South Korea

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gwangju. Discover travel destinations in South Korea of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

2 travelers at this place:

  • Day12

    Gwangju Day 1

    October 9, 2017 in South Korea

    I had hoped to visit the Byeonsanbando National Park on the Sunday but I've come down with a head cold and the medication I bought makes me feel woozy. It would have meant spending 4 hours in buses there and back so I postpone it.

    So Sunday is a rest day. On Monday I take the bus to Gwangju, which is 90 minutes south of Jeonju. On arrival I notice that the Gwangju bus station is much more modern than Jeonju's. I also buy a ticket for my next destination (Wando) before exiting to the taxi rank.

    Once again the taxi driver can't make head nor tail of the address. He does have a GPS, so I dig up the phone number of my hotel and we're finally on our way. I'm staying at the ACC Design Hotel not far from the Asian Culture Complex (hence the ACC). Gwangju is making a real push to further the arts. I'm able to check in straight away, even though I'm early.

    After settling in and eating some lunch, I look at how I'll spend the afternoon. Gwangju is most famous for the Mudeungsan National Park, and bus #09 will take me there.

    It's a warm day in the city, 29 degrees or thereabouts. However the weather is more moderate in the national park. All photos were taken here. As it turns out, quite a few different bus lines terminate here so the park is easily accessible by public transport.

    There are plenty of people around, but it is the end of the holidays. There are streams that flow through the park, so the sound of running water is continual. I find it very soothing and a welcome distraction from my travels.
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  • Day13

    Mudeungsan National Park

    October 10, 2017 in South Korea

    Having enjoyed a taste of Mudeungsan National Park yesterday, I've come back today to do a full hike. As I walk into the park I pass Tourist Information, where a couple of gents who work there are sitting outside with clipboards. I am asked to fill in some profile information. No problem, don't even lie about my age group.

    It's much more humid in the park this morning than when I came yesterday. It seems like many people have already finished their hike at this time, early risers. There are quite a few shops and accommodation at the front of the park. I wandered around some of these before starting the hike.

    There are several trails that I'm interested in, but given my head cold I don't want to overdo it. I take the Jungmeorijae Pass trail, which will take me to Saeinbong peak (617 metres). I sweat profusely on the climb up, I much prefer hiking on cool or cold days.

    At the peak there is a rock showing the height. Great views of Gwangju to the east. It's another kilometre to Jungbong peak, and it is more difficult, so I abandon that trail after 15 minutes or so.

    Instead I take the trail for Jangbuljae Pass, which is at 919 metres. When I get there I find there are no views as what looks to be smog obscures most of Gwangju. What's worse is that there is no quick trail leading down so I have to backtrack the whole way back to the park entrance.

    By this time my cotton shorts are soaked in sweat. It's not a good look, considering every Korean hiker wears a "uniform" of dark nylon trekking trousers. I should have worn my board shorts! My hiking trousers would be too hot on a day like this.

    Usually there is a bit of a wait at the bus stop, in the sun, for the #09 bus to return to the city. I buy an iced coffee at the Angel-in-us cafe (who makes up these names?) which overlooks the bus stop, allowing me to wait in the cool. It does mean a mad scramble when the bus does arrive, but that's a price I'm willing to pay ...

    Finally back at the hotel, and a shower is the first order of business, followed by a long rest.
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  • Day12

    Jaywalking in South Korea

    October 9, 2017 in South Korea

    Those of you that know me well know that I've practiced the art of jaywalking for over 35 years. It's a sign of impatience as there usually isn't a long delay between "walk" signals in Brisbane.

    In Japan and the ROK though ... generations of mayflies are born, breed and die between "walk" signals, I hum the complete "Atom Heart Mother" and feel my life ebbing away 🤔. Many motorists turn off their engines at red light in Japan. As Japan is a constrained society I feel the judgement of the complete population if I should jaywalk. The ROK is less constrained though ...

    I watched some young apprentices weaving their way through cars at a red light. Care needs to be taken though, as not only do they drive on the RHS of the road, but it is legal to turn right on a red light. I try to avoid jaywalking near corners so as to take turning cars out of play. So far, so good. One sprint for my life to avoid a taxi that pulled away from the kerb 😲 but that's it. Even jaywalked a 6 lane road the other night (it had a median strip though).

    So what other ambitions are left for this not-so-ancient art? Of course the Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires presents a big challenge. It has 3 separate pedestrian sections and is the widest avenue in the world. I have been to BA twice but never conquered this challenge.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gwangju, 光州廣域市, 광주광역시, 光州广域市

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