Temple stay & autumn leaves in SeoraksanOctober 6, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
Our first stop from cycling is in Seoraksan, one of the many national parks Korea has to offer. Following the recommendations of Hilshien and Auke, we want to spend the night in a temple (Like in China, mountains being considered holy places, they are as much visited for worship than for hiking). So we leave our bicycle and luggage at the bottom and start hiking at the end of the day.
We arrive at a temple complex a bit late, among many other tourists/pilgrims (who themselves came by bus...). Between the tea/coffee shop, the souvenir shop, the praying halls, it takes some time to find the right person to talk to. Then we find out that staying overnight is much more expensive than we thought ! But upon seeing our sad faces, the monks offer us a discount. We can stay and eat three meals of monks' food at a reasonable price. The room is small but tidy and comfortable (korean/ japanese style : mattresses to unfold on the floor). It feels good to have a shower and to sleep in a warm environment, after several humid camping nights...
The following morning, we hike up to a viewpoint, enjoying the autumnal landscapes. Golden/ red leaves, old mossy trunks, fast moving clouds. The korean hikers seem to be serious about their gear, equipped with good brands from head to toe. The older folks are also in good shape and walk a swift and steady pace. It is among a sea of clouds that we reach the peak. From there we can see the "Yellow Sea" and the eastern coast of Korea : our next destination !Read more