After tasting a little bit of hiking last week, I decided to level up a bit by going to Gyeryongsan this time. As for those who don’t know, the suffix -san actually means mountain, so it’s mount Gyeryong. The mountain itself is located inside Gyreyong national park, situated on the outskirt of Daejeon city. From KAIST, we can reach the place within 30 minute – 1 hour by bus. We’ll need to change bus once to get there.
After getting off the bus, there are some convenience stores available if by chance you would like to stock up on provisions during the hike. Oh and there are also a lot of toilets available in case you have some business with them :D. Mind you, once the hiking trail starts, there won’t be any available until somewhere near the peak, so you’d better use them when you have the chance. Don’t worry about the hygiene. One of them is actually on par with KAIST’s toilets, complete with music inside LOL.
To enter the hiking trail, you need to pay 2000 won per person for adults, and 800 won for teenagers up to 18 years old. The hiking trail at Gyreryongsan starts off as a gentle slope upwards along stone steps, with lush greeneries on your right and left side. It’s best to go hiking during sunny days, where you can see traces of sun rays among the tree leaves.
Actually, there are two paths here. I decided to take the path that my friend hasn’t taken before. Along the way, you can visit a buddhist temple and see a statue of Buddha inside if you want to. I visited for a little while just to take some pictures. After the temple, the trail will start to become steeper, albeit still made of smooth stones positioned as steps. 1.6 km of hiking later, I came across a rest area. Here, there’s some clear drinking water in case I want to refill my water bottle, a korean herb drink that they give away for free (although very bitter. I only drank one sip), and two pagodas. It seems that there are many traces of Buddhism around this mountain, but I haven’t got the chance to look up that information.
After the rest area, there are two choices: the first is to take a track straight to the nearest peak for another 600m, or go along the second track to reach another peak 3.5 km away. Since I’m still a noob in this whole hiking business and practically half dead, and most of my friends are also fatigued, it’s pretty much an obvious choice. Thankfully, the quick rest proved to be very useful in restoring our stamina.
Later on, we reached the peak and got an astonishing view of the area around Gyreyongsan, 2.2 km away from our starting point. You’d better check the photographs for this one since it’s hard to describe. But one thing is for certain: you can see a base transceiver station located atop one of the peaks from afar :D.
The way up was tiring, but thankfully the way down is easier. Although it’s true that more stress is placed on your leg muscle. But still, the way back feels shorter than when we hiked up there. As usual.
After hiking, comes hunger. But lucky for us, there are a bunch of restaurants right beside the national park entrance, so we had no problem finding some place to eat. Oh and for muslims, there are haemul pajon (seafood leek pancake) and vegetable bibimbap (without any meat), so insya Allah it’s safe to eat. As a tip for me the hiking noob, carry some sweet stuffs when hiking, they can help raise your energy for a short while.
So there’s my little adventure for today. Now I’m safely back at my dorm room, lazing away in the cool of the air conditioner’s output, ready for my afternoon nap.