it extremely yummy, not only the grilled fish but also their side dish. There is some interesting part here, in foreigner’s viewpoint it a little bit strange found that plenty of side dish was served every time we ate but it is one of the Korea eating culture. After she came, we went shopping and bought groceries for dinner. After we arrived at the guest house, we started cooking and appreciated being together by chatting, joking around, and playing some games.

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The next morning we started our hiking at 8 AM with complete preparation and interestingly it was snowing. Our guest house located far enough with the entrance point, as a foreigner here we did not really understand the route climbing at its circumstances. Luckily the owner of our guest house kindly escorted us to the gate of the trail, and we started our journey here. Took a deep breath and looked around, the trees covered by the snow with sunlight appear from the interspace between the pine trees. It such a wonderful scene. We started with a leisurely walk, then began on a gentle slope, you could imagine it was like a road cutting through a forest.

After 30 minutes, we were getting harder to get through the trail because it was becoming steeper and so slippery. The snow was also getting thicker and our visibility became less focus because of fog. Somehow our trip became frightening. My confidence started to fall down and questioning could I reached the top or frozen in the middle of the forest instead.
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At this point, we took a break, ate snacks, and enjoying the view for several minutes. We gathered our strength as we continued hiking, appreciated every step of the way. After hiking and climbing for two hours and thirty minutes, we finally reached the summit. The view at the peak of Taebaek Mountain was wonderful, you could see snow-capped mountain although it was disturbed by the fog but it worth to experience by yourself. This mountain was truly one of Korea’s treasure.

Hiking is one of the amazing trips which provides a healthy physical exercise that can create wonderful memories. Besides, I am a foreigner feeling so happy can experience one of the Korean lifestyles and understanding why Korean love hiking. In the end, someone says that the world is wide as a footstep, so take your step to see the beauty of this world.

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