Hiking at Bulamsan - Northeast Seoul

One of the greatest things about living in the city of Seoul is that it is the perfect combination of old and new. Tradition and Modernism. Nature and Urban. I don't know how they did it, but these krazy koreans have figured out how to have it all in one place. In this case, I'm sure they just picked a place, built a bunch of stuff, and decided to work around the mountains as this city has grown overtime, but that's neither here nor there. In the center of the city is Namsan (which actually means South Mountain) and its not too big. It's where the tower is, and it's hard to miss. A little more north there is the national park of Bukhansan which is about 700m tall, and on the northeast part of the city is Suraksan (Not to be confused with Seoraksan in Gangwan-do) and Bulamsan. Due to my timing issues of needing to be down in Bundang (south of the city) to teach a class in the evening, we went with the smallest of the 3 northern mountains and did Bulamsan standing at 508m.

Bulamsan in October is absolutely gorgeous. Truth be told, everywhere in Korea is absolutely gorgeous in the fall. The amount of colors and trees everywhere is breathtaking at times even if you're in the dead of the city. We took the subway up to Dangoggae on the light blue line, followed some ajumahs (little old ladies) who looked like they were about to get their hike on, and eventually found a map of the area. There is no shortage of trails to follow, and we just decide to walk until we got onto one after we passed a few apartment buildings. Probably about 2 km in total all the way up, it was pretty easy. The only real difficult part was when we got towards the top and there were actual vertical inclines where the koreans had installed ropes in order to help people get to the very top. Difficult, but very worth it.

All in all, we left our apt around 11, took the subway about an hour, got up the mountain and down, had dinner, and I was at my class by 7pm. Definitely unlike anything at home, for sure.