Korea trekking – Gayasan edition

One of the best things to do in Korea- trek.

Whenever I go Korea, I make it a point to visit at least one of their mountains. Especially since Singapore lacks such nature perks and the cooling weather. This time, I was around Busan, and found this national park. Hey folks, more to do around Busan than the usual Nampodong area! Here’s scribbling my footsteps, so that it’s easier for you to plan your trip too.

Gayasan is 1 of Korea’s 20 National Park.

Korea Map
Korea Map- Relative distance of Seoul, Busan and Gayasan (in Daegu).

Trek type: Rocky

Notey – The start of the trek is ~1km away from the temple. Look at the video below for reference.

Crowd level: Medium (during 1st May, a public holiday)

Less crowd than Seoraksan. There’re almost no tourist in the mountains, similar to suburb mountains like Taebaeksan, but Taebaeksan is more tranquil (click for Taebaek hike post: Head to a secret part of Seoul).

View:

The last climb is quite steep with lots of rocks. There’s a pond at the top, and we can see other mountain peaks. Look at my video journal below!

Fitness level: Average

I didn’t train for it, and it’s surmountable within a day. Can take 4 hours ascend and 3 hours for descend. Plan your timing well, and you get to have the night off to walk around Daegu before heading back to Busan!

TIPS!

1.KTX

I maximised my 3 day Korail Pass. Day 1 (AM) to get from Seoul to Busan. Day 2 to and fro Busan-Daegu. Day 3 (Night) from Busan to Seoul.

2. Buying intercity bus tickets (Daegu-Haeinsa)

I got my return tickets once I’ve reached the FINAL intercity bus stop at the mountains. The final terminal is one stop away from the Haeinsa temple stop. Buying when you reach ensures you will have a return tkt (you can easily change the timing if you finish your hike earlier). You’ll get more seat options when you’re returning from that FINAL stop. Especially impt if you’re there during weekends or public holidays!

SAM_9627
Haeinsa (Gayasan National Park) intercity bus return schedue. This is from FINAL stop, which is after the Haeinsa temple stop.

3. Tour Daegu

I was back to Daegu at 5pm. Right at the Seobu bus station (Sungdangmot subway station), there’s a traditional market. I totally feasted on the street food.

Gayasan vlog: A video journal is always a better capture of the sights and sounds.


HOW TO GET THERE

  1. KTX: Busan to Daegu
  • Take KTX from Busan station to DongDaegu
  • Not Daegu station! KTX doesn’t stop there
  • Price: ~USD18 (one-way); Time: 1hr
  • Exact price and timing and can be found on Korail site (click).
  1. Daegu Metro: To Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal
  • At DongDaegu KTX station, exit to public area. Turn left, walk straight and exit from Exit 2. There was a construction on-going at the time I went. Take the escalator down, turn left. Will see metro entrance.
  • Subway line 1 (Red). You can use T-Money card. It works in Seoul as well as as Daegu!
  • Time: 20mins
  • Get off metro at ‘Sungdangmot’ (성당못)
  1. Intercity Bus: To Haeinsa (temple is at the foot of Gayasan National Park)
  • From subway, take Exit 3. This blogger has got a detailed picture guide! (click)

You may refuse, but here’s some selected next reads:

SAM_9348 edited
Click: 6 Tips- CHASE WOMBATS IN NEW ZEALAND’S TONGARIRO HIKE
IMG_0046
Click: WHY HAWAII, WHEN YOU CAN GULANG ISLAND
Praying at the peak
Click: A SECRET PART OF SEOUL WHERE THEY DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH ANYMORE. Praying at the peak: I thought he walked out of a movie. That white hair and white traditional linen hanbok.

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