One of the most enchanting places I have been to, Seoraksan National Park is an impressive garden of jagged peaks and granite spines surrounded by forests and mountain streams. My experience in this place was one that I will always hold high on my list of great things I've done. Though it was not without its challenges, I mostly felt like I had died and gone to heaven. You see, I have a deep deep love of mountains and rocks, which is Seoraksan's specialty. As soon as I stepped off the No. 7 bus from Sokcho City, I knew we were meant to be together. I spent three days exploring this wondrous playground, and I would have stayed much longer had I ignored certain responsibilities. But life is long (hopefully), and I shall return someday for another dance with this magnificence.
Valley of the Twelve Buddhas
I was very fortunate to meet Mr. Youn the day before the hike. Mr. Youn generously gave me his time and some excellent information about this hike. If I hadn't known that the shelters on this mountain sold bottles of water, I would have been carrying a lot of unnecessary liquid weight up this rather grueling hike. With an elevation of 1708m (5,604ft) Daecheongbong is the 3rd highest peak in Korea. The hike to the peak from Seorak-Dong is 11km (7mi) and a 1500m (5,000ft) vertical rise, which is a somewhat serious undertaking. I starting hiking at 3 a.m. and I lucked out with a beautiful day.