Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hiking Times -- Mt. Yongmun

This hike was a while back, but it remains fresh in my mind:

The commute to Mount Yongmun was nervous and long. Past the regular subway line, the rail is less predictable and less frequent. After three hours, I was prematurely exhausted and ready to turn around. But with friends waiting and the growing need to hike, I found my way. The moment I stepped off the bus, the last leg of the trip, it was all worth it. 

Leading up to the moutain and temples is a small village, is how I can best describe it. Restaurants that open up into the street, shops brimming with small gifts, and food carts selling typical Korean fried goodness and meat sticks greet the eye. It was so colorful and pleasing to alll my senses. Lanterns lined the path up to the main attraction: the temples and some 1,500 year old Gingko tree, the oldest and largest in Korea. 

The hike was challenging and thus, the dinner afterwards was that much more delicious. I had the staple Korean dish called bibimbap 비빔밥. Served in a bowl, rice, various vegetables, and a protein sit side-by-side and are topped with a poached egg. Mix-it yourself and bottomless chili paste later, pure happiness. 


Flowers arranged in the shape of the Gingko tree leaf


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