Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mid-Week Respite at Bukhansan National Park

South Korea's most visited national park, Bukhansan in the north of Seoul, hosts far less hikers and picnickers in the middle of the week. Since it's prime hiking season (on account of autumn leaf viewing mania), I took an opportunity to do an afternoon hike on Wednesday, October 21.
No other national or provinical park in the country has so many trails, temples, and hermitages. There are also a considerable number of "workout stations", badminton courts, and vegetable plots sited at the beginning of the trails.
Starting from Dobongsan Station, I stopped to take a look at Dobong Temple. The 1,000-year-old iron Buddha, dating from the Goryeo Period, was not in evidence, though there were some intriguing temple details such as this white elephant.

Before I took a lesser-travelled route down to the Banghak-dong neighborhood I rested at the top of Ui Peak, from which I contemplated the city's smog level. Visibility was decent.