S.Korea, Gwangju, Mudeungsan National Park, 무등산국립공원

From Seoul to Gwangju is appx 3hr by KTX with few stops in between. KTX (Korea speed train) train departing for Gwangju Station is from Yongsan Station not the usual Seoul Station, so be careful and do not go to the wrong station. Single trip ticket cost less than W40,000 per person on weekday. Almost every hour has a train departing from Yongsan Station to Gwangju Station.  However, if you are planning to go on weekend, it is advisable to reserve your ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

You can check the rail timing at the following website, or even book online if you want to make reservation ahead of your trip.  Though reservation in advance is not necessary unless is on weekend because you can go up to the counter and get the ticket for the next available train. 

Korail Korea Railroad

Accommodation in Gwangju

If you are not particular about staying in high end hotel, there are plenty of motels near Gwangju Station and the Bus Terminal. Motels price starts from W25,000 per day and you can walk in to enquire the price. Korea motels are amazing, it has internet connection and huge plasma tv in the room. If you are not particular, these motels provide very basic accommodation and are inexpensive.

How to get to Mudeungsan National Park

As a tourist, Gwangju is a great city to visit if you are looking to experience a different side of Korea other than Seoul or Busan.  Located on the South-West side of the Korea peninsula, or Jeollanam-do, this area is Korea least developed and the greenest provinces. Here you can visit Boseong green tea plantation and hike several mountains at the local National Park.

In Gwangju, the nearest National Park is Mudeungsan National Park, though this is not a famous mountain as compare to nearby Naejangsan National Park, it is worth visiting if you are in Gwangju. The National Park is not far from Gwangju city centre.

To get there, you can take bus 9 from a bus-stop outside U-Square (Gwangcheon Bus Terminal). Just walk out of U-Square main entrance towards the main road, and there is a main bus-stop right infront of U-Square main door. Here you will see many commuters waiting for buses at this bus stop. Look for bus 9 and hop on. Take the bus all the way to the Mudeungsan terminal, which is the last stop where everyone alight at this terminal, so you will be sure of getting to the National Park without much a hassle. It takes about 40mins bus journey to reach Mudeungsan terminal from Gwangcheon Bus Terminal. From the bus terminal, just follow the crowd and walk up to the entrance of the National Park, which is less than 10mins walk.

 

  take the bus No 9 from this bus-stop just outside U-Square which is linked to Gwangcheon Bus Terminal.  Check out on the bus route direction, this is to ensure you are in the right direction to Mudeungsan National Park (Jeongsim Temple).

We were here for the beautiful autumn foliage and crisp autumn air at the end October and we so blessed with great autumn weather on the day we arrived at Mudeungsan.

 

 

  from the bus terminal, walk up the slope towards the entrance of the National Park. If you come unprepared, there are convenient shops and other shops selling hiking gear, hiking wear near the bus terminal. Get yourself some snack, bottled mineral water from these convenient store before starting your hike if you come empty handed. Remember you need to be hydrated during the hike and food to give you sufficient energy.

On the way up the mountain, you will come across few temples. Of all the temples, please don’t miss out Jeungsimsa Temple.

 

entrance to Jeungsimsa Temple

 

 

 

  

 

after taking a quiet moment at the temple, you continue your hike by choosing one of the many hiking pass. There are plenty of directional sign showing you and showing the distance. But bear in mind the walk is not flat ground, there are times when you have to climb uphill on uneven surfaces or on rocks. Please take a rest when you are tired and at the same time enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage which will take your breathe away. There are plenty of locals take advantage of this season and go for a hike with families and friends. If you are a slow hiker like me, try to come early before noon to start your hike. It will make perfect time to be back at the foot of the mountain before night fall because it can take up to 5hrs to complete one pass.

 

signages are everywhere to help to decide which pass to take..

 

 

there are always maps showing your location and other cute signages reminding hikers to be careful. Very thoughtful indeed…

 

  

 

one of the rest stop before continuing up the mountain

 

everyone just rest and enjoy the beautiful view, a gift from Mother Nature….

 

 

  

We ended our hiking with a nice local makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and crisps before heading for a hearty dinner to reward our tired body and aching legs… 🙂

As a beginner in hiking, we truly enjoy the gift from nature and we admit that locals elderly are very fit. They disappear in split seconds with their hiking gear.

If you are in Gwangju, and have a day to spare, just come to the National Park to get away from the noisy city and be with the nature. 🙂

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