AUTUMN AT NAEJANGSAN MOUNTAIN, THE BULLET TRAIN RIDE AND A BATH HOUSE EXPERIENCE


Over the weekend, sister mentioned about revisiting Seoul as homestay is no longer a problem.  She also mentioned of trying the winter season of South Korea with January as the ideal month.  Well…

This reminded me of our Year 2010 escapade. I haven’t written about our Day 3 and Day 4 moments… There are more to share about the autumn experience at Seoul.  So before we plan of our next out of country trip, I have to finish my foreign travels “to write” list…

On our 3rd day at South Korea, my sisters’ boss invited us to visit a mountain located in Jeollabuk-do for a maple tree or autumn crimson leaves scenery.  I can’t believe I’m visiting a mountain. Whew.. My first international mountain trip and I can’t wait to savor the air of South Korea… 

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From Anyang, we took a bus bound to Jeongeup for our Naejangsan Mountain adventure.  We were supposed to take another bus to Naejangsan Park entrance where we would commence our trek.  But my sisters’ boss hailed a cab and it brought us all the way to the Forest Museum passing by trekkers along the trail.

From Visit Korea: Naejangsan is a famous mountain in the Jeolla-do province, and the best mountain in Korea for viewing autumn’s crimson leaves. The park is 76,032 sq. km. in size and became a National Park along with Baekyangsa District on Nov. 17th, 1971. The name Naejang means 'many secrets' in the mountain. Because of the bright crimson leaves that blanket Naejangsan Mountain’s fall scenery.  The mountain is also referred to as "Geumgangsan of Honam."



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Before we reached the Museum located at one of the peaks of Naejangsan ranges, we stopped for a breathtaking view of the valley with a bedspread of leaves of different motifs.  The surrounding gray-subdued ranges enclosing the valley supplemented the awesome landscape.  The chilly atmosphere was another factor for the indubitably paradise-like beauty.  Then at the top, the crimson lined street and pine trees of different variants filled my eyes with overflowing delight and it was indeed too much to handle.  In as much as I wanted to stop, have my eyes closed, imagine its wholeness then memorize the entire scene… I was ashamed to do so.. maybe next time… maybe next time.

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The museum at Naejangsan featured mostly tree-related products like the different wood variants, papers, wooden instruments and household ornaments but it also has a display of different kind of stones/rocks.  At the entrance, we were welcomed by a huge uprooted shape representing the root-part of a tree.  It also houses a big Irworobongdo folding painting, the same art found in South Korea’s 10000 bills.


From DramaHaven: Irworobongdo or Irwolgonnyundo (Painting of the Sun, Moon and the Five Peaks), a highly stylized landscape painting of a sun and moon, five peaks together with lake and waterfalls which in between always was set behind Eojwa, the king’s royal phoenix throne during the Joseon Dynasty. 


Irworobongdo, Painting of the Sun, Moon and the Five Peaks, Irworobongdo Painting



 


It was 4pm when we left the museum and this time, we trekked our way down.  After the valley where we had our late lunch, we chose the trail by the river.  We passed by several campers with tents up for an overnight stay.  For other tourists, hotel and hostels are available in the area.  For availability and rates, check out this link.

Then at the park entrance, we joined a swarmed bus bound to Jeongeup for our 7:30pm KTX bullet train ride. The unexpected ride was another experience that made the trip more memorable.

South Korea KTX, South Korea bullet train

And more… sister brought me to a bathhouse where we stayed for the night.  It was my first to try a public bath that required everyone to be fully dressed out.  Thankfully, cameras are not allowed inside. The sauna area is composed of several igloo type cabins of different degrees.  I tried the hottest and yes it resembled the hotness of a boiling water and I only lasted for 3 minutes.  Gender segregation is strictly implemented in the Jacuzzi area but at the sleeping hall, couples are allowed to join each other.  For our sleep, we grabbed a sleeping pad and found a small haven for the night.  It was a day beyond expectation and a travel spent best.  For more of Jjimjilbang, visit Seoul Korea on Facebook..

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Travel Date: November 2010


6 comments:

  1. Wow, those colors are amazing! When is the best time to go to South Korea? I would love to go to a public bathhouse too, as long as I'm not required to go naked :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. south korea also has 4 seasons. if you like autumn - early november is best to catch the falling leaves, then winter - january is best but for cherry blossoms, i think early april is best.

      for the bathhouse, everyone is required to go naked at the jacuzzi/pool area :)

      thanks for dropping by..

      Delete
  2. hi, may i ask when was the exact date of your visit to mt. naejangsan? will be visiting korea this october and i wanna make sure that i could still see that colors of the leaves. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi, thanks for dropping by :)

      we visited the mountain on november 6.

      have a great trip.
      m&b

      Delete
  3. Awesome! You experienced Seoul during autumn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually yes... i appreciated it more than winter except that i visited it with the kiddos during our winter SK trip :)

      Delete

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