Day 5 - Hallasan Mount hiking and Jeonbokjuk as dinner

We have to wake up very early because if not, we might not able to make it to the top of the mountain. Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea. It height of 1950 meters. Climbing up the mountain require about 9 hours round trip. The special nature of this area led to its being designated and managed as a national park in 1970, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2002, a World Natural Heritage Site in 2007.

The mountain trail leads of several trails. Only Gwaneumsa trail and Seongpanak trail leads you to the summit. You can visit http://www.hallasan.go.kr/english/ for more information on the schedule, tracks and maps. Gwaneumsa trail only 8.7KM but it require 5 hours of hiking where else Seongpanak trail is 9.6KM and only require 4.5 hours. The trail is not easy as it had lots of rocks along the path.  See those rocks. We have to hike on the rocks!!!!

We start our journey from the hotel and stop by GS25 to buy some breakfast. We bought kimbap, sandwiches and onigiri. Journey to the Seongpanak trail took awhile. We enter the Seongpanak Trail : 82-64-725-9950 information to the navigator and it leads us to the management office. It took us about 1 hour to reach. We start our hiking around 7:30AM. It was very cold with the big wind. However, when the hiking reach about 10AM, the weather getting hot and we start to take off our jacket. The hiking need to take place as early as possible to avoid reaching the half summit exceeding 1PM. After 1PM, the road to the summit will be close. Therefore it is recommended to begin hiking before the latest 9AM. For beginner hikers like us, we really need about 4.5 hours to reach to the top.

Half way of the hiking, there is the water point where we can drink fresh mountain mineral water. It taste fresh and do not contain any smell.

As the weather is very cold, we do not really require to drink lots of water. Still I brought 1.5 liter water with me and it almost finish when we reach the summit. I refill my bottle when we are climbing down the hill at this same water point. After recharging our self with the mineral water, we continue our journey.

When we reach the last check point before heading to summit, the view is excellent.

We stop at the rest hut to take our second breakfast. It was around 10:30AM.

 

After 4.5 hours of climbing, we finally reach to the summit of Hallasan. We met a very nice guy who help us take photos of us.

  

Here is the Hallasan view from top. A bit disappointed.

The view suppose to be like the one on the picture but it seems dried.

 

There are lots of people at the top of the mountain. The journey down to the bottom took us another 4.5 hours.

After heading to the bottom, we went to the management office to obtain our medal and certificate. With 1,000won (RM3) we get a certificate and 5,000won (RM15) we get a medal. Both with our name on it.

 

We reach the bottom around 4:30PM. After getting our certificate and medal, we drive back to the hotel. After a nice bath, we took a rest. My wife sleep like a baby and I proceed to wash our clothes. We have about 5 days of clothes to wash at the hotel. It is free. After we done with the washing, we walk across the hotel for dinner. There is this restaurant exactly opposite the hotel, separate by single lane road. We went to the restaurant and order for Jeonbukjuk (abalone porridge).

We ordered a bottle of makgeolli to drink. They give us the Jeju makgeolli with the cute bowl. In Korea, they usually gave bowl to drink makgeolli and small glass for Soju.

After the dinner, we walk back to our hotel and sleep after a very tiring day.

Next: Day 6 (part 1) - Sanbanggulsa Grotto and Dragon Head Coast

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